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Bertha Speaks Out

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Overview

About the book … Growing up was difficult for me being overweight, too quiet and really afraid to speak out in order to defend myself. In this book Bertha learns that she needs to let her voice be heard and no longer allows herself to be the scapegoat. Not everyone is beautiful, looks like a model or even dances like the pros, but everyone in the world every child and adult is good at something. Find out what your strengths are and build on them and success will be yours. Bertha also learns in this book how to ...
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Bertha Speaks Out

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Overview

About the book … Growing up was difficult for me being overweight, too quiet and really afraid to speak out in order to defend myself. In this book Bertha learns that she needs to let her voice be heard and no longer allows herself to be the scapegoat. Not everyone is beautiful, looks like a model or even dances like the pros, but everyone in the world every child and adult is good at something. Find out what your strengths are and build on them and success will be yours. Bertha also learns in this book how to deal with a family member’s disease and how she and her sister Tillie work together to help the other members of her family when grandma gets Alzheimer's. I hope that you enjoy reading about Bertha and Tillie and learn that there is a little bit of her in everyone. Love Bertha, Tillie and Fran Lewis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781436328043
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
  • Publication date: 9/11/2008
  • Pages: 104
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 19, 2009

    Bertha speaks out contains several Bertha stories.

    Bertha speaks out contains several Bertha stories. The book begins by describing a car trip. No one paid any attention when Bertha reminded them that she gets car sick. Sure enough, Bertha up chucked all over the back seat and the outside of the car.
    In Bertha's next adventure she hid money in an oven. The pilot light caught the paper bags filled with money on fire. Life doesn't get much easier when she goes to her uncle's camp for overweight children. She manages to lose 5 pounds the first week despite her hidden stash of candy bars.
    Too often adults expect respect but do not show respect. Adults forget to listen to kids. If Bertha's parents had just listened to her they would not have had a nasty car. In the story where Bertha talks back to her teacher, I was disappointed that her mother did not listen to her before forming an opinion.
    Bertha represents most girls and boys. They have a mind. They have an opinion. While they cannot make all of their own decisions as parents we need to listen to them. Not all children fit the "mold", some of us are too short. too heavy, too slow, or too tall. I remember well the pain of kids making fun of me and sometimes adults too. My hope is Fran Lewis' latest book Bertha Speaks Out brings light to the need to accept others and ourselves as God made us.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Bertha returns

    How would you react if it seemed that everyone--parents, siblings, schoolmates, teachers, and many others--picked on you, made fun of you, and generally treated you with disrespect when you were a child? Bertha, the overweight girl who was constantly being humiliated and embarrassed in Fran Lewis's My Name Is Bertha, returns to tell us more about her problems and how she learns to cope with them now that she has gone from elementary to middle school. The seven stories told by Bertha in this book talk about an accident at camp involving a lot of money, playing dodge ball (or "kill") in gym class, a trip to her uncle's weight loss camp for overweight kids to try and lose weight, another adventure at camp which involved frogs and skunks, having her test misgraded at 98% when her mother was expecting a perfect score, being accused of cheating on a paper that she wrote for a contest, and finally her grandmother's diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. While reading this book, I will admit that sometimes I was a little frustrated with Bertha's behavior, but it is important to consider what Bertha is going through. For example, on one occasion, Bertha becomes very upset, locking herself in her room, stomping on the floor, and throwing things around. Often, she is very blunt. However, Fran says that Bertha doesn't intend to be mean or rude. Yet, as an educator, Fran knows that kids do blurt out their true feelings and do not always express themselves in the right way. Again, I understand that this book is supposed to be based upon real events. I think that most of us realize that there are situations in life where people are not fair, and children's words may be the result of frustration and always being a scapegoat. When I first read the book, I noticed that while it is not written as a novel with a plot but as a series of stories, it might have been a little easier to follow by having the incidents arranged in some kind of chronological order. However, Fran told me that the arrangement of the stories was not her doing but the publishers. Having said that, I still find myself drawn to Bertha and her troubles because I know, from personal experience when I was a child, that both kids and adults can be mean and disrespectful to children with no good reason. Bertha herself is certainly not perfect, but she understands her own weaknesses and faults and tries to learn from them. Concerning her weight problem she says, "But I really can't blame anyone but myself. I have to believe in myself." And after the event that led to the temper tantrum, she writes, "I probably could have told the teacher how I felt about her in a better way." All of us have undoubtedly made mistakes, so we just have to learn how to overcome them and to do better the next time. Both children and adults can come to understand the kinds of pressures that Bertha is facing and also to appreciate the good advice that she offers on how to solve or avoid problems based on her experiences. Author Fran Lewis is a long-time educator in New York Public Schools and writes as one who knows whereof she speaks. And the description of Bertha's Grandmother with dementia is especially poignant and sympathetic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2009

    Bertha speaks out contains several Bertha stories.

