Weird! (The Weird! Series #1)

Overview

Luisa is repeatedly teased and called "weird" by her classmate Sam, even though she is simply being herself—laughing with her friends, answering questions in class, greeting her father in Spanish, and wearing her favorite polka-dot boots. Luisa initially reacts to the bullying by withdrawing and hiding her colorful nature. But with the support of her teachers, parents, classmates, and one special friend named ...

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Overview

Luisa is repeatedly teased and called "weird" by her classmate Sam, even though she is simply being herself—laughing with her friends, answering questions in class, greeting her father in Spanish, and wearing her favorite polka-dot boots. Luisa initially reacts to the bullying by withdrawing and hiding her colorful nature. But with the support of her teachers, parents, classmates, and one special friend named Jayla, she is able to reclaim her color and resist Sam’s put-downs.

The Weird! Series
These three books tell the story of an ongoing case of bullying from three third graders’ perspectives. Luisa describes being targeted by bullying in Weird! Jayla shares her experience as a bystander to bullying in Dare! And in Tough!, Sam speaks from the point of view of someone initiating bullying. Kids will easily relate to Luisa, Jayla, and Sam, as each girl has her own unique experience, eventually learning how to face her challenges with the help of friends, peers, and caring adults.

Part of the Bully Free Kids™ line

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Three stories told from the perspectives of three different children: one who is bullied (Weird!), a bystander (Dare!), and the bully herself (Tough!). Each title shows readers, through the texts and the expressive ink illustrations, what each child feels. In Weird! Luisa is portrayed as a bubbly and vibrant character wearing her beloved polka-dot boots everywhere she goes. Then she is tormented by Sam, and her uniqueness and confidence become liabilities instead of strengths, and she throws away her boots. It isn’t until a bystander, Jayla, stands up to the bully and returns Luisa’s footwear that the book ends on a positive note with the victim confidence restored. Following the stories, nonfiction sections offer tips from each character’s perspective or suggest simple group activities that model positive behaviors. Each title also has talking points and discussion questions, so readers can go back into the story and discuss what is occurring and how they might be able to change the outcome in a real-world scenario. The books stand alone as separate titles, but they’re much more effective when utilized together to give a complete view of how the main characters are feeling and the outside events that help shape their roles. For example, Sam, the bully, is being taunted at home by an older brother–setting her up to then find someone that she can pick on at school. These will be useful titles particularly for schools, but also for public libraries that see a fair number of requests for character-education titles.—School Library Journal

One of a trio of books that present the topic of bullying from three perspectives: the bullied, the bystander and the bully.

No matter what Luisa does, from wearing her favorite polka-dot boots to telling jokes at lunch, Sam declares that she is Weird!Luisa gradually stops being herself, until her mother and friends help her realize that she is wonderful the way she is. Jayla’s fear of becoming the target governs her actions as she alternately stands by and does nothing and takes Sam’s Dare! to participate. She eventually realizes that she has lost too much to feeling scared and befriends Luisa. From glimpses of her home life, it is not hard to see why Sam acts as Tough! as she does. But her attempts at keeping things cool are not winning her any friends, and the fact that no one is playing by her rules anymore gets her to start thinking about her behavior. While the series is slightly didactic, the well-drawn characters have real problems with (mostly) credible resolutions. Extensive backmatter, with separate sections for children and adults, in each book summarizes the lessons learned and provides activities to help change ingrained behaviors. Heaphy’s pen-and-ink illustrations are dotted with highlights of color that spotlight the main characters. She is a master of facial expression and body language; Sam’s hoodie sweatshirt speaks volumes all on its own.

