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Why are You Picking on Me? Dealing with Bullies

Why are You Picking on Me? Dealing with Bullies

by John Burstein

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Christine Cassello
Kristina and her family had moved into a new house and she had started going to a new school. She had made a new friend, Angela. One day in the cafeteria another girl, Shelby bumped into Kristina. When Kristina asked her why she did it, Shelby said she just felt like it and she took a dessert from Kristina's tray. Kristina told her to give it back but Shelby threatened to punch her. Kristina did not want to fight but she did not want to be bullied either. She wondered what she should do the next time Shelby tried to start a fight with her. This situation begins the book and the illustrated character Slim Goodbody, (John Burstein), gives strategies for dealing with bullies. First he explains that anyone can be a bully and being bullied can happen anywhere and take different forms, physical, verbal, or even be silent, as when someone acts like you are not there and does not talk to you. He explains that there are many reasons people become bullies but it is a way for the bully to feel better about himself or herself. Then the author describes what makes a person a victim. After this is explained, Mr. Burstein goes on to tell kids what to do if they are being bullied. First, they should tell an adult about the situation. If they need support to do this, they should take a friend along or they can write a note if they are too shy to speak with an adult in person. Then the children who are being bullied should be prepared and take precautions like staying with friends, walking tall, practicing what to say, ignoring teasing, and holding back emotions. If all else fails, shout for help. There are pages that ask if you bully yourself or others and tell how you can stop it if you see yourselfdoing either. It also tells how to help a friend who is being bullied. The photographs show boys and girls of diverse races and physical abilities using the skills in this book of the "Slim Goodbody's Life Skills 101" series. There is a glossary of difficult words and a list of books and web sites for further study on the subject. Reviewer: Christine Cassello
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1–5—These books offer clear and simple advice for children and provide adults with springboards for discussion and role-playing. All have appealing color photographs of a variety of types of kids (though they look a bit staged), opening scenarios, concrete coping suggestions, and solid reasoning. The book suggestions for further reading have no copyright dates, but the Web sites are all currently active and provide excellent resources. In Can We Get Along?, differences in skin tone, religion, wealth, language, and ability are all addressed. The book concludes with six skills for ending conflicts. The strongest title, I Said No!, explains why saying "yes" is easier. Then 10 refusal skills are presented with illustrations and specific language/behavior. There is some discussion about personal struggles and tough questions to ponder. Why Are You Picking on Me? deals with bullies and victims. Explanations for both roles are offered, with solid ways to avoid being a target. Telling an adult is listed as the first step, and suggestions for a school-wide bully-free zone conclude the book. These are solid additions to elementary collections.—Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI

Product Details

Crabtree Publishing Company
Publication date:
Slim Goodbody's Life Skills 101 Series
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 11 Years

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