    Bertha Speaks Out
    Fran Lewis, Illustrated by Jamie Miller
    Xlibris
    9781436328043
    Debra
    5
    Bertha speaks out contains several Bertha stories. The book begins by describing a car trip. No one paid any attention when Bertha reminded them that she gets car sick. Sure enough, Bertha up chucked all over the back seat and the outside of the car.
    In Bertha's next adventure she hid money in an oven. The pilot light caught the paper bags filled with money on fire. Life doesn't get much easier when she goes to her uncle's camp for overweight children. She manages to lose 5 pounds the first week despite her hidden stash of candy bars.
    Too often adults expect respect but do not show respect. Adults forget to listen to kids. If Bertha's parents had just listened to her they would not have had a nasty car. In the story where Bertha talks back to her teacher, I was disappointed that her mother did not listen to her before forming an opinion.
    Bertha represents most girls and boys. They have a mind. They have an opinion. While they cannot make all of their own decisions as parents we need to listen to them. Not all children fit the "mold", some of us are too short. too heavy, too slow, or too tall. I remember well the pain of kids making fun of me and sometimes adults too. My hope is Fran Lewis' latest book Bertha Speaks Out brings light to the need to accept others and ourselves as God made us.

    www.bookreviewsbydebra.com

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2009

    Must Read for all kids: Awareness for need for cure for Alzheimer's Disease

    Bertha is back and will soon be followed by a third in the series called Bertha Fights Back. In this the second of the three, Bertha is faced with weight loss boot camp, mean girls in school and a grandparent who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She is also faced with a teacher who refuses to recognized her talents in writing and accuses her of having her aunt, who was a teacher in her school, help write the winning story for a contest on Fire Prevention. All her life Bertha was told to let adults speak up for you when you have a problem. She was told to let them deal with confrontational issues and not be rude or disrespectful to adults. But, when she is accused in class of cheating by having her aunt write her story, even though she composed and wrote it in class,she get fed up and like all kids lashes out. Even though she might not have handled the situation in a proper manner, no one can blame her for finally speak out.
    This book is a must read for all students, teachers and parents.

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  • Posted March 12, 2009

    Outstandingly crafted: Bertha Rocks

    Bertha Speaks Out is what every child that has ever suffered at the hands of other children needs to read. Children can really be cruel to each other especially if the someone is different. Bertha is over weight and goes to weight loss boot camp to try and lose weight. Her mom makes sure that she attends for the summer. The results are a riot. Bertha burns money in oven because she did not know that the pilot light in the oven is always on. Her mom insists on perfect grades and she is pressured to always do the right thing in school and at home. Through it all Bertha learns to find her voice and she comes out on top.

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  • Posted March 11, 2009

    A must read book for Children and Adults

    Bertha Speaks Out - Fran Lewis, Author
    In Fran Lewis' first book My Name is Bertha you meet Bertha who is an overweight young lady that is teased, laughed at and hurt by both her peers and some of the adults in her life.
    In Bertha Speaks Out, she learns to take up for herself by speaking out and expressing her feelings. When a child is not "perfect" other children as well as adults can be cruel. As adults we sometimes ignore the hurt that our own children may inflict upon a child that is not "perfect". If a child has a handicap, kids may mock them. If they have a speech problem, they may mimic them. If they are overweight, they may call them names and exclude them. All of these actions damage the child that is not "perfect" as well as the child doing the hurting. We as parents need to teach them that this is wrong and how their actions hurt.
    Bertha Speaks Out is a very enjoyable book to read. Bertha finds herself in positions that will make you laugh and cry. You will feel her pain but also feel her pride when she stands up for what is right. It's a must read for children as well as adults.
    Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

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  • Posted December 1, 2008

    Bertha Teaches Everyone The Lesson to Accept Who They Are: WAY TO GO BERTHA

    This this second book Fran Lewis uses her own true to life experiences to tell every parent what not to do when dealing with a child's weight problem and how they should handle encouraging their children to do well in school. In this book Bertha's mom insists that she gets all A's in school and on every test. She will not accept even one mistake. Bertha gets migrain headaches before, during and after big tests. She even gets nervous when the teacher is gives a pop quiz. In Mistakes are for everyone except Bertha and in The Contest we learn just how hard growing up was for the author. Her mom even sends her to weight loss boot camp and the results are hysterical. She is overweight and can barely get into a bare of pants and what she does in her uncle's camp is beyond funny. The last story is dedicated to her mom, Ruth who has Alzheimer's Disease and it deals with how the family learns about the illness and how they cope. Everyone needs to learn to come together in these situations and Bertha certainly teaches everyone that lesson.<BR/>This is a great book for adults and children of all ages. I can't wait for the next one to come out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2008

    Outstanding New Children's Author

    Bertha Speaks Out really helps young readers to learn about how to deal with real life issues that come up in our everyday lives. Bertha is a twelve year old girl who has an overbearing mother who tries to control every phase of her life. She wants to decide what she wears, how she acts, what she says and all of her after school activities. She even compares her to her friends and wants her to be more like them. Alawys getting picked on and the oject of ridicule, Bertha decides to find her own voice and let he world and her mother know enough is enough. Her mom insists that she gets perfect scores one every test. She insists that she goes to weight loss boot camp. This book is funny. She is sassy, she is smart and she might not be the prettiest girl in town, but she has a heart of gold. Her sister Tillie is cute and smart and never has to worry about having friends or doing the sports activities that Bertha is poor at. Poor Bertha can't even travel long distances without gettin sick. This is a must read for all kids and adults.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2008

    Fran Lewis Really Knows What Kids Need to Read

    Bertha is back and better than ever in this second of two books written by new author Fran Lewis. She has really hit a home run with this one. Bertha finally realizes that the way to get noticed and let everyone know how she feels about being overweight and pressured in school is to final speak out and let them know. Although her mom sends her to weightloss bootcamp, she does not really lose enough weight to make a difference, but she is still proud of her effort. Bertha is great and she can do great things. I really hope that she writes another book and makes Bertha show her stuff even more.

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