Confessions of a Former Bully

Confessions of a Former Bully

4.6 3
by Trudy Ludwig, Beth Adams
     
 

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After Katie gets caught teasing a schoolmate, she's told to meet with Mrs. Petrowski, the school counselor, so she can make right her wrong and learn to be a better friend. Bothered at first, it doesn't take long before Katie realizes that bullying has hurt not only the people around her, but her, too. Told from the unusual point of view of the bullier rather than

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Overview

After Katie gets caught teasing a schoolmate, she's told to meet with Mrs. Petrowski, the school counselor, so she can make right her wrong and learn to be a better friend. Bothered at first, it doesn't take long before Katie realizes that bullying has hurt not only the people around her, but her, too. Told from the unusual point of view of the bullier rather than the bullied, Confessions of a Former Bully provides kids with real life tools they can use to identify and stop relational aggression.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Katie, the antagonist of Ludwig's My Secret Bully, is back, this time narrating her own rehabilitation. Drawing on the tropes of the personal journal, the confessional, and the self-help shelf, this illustrated mock-notebook depicts how Katie, now in school-mandated counseling, owns up to her actions, deepens her understanding of "bullying behaviors" ("I used to think of bullying as only being physical"), and learns how to "become a better friend." Ludwig packs a lot of expertise and teachable moments into these pages, which often strains the authenticity of Katie's voice, leaving little sense of her character. An unfortunate reliance on quotes from famous people also prompts responses from Katie like, "Mr. Gandhi sure sounds a lot like my grandma." Adams, a debut illustrator who combines naïf drawings with collage, has the same problems: her pages often feel over-designed and glib. Still, bullies (and maybe victims) will undoubtedly recognize some of their own troubles as they follow Katie's journey. Ages 7–11. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Cathi I. White
Katie is a ten-year-old bully who picks on kids in her class. Katie is sneaky and usually does not get caught or have anyone stand up against her. She does not realize how badly she is treating others until one day when she is called to the principal's office. The principal confronts her about her bullying behavior and tells her she has to pay the consequences. One of the consequences is to find a way to make up for the hurt she has caused to the kids she bullied. She starts journaling about her behavior and what she is learning in her counseling sessions. Then she has the brilliant idea to write a book about bullying. This extraordinary book is written from Katie's perspective and what it is like to be a bully. She writes about what she has learned in her sessions with her counselor to help others to learn about bullying behavior and to not become a bully or the victim of a bully. She realizes that her bullying included her words, laughing at others, making faces, trying to control others, and embarrassing others. On the other hand, Katie also expresses what to do to help kids who are being bullied and making friends good friends. This wonderful book also includes facts about bullying, a chart about good and bad friends, how to create a safer environment at school, and additional resources. The illustrations add to the explanation that Katie gives about bullying. Readers will enjoy this format and will want to continue reading to find out what else Katie has to say. This astonishing book has the potential to change the lives of kids so that they will not be bullies. Teachers and parents would also benefit from reading this enlightening book. Reviewer: Cathi I. White
From the Publisher
Review, Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2010:
"This fictional cure will resonate with its intended audience."

Review, Book Faerie.com, August 9, 2010:
"This book is written for children ages 7-11, but the life skills are applicable to all. Help your child learn about bullying and how to protect themselves from it by sharing this book with them."

Review, Booklist, September 1, 2010:
“…many children looking for practical advice on bullying will find this journal more thought-provoking, practical, and readable than many nonfiction books on the subject.”

Review, School Library Journal:
"…the language and casual writing style are age appropriate…The advice is sound and there are specific examples that will be helpful….Further reading for children and adults, as well as the websites listed at the end of the book, are useful resources."

Review, Publishers Weekly:
“Ludwig packs a lot of expertise and teachable moments into these pages.”

Review, Children’s Book Review:
“After five books, Ludwig has become much beloved by kids, parents and teachers. [Confessions of a Former Bully] is chock-full of helpful information, charts, ‘Quick Facts,’ reflections and revelations. This book will be a sought after resource in both the home and the school library.”

Review, Midwest Book Review:
"An absolute ‘must-have’ for elementary, middle school, and public library collections.”

Review, The Children's Book Review:
"Confessions of a Former Bully teaches us how to disarm the bully by taking the power and the fun out of bullying.  Best of all the reformed bully is not vilified but respected for her courage to change....a sought after resource in both the home and the school"

"This book should be required reading for children and their parents!" —Patti Kelley Criswell, author of American Girl's Stand Up for Yourself & Your Friends and Friends: Making Them & Keeping Them

"Confessions of a Former Bully is unmatched in providing effective tools for girls and boys in every social role, whether they are instigators, targets, or bystanders." —Melissa Norman, founder & executive director of GirlCHARGE, Inc.

"Confessions of a Former Bully brings us into the mind and heart of a girl who bullies and shows us that change is possible." —Stan Davis, author of Empowering Bystanders and Schools Where Everyone Belongs

"Confessions of a Former Bully is a valuable resource for both the home and the classroom." —Sandra McLeod Humphrey, retired clinical psychologist, character education expert & children's author

School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—In a fictional scrapbook, a self-confessed former bully recounts both her own actions as a perpetrator and the steps she took to rectify her behavior. Under the guise of giving an insider's look, Katie provides information about why bullies do what they do and some possible steps that targets and bystanders can take to stand up to them. Meant to offer advice, the insights occasionally feel too adult to be truly accessible to kids, but the language and casual writing style are age appropriate. Despite the moments when Katie's transformation seems too pat and convenient to be believable, the advice is sound and there are specific examples that will be helpful, even if older readers may feel as though they've heard it all before. Jotted notes, doodles, and related quotes are peppered throughout, adding to the scrapbook format. The illustrations are a mix of collage and drawings; they are fun but not particularly noteworthy. Further reading for children and adults, as well as the websites listed at the end of the book, are useful resources.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582463094
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/24/2010
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
231,276
Product dimensions:
9.56(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.34(d)
Lexile:
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

MY VERY IMPORTANT BOOK
ABOUT BULLYING
by Katie

P-S-S-S-T!

I'm going to tell you what you need to know about bullying. I've even included stuff that kids who bully DON'T want you to find out. And believe me, I know what I'm talking about since I used to be one.

I stopped bullying with the help of our school counselor, Mrs. Petrowski. She must have spent a gazillion hours studying bullying because she knows so much about it. I never thought what I did to my friend Monica—giving her the silent treatment, telling her who she could be friends with, and not including her in games at recess—was bullying.

I was suprised to find out that it actually was.

One of the first things I learned was that bullying hurts everyone, even the kids who are bullying! That got me thinking: What's the point of doing something that ends up hurting ME in the end?

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