My Secret Bully Hardcover – Apr 1 2005
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
this book was a great buy for my daughter. she had a friend like this and this book made her feel better and more brave to stand up for her self.Published 23 months ago by Kelly
A good message for tween, teen girls & boys to evaluate the quality of their friendships, takes a different perspective on bullying from big pushy guy on the playground to the... Read morePublished on April 14 2011 by cgray
I so enjoyed reading "My Secret Bully" with my son, a first grader. The emotionally charged content of the book prompted wonderful questions and opened the door for discussion of a... Read morePublished on Feb. 22 2004
Excellent, inspiring book ... and not just for girls who are the victims of emotional bullying. Any child -- boy or girl -- who has ever had to deal with cruelty in the schoolyard... Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2004
Great asset for ANY library (school or home)! Bullying is one of those topics that can really challenge a parent. How do you help your child help himself? Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2004 by Amazon Customer
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