Say Something

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Moss and Lyon make their children's book debuts with this well-intentioned if often wooden story, which opens as the narrator points out "a kid in my school who gets picked on all the time," another boy who gets teased and pushed in the halls, and a girl who always sits alone on the bus. The narrator asserts that she doesn't harass these individuals ("I don't say anything"). One day when she's sitting alone in the cafeteria, three schoolmates approach her and start telling jokes. She laughs-until the jokes "started to be about me." Her tormentors laugh as she cries, and the students eating at the next table stare at her in silence. When she relays the story to her older brother and shares her anger at the students at the neighboring table, he replies, "Why? They didn't do anything," and she responds, "Right." The tale ends abruptly on the following spread, as the narrator is pictured smiling with another girl: "On the bus the next day, I sat next to the girl who always sits alone. She's really funny!" The somewhat simplistic and monotonous tone is relieved by the impressionistic watercolors, which successfully capture the girl's expressions and moods. Concluding tips about dealing with bullying speak to older, more sophisticated readers ("Say something to the bully. Don't become part of the fight. But remember, often just a quick word or two will make the teasing or the mean-spirited joke stop"). Ages 5-12. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The main character of this story is a young girl who watches sadly as some of her classmates mock and harass fellow students. Then one day when her friends are out, she ends up sitting alone in the cafeteria and becomes herself a target for the bullies. Once home she complains to her big brother, "I was mad at the kids at the table next to mine." He shrugs and says "Why? They didn't do anything." That is her moment of truth. She realizes that not participating in the teasing is not enough—she has to do something actively to prevent it. The next day she makes friends with one of the bullies' victims, a girl who always sits alone on the bus, and has a revelation—"She's really funny!" The story ends there but the book does not. There are two more pages giving suggestions on how to stop bullies, as well as a list of additional resources about bullying and hate crimes, useful to both teachers and students. There is, however, some disparity between the reading level of this end section, which is more appropriate for middle schoolers, and the reading level of the story, which is a typical picture book text (simple sentences, large print). The illustrations are bright and expressive watercolors, capturing the full range of emotions in the story, but again there is a disparity between the subjects of the illustrations (middle school students) and the reading level of the text. 2004, Tilbury House, Ages 9 to 12.
—Dawn Elizabeth Hunt
School Library Journal
K-Gr 5-This story takes an interesting slant on an important topic. A young narrator describes different examples of bullying that she witnesses at school and on the bus, but remains silent. One day, when her friends are absent, she must sit alone in the cafeteria, and several students make jokes at her expense. In addition to feeling angry about being treated this way, the girl is frustrated with the other kids who look on sympathetically but say nothing. She is then able to empathize with other victims. The next day, she approaches a quiet girl who is often teased and finds a new friend. As well as demonstrating different examples of bullying, the author gradually but clearly illustrates that being a silent bystander contributes to the problem. Points are made quickly and simply, and the narrative has a natural flow that immediately draws readers in. Back pages include topics for discussion, practical and proactive advice for kids who are being targeted, and some good Web sites. The realistic watercolor illustrations depict busy school life and represent a diverse population. Emotions are portrayed beautifully through facial expression and body language. Suitable for independent reading or for sharing aloud, this book can be used in a classroom environment to set the stage for important dialogue about this universal and ageless issue.-Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780884482611
  • Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 173,223
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.42 (w) x 10.18 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2005

    A Most Wonderful Book

    'Say Something' should be in every classroom, and in everyone's library. With uncomplicated text and beautiful pictures, a lesson is taught about bullying - that it happens to anyone, and that it can be deflected by anyone. Even the littlest child has the power to stop it. Peggy Moss gets the message across and the message stays with you. There is even a list of ways anyone can make a difference at the end of the book. What a great idea!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2005

    Important lesson for children in a great story.....

    Bullying is a sad but common part of everyone's youth. We wanted to find a book that would help our kids learn to deal with it and ensure that they were not the ones doing the bullying. Peggy Moss has done a great job of this with a great story and creative illustration!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2005

    Say Something is top-notch

    Moss has done an exquisite job of presenting a highly accessible story that is also rich with meaning. Three types of characters inhabit the pages of this book- victim, bully and bystander. What child has not experienced being one, two or even three of those types in his/her own life? Children will relate to the events in the story in a very personal way, and because of this, Say Something provides rich fodder for discussion about respect and responsibility. I highly recommend this book for home and classroom.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2005

    Finally-- Someone Said Something!

    I am so pleased with this book -- it is one of my daughter's favorites! Finally a book that really speaks with a child's voice to the pain and feelings of bullying, and encourages children to take action in tough school situations. My daughter actually brought this book to her first grade class, and the teacher was pleased to share this message of empowerment with all the kids. What seems to work is that the message is subtle -- each child can take away their own understanding of how to keep bullies away from their friends. We will be looking for more from this author! Anyone who is helping their child deal with classroom bullies must have this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    How do you deal with a bully at school?

    At this school, there are some children who push and tease and bully. Sometimes the hurt other kids by just ignoring them. The girl in this story sees it happening, but she would never do these mean things herself. Then one day something happens that shows her that being a silent bystander isn't enough. Will she take some steps on her own to help another kid?

    Bright, fluid, realistic watercolors illustrate the story, set in a school with lots of diversity. Resources at the end of this book will help parents and children talk about teasing and bullying and find ways to stop it at school. One child at a time can help change a school. (excerpt from inside cover).

    In the book, Say Something by Peggy Moss, a child learns a lesson about bullying and teasing the hard way. She isn't willing to say something when she sees it happening to kids all around her at school and on the bus but when it happens to her, she suddenly views it differently.

    This is a great book for any parent to read, especially now when this subject is happening to either our own kids or kids we know. This book helps kids realize that they can do something to help and that this type of behavior shouldn't happen to anyone. I can't think of a better way to discuss this subject with our kids than this wonderfully illustrated story that puts it in a way that hits home with our kids.

    I received this wonderful book, compliments of Tilbury Publishing House for my honest review and think no home with kids should be without this book. Great for youth groups at church, day care, and schools I can definitely see this as a great way to discuss this topic to our children and those we know. This book rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and has a place in our permanent library!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    I have taught this book to kindergarteners through 5th graders..

    I have taught this book to kindergarteners through 5th graders... the simple sentence structure leads to discussion on each page according to their developmental level.

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