Overview

This story relates the painful and embarrassing aftermath of name-calling and bullying from the perspective of the bully. J. J. Jax has been tormenting an overweight boy named Patrick, calling him Pig-Pen and Porky, to the point that Patrick is now afraid to go to school. Learning of his son's behavior, J. J.'s father lectures him to stop bullying Patrick. When that approach fails, Mr. Jax tries another tack and shares an experience he had as a youthful bully and the consequences he recently faced as a result of ...
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Overview

This story relates the painful and embarrassing aftermath of name-calling and bullying from the perspective of the bully. J. J. Jax has been tormenting an overweight boy named Patrick, calling him Pig-Pen and Porky, to the point that Patrick is now afraid to go to school. Learning of his son's behavior, J. J.'s father lectures him to stop bullying Patrick. When that approach fails, Mr. Jax tries another tack and shares an experience he had as a youthful bully and the consequences he recently faced as a result of his actions. Touched by his father's words, J.J. reaches out to Patrick in a school arm-wrestling contest and experiences the "alley oops" moment of empowerment and self-esteem that comes from doing the right thing. Snappy dialogue highlights the harmful, lasting effects of bullying and the importance of finding common ground toward conflict resolution. Believable contemporary illustrations bring the story to life with expressive body language.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
"A valuable lesson about name-calling and hurting people's feelings."
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-J.J.'s dad insists that they sit down for a talk. Apparently, the youngster has been bullying an overweight boy named Patrick, calling him "Pig-Pen" and "Porky." Patrick's father has asked Mr. Jax to speak to his son because Patrick is having nightmares and is afraid to come to school. J.J. says he is "just having fun." Mr. Jax then relates a story of his own: he was also a bully and "had fun" at another boy's expense. He recently met that same boy-he had become a police officer and took Mr. Jax to task for his childhood bullying. Learning of the long-lasting effects of his words, Mr. Jax felt sorry. The discussion has an impact, and J.J. and Patrick strike up a friendship. The resolution is a bit facile, and one wonders about the reasons behind J.J.'s bullying. Was it a learned behavior, since his father admits to doing something similar? Wouldn't the man have recognized the problem earlier, as he himself had been a bully? Also, the message in Mr. Jax's story is a bit forced. The watercolor cartoons are lively and have contemporary details. Despite its weaknesses, the book may be useful to help initiate discussion on this important topic.-Jennifer Ralston, Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
An Accelerated Reader book

Storytelling World Award Honor Title

International Reading Association has cited Alley Oops as a source for their title, Bright Beginnings for Boys: Engaging Young Boys in Active Literacy

"A valuable lesson about name-calling and hurting people's feelings." —Children's Literature

"An entertaining book with a compassionate message." —Long Island Parenting magazine

"A 'must have' for classroom teachers, counselors, or school libraries."  —National Center for Youth Issues (NCYI)

"Powerful message without being goody-goody." —New York State Reading Association

"A little gem . . . [that] will empower your children to wrestle with big choices and take a look at their own actions and reactions."  —AcademicPlanet.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936261000
  • Publisher: Flashlight Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2005
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: NOOK Kids
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Janice Levy is the author of Abuelito Eats with His Fingers, Aubelito Goes Home, The Man Who Lived in a Hat, Spirit of Tio Fernando, and Totally Uncool. She is a three-time winner of the Writer's Digest Contest for Best Literary Short Story and a winner of the Japanese School Library Association's award for "Best Foreign Language Picture Book." She teaches writing at Hofstra University. She lives in Merrick, New York. C. B. Decker is the illustrator of Celebrate the Fire Within. She lives in Modesto, California.

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