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My Secret Bully [Hardcover]

Trudy Ludwig , Abigail Marble
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 1 2005
                                                THE SECRET'S OUT ON BULLYING

Here is the all-too-familiar story of Monica.  She and Katie have been friends since kindergarten.  Monica loves being around her when she's nice.  But there are times when Katie can be just plain mean.  And Monica doesn't understand why.

Monica is a target of relational aggression, emotional bullying among friends who will use name-calling and manipulation to humiliate and exclude.  But with a little help from a supportive adult—her mother—Monica learns to cope and thrive by facing her fears and reclaiming power from her bully.

Including a foreword by the founder of the The Ophelia Project, as well as helpful tips, discussion questions, and additional resources, My Secret Bully is a vital resource for children, parents, teachers, and counselors. 

Frequently Bought Together

My Secret Bully + Just Kidding + Sorry!
Price For All Three: CDN$ 38.97

  • Just Kidding CDN$ 12.99
  • Sorry! CDN$ 12.99

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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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hats Off to This Book! Oct. 25 2006
By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 500 REVIEWER
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book! March 28 2004
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
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had this book when I was a kid March 16 2004
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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to be a kid to love this book Feb. 16 2004
By Donel
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? At what point should the parent become involved ... and how? My daughter enjoyed this charming, lavishly illustrated story, because Monica is a true heroine ... her mom gives her the power she needs to defeat the bully with grace and strength. I loved My Secret Bully because it was chock-full of immensely useful, practical advice and anti-bullying resources for me, as a parent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great tool for a school counselor Nov. 7 2003
This is a great book for discussing bullying and relational aggression with elementary school students. Reading it with large and small groups of kids has opened the door to great discussions about friendship, personal boundaries, and strategies to cope with all forms of bullying. "My Secret Bully" is one of a very few children's books that addresses the issue of relational aggression between young friends. I recommend it for parents, educators, and counselors of children and pre-teens.
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