While the series would benefit from a boy’s version, the message is still loud and clear; this should find a home in every school library. (Picture book/bibliotherapy. 6-12)—Kirkus

Luisa tells her story: “I have a problem. There’s a girl in my class who thinks that everything I do is WEIRD!” When she speaks in class, when she tells a joke, when she wears her polka-dot boots—Sam’s always around muttering “weird.” Luisa keeps changing her behavior to appease Sam, but that doesn’t seem to be possible. After talking it over with her mom, Luisa puts on her boots, tells her jokes, and raises her hand. She realizes, “The more I act like I don’t care what she says, the more I really don’t care.” This book, with its scrawling ink art highlighted with pops of color, does some things very well, especially dealing with the feelings of someone who is not so much bullied in the classical sense, but is bewildered and losing confidence because she thinks she needs to please others. (The book does call this bullying). There’s plenty of backmatter: Luisa’s notes offer advice; Sam’s notes gets into the bully’s head; and there are tips, some more useful than others, on how to join the “Confidence Club.” A good discussion starter. — Booklist

“The Weird series is a delightful three-part story that explores the roles of the bully, the bullied, and the bystander and how children can break out of those roles and be their unique, caring selves. Not only for kids, this series is a must for parents, educators, and caregivers who want to help children end the cycle of cruelty.” —Barbara Coloroso, author of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander

“The wonderful books in the Weird series are great resources to help build young children’s social skills to address and prevent bullying.” —Trudy Ludwig, children’s advocate and best-selling author of Confessions of a Former Bully

“The Weird series encourages children that are being bullied to stand up for themselves . . . bystanders to act when they see something bad happening . . . [and] children who are bullying others to reassess their actions and motivations.” —The Children’s Book Review

A real rarity in the character education genre.”—Green Bay Press Gazette

“An excellent tool for teaching school-age children good mental health techniques to survive and grow beyond bullying.”—Midwest Book Review: Children’s Bookwatch, Reviewer’s Choice

From the Publisher

Three stories told from the perspectives of three different children: one who is bullied (Weird!), a bystander (Dare!), and the bully herself (Tough!). Each title shows readers, through the texts and the expressive ink illustrations, what each child feels. In Weird! Luisa is portrayed as a bubbly and vibrant character wearing her beloved polka-dot boots everywhere she goes. Then she is tormented by Sam, and her uniqueness and confidence become liabilities instead of strengths, and she throws away her boots. It isn’t until a bystander, Jayla, stands up to the bully and returns Luisa’s footwear that the book ends on a positive note with the victim confidence restored. Following the stories, nonfiction sections offer tips from each character’s perspective or suggest simple group activities that model positive behaviors. Each title also has talking points and discussion questions, so readers can go back into the story and discuss what is occurring and how they might be able to change the outcome in a real-world scenario. The books stand alone as separate titles, but they’re much more effective when utilized together to give a complete view of how the main characters are feeling and the outside events that help shape their roles. For example, Sam, the bully, is being taunted at home by an older brother–setting her up to then find someone that she can pick on at school. These will be useful titles particularly for schools, but also for public libraries that see a fair number of requests for character-education titles.—School Library Journal

One of a trio of books that present the topic of bullying from three perspectives: the bullied, the bystander and the bully.

No matter what Luisa does, from wearing her favorite polka-dot boots to telling jokes at lunch, Sam declares that she is Weird!Luisa gradually stops being herself, until her mother and friends help her realize that she is wonderful the way she is. Jayla’s fear of becoming the target governs her actions as she alternately stands by and does nothing and takes Sam’s Dare! to participate. She eventually realizes that she has lost too much to feeling scared and befriends Luisa. From glimpses of her home life, it is not hard to see why Sam acts as Tough! as she does. But her attempts at keeping things cool are not winning her any friends, and the fact that no one is playing by her rules anymore gets her to start thinking about her behavior. While the series is slightly didactic, the well-drawn characters have real problems with (mostly) credible resolutions. Extensive backmatter, with separate sections for children and adults, in each book summarizes the lessons learned and provides activities to help change ingrained behaviors. Heaphy’s pen-and-ink illustrations are dotted with highlights of color that spotlight the main characters. She is a master of facial expression and body language; Sam’s hoodie sweatshirt speaks volumes all on its own.

