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My Secret Bully Hardcover – Apr 1 2005

11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tricycle Press; New edition edition (April 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582461597
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582461595
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 1 x 26.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5-This overtly bibliotherapeutic offering tackles the difficult topic of bullying. Monica and Katie have been friends since kindergarten, but lately Katie increasingly seeks to exclude and embarrass her pal in front of their classmates. Monica's despair and isolation are realistically portrayed and highlight the often-overlooked aggression between females. The child eventually shares her anguish with her mother, who effectively counsels her without presenting any pat solutions or easy answers. Lists of resources for adults and children and discussion points are appended. A muddy palette, uninspired renderings of the characters, and a small typeface detract substantially from the appeal of this picture book. Still, libraries may want to purchase it because of the scarcity of material on this very important issue.
Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


Review, School Library Journal:
“This . . . bibliotherapeutic offering tackles the difficult topic of bullying, . . . [L]ibraries may want to purchase it because of the scarcity of material on this very important issue.”

Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out:
“Too few resources are available to families dealing with girl bullying. MY SECRET BULLY provides an important resource to help parents.”

Dr. Kathy Masarie, founder and director of FULL ESTEEM AHEAD:
“A must-read for any child who has ever been teased, ignored, or excluded by his/her peers. . . . A very useful resource for addressing social cruelty among children.”

Theresa Markowitz, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology:
"...a desperately needed tool to help parents, techers, and other professionals address the growing epidemic of relational aggression (emotional bullying)."

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 25 2006
Format: Hardcover
I wish I'd had this book when I was a child!

Monica, a "tween" (8-12) is facing the ugly truth about subtle bullying. Her former friend Katie makes snide comments about her to other girls; excludes her from games and tells Monica who she can and cannot talk to.

Monica is devastated; she and Katie had been friends since they were in kindergarten. She cannot understand why Katie turned against her. She tells her mother about the problem, but the two are at a loss as to what to do. To Monica's mother's credit, she does not tell her to be nicer to Katie or blame her; I know from personal experience that when I was a tween that was the kind of atrocious advice I would have been given.

When Katie's insidious hostility becomes so aggressive, Monica suffers from tension and stomach pains. She dreads school. Naturally, this forces her hand into telling her mother about the problem. Monica is empowered once she learns her mother is an ally and not beguiled and duped by Other People's Children, as I always believed mine was. (I never understood why people who are blessed with children sing the praises of Other People's Children to their own.)

Monica's mother comes up with an excellent solution. She said to confront Katie using mental strategy; instead of stooping to retaliation, Monica might say, "Does it make you feel good to say mean things to me in front of other people?" and comments of that ilk. That way the bullying behavior would be on record and Monica could stand tall and walk away, knowing she'd called Katie on her behavior.

Sadly, such insidious nastiness is very common among girls. This is to date the best book I've come across in openly and intelligently dealing with this subject. I highly recommend it to all parents and educators.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Gorenstein on March 28 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read this book to my third graders just before a class meeting. The children were mesmorized by the problems faced by the characters and the discussion afterwards focused on a thoughtful account of discreet bullying going on in our school. This led to further discussions about bullying in our weekly class meetings. Trudy Ludwig has captured the essence of childhood bullying in this thoughtful book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By thinker on March 16 2004
Format: Hardcover
This subtle type of bullying is probably more universal--and definitely more insidious--than the kind we usually think of. I've never seen it addressed so explicitly before, and that alone is indispensable in helping kids to recognize what's happening to them and getting a grip on what to do about it. The subtle torture girls inflict on other girls can be extremely debilitating and damaging, not only at the time, but for the rest of their lives. Trudy Ludwig has created a beautiful book and done an extremely valuable service. I wish every girl could read it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although I have heard some people complaining about the illustrations in this book, I'm more interested in the content.

This is a very well written book about bullying for the special, hard to tell bullying that happens usually within girl cliques.
It covers relational aggression- when you have a friend who is a friend sometimes, but randomly pits other people against you, or excludes or ridicules in order to get power for themselves. They usually use fear of exclusion to get people to do what they want, but can be perfectly sweet when alone, which makes it even more confusing.
They don't mention it in the book, but the bully in this book also uses gaslighting- pretending nothing is wrong or something is wrong with you for thinking something is wrong.

The happy ending comes when our main character tells the bully exactly what she wants to say, without becoming a bully herself. She then finds a new group of friends who are supportive and like her just the way she is, explaining that real friends don't treat people the way her 'friend' did.

There are notes and resources for parents and teachers to read as well, and discussion ideas to have with children about what happened in the book to help them think and learn about what they have just read. Parents and teachers NEED to be active participants in their children's lives, bullying behavior is enforced when it is ignored and can cause a lifetime of problems.
Instead of "standing up" to the bully (which rarely works) or ignoring the bully (which also doesn't really work), adults need to deal with the problem. Unfortunately some parents are bullies themselves and do not care about their child's behavior, and some schools tend to persecute the victim instead of the bully.
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Format: Hardcover
As a bullying prevention educator, I am always looking for childrens' books about bullying that show bullies' behavior clearly, that affirm targets' feelings, and that present helpful solutions. Reading this book to young people and discussing the issues it brings up has been a hit with young people aged 7-12 in many different schools, with teachers, parents, and children describing it as the high point of my workshop. The students at the school where I work continue to refer to this book as they talk about friendship issues. My Secret Bully captures the truth of relational bullying- bullying within friendships. It helps young people see how they expose themselves to further pain by staying in friendships with people who hurt them, and how they can get out of those friendships. The clear writing and attractive illustrations help young people connect with the characters and the story. A useful discussion guide at the end of the book helps adults talk with children about destructive friendships. Highly recommended for parents, teachers, youth group leaders, and all who work with children.
Stan Davis
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