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As an elementary school counselor I'm always looking for books to help me with classroom lessons. This book has a TON of great information and is interesting to read, plus my 5th graders really liked it (and the activities I added to the book). Here is my breakdown of the pros and cons for me.
Pros: The book is easy to read and listen to. It gives examples of mean behaviors that aren't physical that can be bullying. It gives facts about bullying and has some great quotes that lead to interesting discussions with the students. The book explains that bullying is something that you choose to do, and that you can choose to stop. My favorite part is the Empowering Tools, which shows students things they can do when someone says something mean to them. I made this into an activity and had my 5th graders act out the empowering tools. They liked it and it helped them see the tools in action.
Cons: The book does not talk about how bullying is mean behaviors that are REPEATED. So one mean thing that someone says once is not bullying. While I like this book it is very long to read, approximately 40-45 minutes. This is a long chunk of time to take away from teachers. Plus, because it's so long there's no way I can read this book with my younger students. There are very little pictures, mostly just words so they'd get bored.
Overall it's a great book with great info. But it is not long and in my opinion geared towards older students.
I'm having my 3rd grader read this after some issues with her bullying others at school. I think this helps clarify the issue for her so that she better understands how her behavior is interpreted when she tries to manipulate others with threats.
This story is presented as a journal written by a girl who has bullied. She discovers that bullying is NOT just about hitting, there are many forms This book can become a valuable resource in teaching children about bullying. There is much to consider. It has been published at a time when bullying is a hot topic in the news with a commitment from the field of education to try to address the problem.
This book includes everything in it that I would want to say to one of my students about bullying. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars in because I read this book to kids in a classroom setting and it is a little longer than I would like.