Children's Literature - Vicki FooteIs it true or false that bullying only happens face-to-face? This is one of the questions that are answered in this nonfiction discussion concerning bullying and its effects. Part of the "True Book" series, it begins with a chapter about understanding bullying. This chapter explains how it is done through calling others names, spreading rumors, using force, and excluding others. Subsequent chapters discuss why some children are targeted, and which children are likely to be bullies. Several pages list signs of reaction to being bullied, such as feeling sick or talking of suicide. Suggestions are given about how to respond to bullying. There is a timeline that shows political and social responses to this problem. A chapter about how to prevent it suggests talking about it with friends and seeking other solutions. A page of statistics lists facts such as the percentage of students who have told an adult when they are victims. A table of contents, the Scholastic web site, and reference books are included. Appropriate photographs in color help illustrate the problems and suggestions. This text is a helpful and important resource that should promote children's understanding of this timely issue. Reviewer: Vicki Foote
School Library JournalGr 3—4—This subset falls short. Choppy sentences in long paragraphs are accompanied by large, color photographs. "The Big Truth!" sections in the center of each volume have full-spread photos with text boxes containing facts and/or advice (e.g., "Having fun? Great! But don't chew with your mouth open.") Each volume has an absurdly short and arbitrary time line: for example, the one in Manners starts with Emily Post's etiquette guide as one of four important events named, but the politeness professional herself is never mentioned in the text. It also includes the launch of Facebook (mentioned once in the text as a place where gossip may be spread), but gives no additional information as to its relevance. Simplistic true-or-false questions are answered on the "True Statistics" page, which gives no sources for its figures. While two volumes are devoted to bullying, Smart Choices crams in many topics, including nutrition, exercise, drugs, alcohol, stress, etc. All of the topics addressed in here are better covered in extant series.
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