While the series would benefit from a boy’s version, the message is still loud and clear; this should find a home in every school library. (Picture book/bibliotherapy. 6-12)—Kirkus

Luisa tells her story: “I have a problem. There’s a girl in my class who thinks that everything I do is WEIRD!” When she speaks in class, when she tells a joke, when she wears her polka-dot boots—Sam’s always around muttering “weird.” Luisa keeps changing her behavior to appease Sam, but that doesn’t seem to be possible. After talking it over with her mom, Luisa puts on her boots, tells her jokes, and raises her hand. She realizes, “The more I act like I don’t care what she says, the more I really don’t care.” This book, with its scrawling ink art highlighted with pops of color, does some things very well, especially dealing with the feelings of someone who is not so much bullied in the classical sense, but is bewildered and losing confidence because she thinks she needs to please others. (The book does call this bullying). There’s plenty of backmatter: Luisa’s notes offer advice; Sam’s notes gets into the bully’s head; and there are tips, some more useful than others, on how to join the “Confidence Club.” A good discussion starter. — Booklist

“The Weird series is a delightful three-part story that explores the roles of the bully, the bullied, and the bystander and how children can break out of those roles and be their unique, caring selves. Not only for kids, this series is a must for parents, educators, and caregivers who want to help children end the cycle of cruelty.” —Barbara Coloroso, author of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander

“The wonderful books in the Weird series are great resources to help build young children’s social skills to address and prevent bullying.” —Trudy Ludwig, children’s advocate and best-selling author of Confessions of a Former Bully

“The Weird series encourages children that are being bullied to stand up for themselves . . . bystanders to act when they see something bad happening . . . [and] children who are bullying others to reassess their actions and motivations.” —The Children’s Book Review

A real rarity in the character education genre.”—Green Bay Press Gazette

“An excellent tool for teaching school-age children good mental health techniques to survive and grow beyond bullying.”—Midwest Book Review: Children’s Bookwatch, Reviewer’s Choice

Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
Luisa is a very lucky young lady. She has a mom who drops her off and picks her up at school. She has a Spanish speaking daddy who loves seeing her at the end of his work day. She has friends who love her lunchtime jokes and believe that she is smart and fun to be with. She even has a favorite pair of polka-dot boots. Luisa also has a classmate who is a bully. Every time Luisa speaks out in class, tells a funny joke, or wears something different, the bully makes Luisa feel weird. So, to avoid feeling weird, Luisa stops speaking out in class and stops telling jokes at lunch and she stops wearing her polka-dot boots. She even stops greeting her mom and dad in the same way every day because the bully makes her feel that she is wrong. School children of all ages can be subject to attacks from bullying. Most attacks are verbal and cause a child to feel isolated and strange, just as Luisa did. Sometimes the bullying can become physical or the verbal attacks can be so severe that they cause emotional trauma. Children who are bullied often feel that the attacks are in some way their fault and they hesitate to tell an adult about the bully. This series presents bullying from the perspective of the one who bullies, the one who is bullied, and the one who is a bystander with helpful notes included in each volume that summarizes the stand of each character and offers teaching guidelines in dealing with bullying behavior. Luisa's Confidence Club gives feedback as to how bullying affects a child's confidence and how that confidence can be rebuilt, even in the youngest children. This is the best approach to dealing with bullying that I, as a reviewer and librarian, have seen. It is a valuable resource for doing more than just talking about the subject but really empowering the children to deal with the behavior, whether they are the bully, the victim or the bystander. Reviewer: Joyce Rice
School Library Journal
Gr 2–5—Three stories told from the perspectives of three different children: one who is bullied (Weird!), a bystander (Dare!), and the bully herself (Tough!). Each title shows readers, through the texts and the expressive ink illustrations, what each child feels. In Weird! Luisa is portrayed as a bubbly and vibrant character wearing her beloved polka-dot boots everywhere she goes. Then she is tormented by Sam, and her uniqueness and confidence become liabilities instead of strengths, and she throws away her boots. It isn't until a bystander, Jayla, stands up to the bully and returns Luisa's footwear that the book ends on a positive note with the victim confidence restored. Following the stories, nonfiction sections offer tips from each character's perspective or suggest simple group activities that model positive behaviors. Each title also has talking points and discussion questions, so readers can go back into the story and discuss what is occurring and how they might be able to change the outcome in a real-world scenario. The books stand alone as separate titles, but they're much more effective when utilized together to give a complete view of how the main characters are feeling and the outside events that help shape their roles. For example, Sam, the bully, is being taunted at home by an older brother-setting her up to then find someone that she can pick on at school. These will be useful titles particularly for schools, but also for public libraries that see a fair number of requests for character-education titles.—Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Kirkus Reviews
One of a trio of books that present the topic of bullying from three perspectives: the bullied, the bystander and the bully. No matter what Luisa does, from wearing her favorite polka-dot boots to telling jokes at lunch, Sam declares that she is Weird! Luisa gradually stops being herself, until her mother and friends help her realize that she is wonderful the way she is. Jayla's fear of becoming the target governs her actions as she alternately stands by and does nothing and takes Sam's Dare! to participate. She eventually realizes that she has lost too much to feeling scared and befriends Luisa. From glimpses of her home life, it is not hard to see why Sam acts as Tough! as she does. But her attempts at keeping things cool are not winning her any friends, and the fact that no one is playing by her rules anymore gets her to start thinking about her behavior. While the series is slightly didactic, the well-drawn characters have real problems with (mostly) credible resolutions. Extensive backmatter, with separate sections for children and adults, in each book summarizes the lessons learned and provides activities to help change ingrained behaviors. Heaphy's pen-and-ink illustrations are dotted with highlights of color that spotlight the main characters. She is a master of facial expression and body language; Sam's hoodie sweatshirt speaks volumes all on its own. While the series would benefit from a boy's version, the message is still loud and clear; this should find a home in every school library. (Picture book/bibliotherapy. 6-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575424378
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/24/2013
  • Series: The Weird! Series , #1
  • Edition description: Part of the Bully Free Kids? line
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 182,977
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Erin Frankel has an M.A. in English education and is passionate about teaching and writing. She
taught ESL in Alabama before her recent move to Madrid, Spain, with her husband and three
daughters. Erin knows firsthand what it feels like to be bullied, and she hopes her stories will help
bring smiles back to children who have been involved in bullying. In her free time, Erin loves
hiking in the Spanish mountains and kayaking in her hometown of Mays Landing, New Jersey.
 
