Trouble Talk

( 2 )


Maya's friend Bailey loves to talk about everything and everyone. At first, Maya thinks Bailey is funny. But when Bailey's talk leads to harmful rumors and hurt feelings, Maya begins to think twice about their friendship.

In her fourth book for children, relational aggression expert Trudy Ludwig acquaints readers with the damaging consequences of "trouble talk"-talking to others about someone else's troubles in order to establish connection and gain attention. Includes ...

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Maya's friend Bailey loves to talk about everything and everyone. At first, Maya thinks Bailey is funny. But when Bailey's talk leads to harmful rumors and hurt feelings, Maya begins to think twice about their friendship.

In her fourth book for children, relational aggression expert Trudy Ludwig acquaints readers with the damaging consequences of "trouble talk"-talking to others about someone else's troubles in order to establish connection and gain attention. Includes additional resources for kids, parents, and teachers, as well as advice from Trudy about how to combat trouble talk. Trudy Ludwig's books have sold more than 50,000 copies. Includes foreword by Dr. Charisse L. Nixon, author of Girl Wars: 12 Strategies That Will End Female Bullying.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Naomi Williamson
When a new girl joins her class, Maya is asked to help her feel welcome. Bailey talks a lot and she asks a lot of questions and it does not' take Maya and her classmates long to discover that Bailey is a gossip and a troublemaker. After Bailey visits Maya's home, a rumor starts around school that Maya's parents are getting a divorce. Maya is upset, and her teacher sends her to the counselor. During the visit with the counselor, the whole story comes out and Maya learns how some people indulge in "trouble talk." The counselor encourages Maya to not take part in this kind of talk. The counselor tells her to "keep doing what you've been doing. Don't join in and don't pass on rumors. Just change the subject and hang out with kids who make you feel safe." Ludwig speaks to children on a level that they can understand, about a serious problem they will inevitably encounter. Teachers and parents will find information in the author's note about "trouble talk" and how to turn it into "healthy talk" and how bystanders can be empowered. Also included are questions for discussion and additional resources. Mikela Prevost's illustrations are amazingly supportive of the text and help create a book that should be in every school library. Reviewer: Naomi Williamson
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4- When Bailey comes to Hoover Elementary, Maya is picked to be her Welcome Buddy. At first, Maya likes having a new, lively friend, but at a sleepover, Bailey is cruel to another girl. Later, she overhears a conversation on the playground and broadcasts confidential information. Finally, after listening to Maya's parents fight, she spreads the rumor that they're getting a divorce, causing Maya to seek the school counselor's help. Ms. Bloom defines Bailey's actions as "trouble talk.... Spreading rumors, saying hurtful things, and sharing information that isn't hers to share are examples of the kind of talk that leads to nothing but trouble." She gives Maya tips on how to not get involved and to choose instead "kids who make you feel safe." As the story ends, Bailey works to remedy her conduct. Given the prevalence of these behaviors, young readers will readily identify with Maya's dilemma and appreciate the straightforward text. Colorful and expressive mixed-media art depicts a refreshing and realistic multicultural schoolyard. A foreword, geared toward adults, gives insight into this type of bullying, discussing the need to connect with others in constructive rather than destructive ways. Appended are an author's note with further tips for addressing the problem, discussion questions, and additional resources. This picture book would be well used by school counselors or social workers to interface with a child who's exhibiting or harmed by "trouble talk."-Martha Topol, Traverse Heights Elementary School, MI

Kirkus Reviews
This purposive tale about gossip has great potential as a discussion starter. New girl Bailey loves to talk, but narrator Maya finds that too many of her observations are rude or inappropriate. Defining "trouble talk" as "Spreading rumors, saying hurtful things, and sharing information that isn't [one's] to share," Ms. Bloom, a school counselor, helps the young narrator to sort out her feelings about her vivacious but insensitive new friend. Ludwig acknowledges the lure of connection and the pleasure of sharing information about others but also exposes the harm that words can do. Luckily, she avoids a dry, preachy tone despite the seriousness of the subject. Prevost's simultaneously realistic and quirky illustrations combine watercolor, gouache, acrylic and collage, adding energy and emotion to the text and helping it to flow naturally. The informative foreword and backmatter will be useful to adults using the book with children. While it's unlikely to be any child's favorite read-aloud, an above-average presentation makes it a surprisingly successful picture book. (author's note, discussion questions, additional resources) (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582462400
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 139,438
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.39 (w) x 10.31 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Trudy Ludwig
TRUDY LUDWIG, author of six books for children, has been profiled on national television, radio, and newsprint. An active member of the International Bullying Prevention Association, she is a sought after speaker who collaborates frequently with organizations like The Ophelia Project, Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project, and Putting Family First. Trudy's books have received the Mom's Choice Gold Award, the Cooperative Children's Book Center's "Best of the Best of the Year" award, and have been recognized as NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Books for Young People. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Trudy is available for select readings and lectures. To inquire about a possible appearance, please contact the Random House Speakers Bureau.

MIKELA PREVOST earned her MFA in Illustration from California State University Fullerton. She now lives in Arizona with her husband and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 1, 2010

    A great book-

    This is a great book that I have in my counseling resources at school as a school counselor. During my guidance lessons I read this book to the fourth graders and we talk about gossip and bullying. This is a great book for girls to read to understand the way words can hurt and what to do about it. This story is great because it talks about finding an adult when there is a problem and if that doesn't work, the next steps to solving your problem instead of just thinking that it is okay. I highly recommend this book for kids and students.

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  • Posted February 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Mom's Choice Awards Recipient!

    Trouble Talk is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.

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