From the Publisher
Review, School Library Journal:
“This . . . bibliotherapeutic offering tackles the difficult topic of bullying, . . . [L]ibraries may want to purchase it because of the scarcity of material on this very important issue.”
Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out:
“Too few resources are available to families dealing with girl bullying. MY SECRET BULLY provides an important resource to help parents.”
Dr. Kathy Masarie, founder and director of FULL ESTEEM AHEAD:
“A must-read for any child who has ever been teased, ignored, or excluded by his/her peers. . . . A very useful resource for addressing social cruelty among children.”
Theresa Markowitz, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology:
"...a desperately needed tool to help parents, techers, and other professionals address the growing epidemic of relational aggression (emotional bullying)."
Children's Literature - Nancy Baumann
Even best friends can be bullies. Relational aggression is a term used for situations in which people in relationships bully and hurt friends through secret and hidden behavior. Difficult to observe or uncover, this type of bullying can be very destructive to the targets of such bullying. Monica feels this hurt from long-time best friend, Katie. It starts out with Katie whispering and laughing at Monica with some classmates. Next Katie starts turning other school friends against Monica by excluding her from games at recess. Katie accuses Monica of being overly sensitive when Monica inquires why Katie seems so mad at her for no reason. Signs of secret bullying are obvious-exclusion, whispering campaigns, and false accusations. Monica thinks she has done something wrong and does not realize she is the victim of bullying from her best friend. Finally Monica's mother notices her sadness, inquiring why she wants to stay home from school again. Hesitating, Monica finally is able to explain Katie's treatment of her. Monica is grateful for Mom's attentive listening and solution of role-playing to handle Katie. Children must hear and discuss Monica's story in order to stop this form and any other form of bullying. Included are notes to parents and teachers, links to websites and organizations involving bullying, and additional books to recommend to and share with children. Gentle watercolor and pen illustrations are able to convey Monica's pain and serious nature of the problem in real life scenes children can comprehend. Reviewer: Nancy Baumann
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-This overtly bibliotherapeutic offering tackles the difficult topic of bullying. Monica and Katie have been friends since kindergarten, but lately Katie increasingly seeks to exclude and embarrass her pal in front of their classmates. Monica's despair and isolation are realistically portrayed and highlight the often-overlooked aggression between females. The child eventually shares her anguish with her mother, who effectively counsels her without presenting any pat solutions or easy answers. Lists of resources for adults and children and discussion points are appended. A muddy palette, uninspired renderings of the characters, and a small typeface detract substantially from the appeal of this picture book. Still, libraries may want to purchase it because of the scarcity of material on this very important issue.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
Katie is my secret bully.
A lot of people would be surprised to know this because they think she's my friend. And she does act like my friend...sometimes.
But lately, I'm not so sure.
Katie and I have known each other since kindergarten. We've spent a lot of time together because we like doing the same kinds of things: making perfumes with flowers picked from my yard, playing soccer in the rain, sharing secrets, and spying on our bossy, know-it-all brothers.
I love being around Katie when she's nice to me. But there are times when she's not. She can be just plain mean.
And I don't know why.