Paula Heaphy is a print and pattern designer in the fashion industry. She’s an explorer of all
artistic mediums from glassblowing to shoemaking, but her biggest love is drawing. She jumped
at the chance to illustrate her friend Erin’s story, having been bullied herself as a child. She lives
in Brooklyn, New York.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 5, 2012

    FABULOUS BOOKS- A MUST HAVE!

    This book series is absolutely FABULOUS! The books in this series are: Weird! Dare! and Tough! I bought several sets of these books- all 3 books- for my children's teachers and guidance counselors. They all loved them. We have 2 sets of these books (one for each of my boys) and their friends have been drawn to them as well- so we have now included these as one of our "go-to" books for children's gifts. That's the beauty of these books- they "teach" through their stories, yet they are so well written and have such beautiful illustrations that they are simply a wonderful children's series. Period. As a parent of a child who was bullied, as a sister of a first grade teacher and as a Certified Early Intervention Specialist I can say that these books are like no others I have seen. Beautifully illustrated (using color as a way to signify the changes that children undergo when bullied), well written in child friendly language with detailed and meaningful activities in the back for parents and educators, complete with a wide variety of resources on bully prevention- these books have been highly praised by bully experts and have been endorsed by the International Reading Association. There are not a lot of books out there that speak from the victim, bystander and bully perspectives that are also targeted to elementary school students. The books are written and illustrated so you are able to have meaningful conversations with your children about this important issue. Buy these books- read them to your children, give them to your children's teachers, donate copies to your school's and public library. (We have donated to both libraries and they have been well received.) They are a must have- very on point, yet not intimidating. All three books are very powerful and I highly recommend them. If I could give them 10 stars I would- and my children and their classmates give them "two thumbs up"! Trust me, these books are headed for big things!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    I Love the series!  such a pleasure to read!  and the illustrati

    I Love the series!  such a pleasure to read!  and the illustrations are adorable!  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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