From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 5–This story takes an interesting slant on an important topic. A young narrator describes different examples of bullying that she witnesses at school and on the bus, but remains silent. One day, when her friends are absent, she must sit alone in the cafeteria, and several students make jokes at her expense. In addition to feeling angry about being treated this way, the girl is frustrated with the other kids who look on sympathetically but say nothing. She is then able to empathize with other victims. The next day, she approaches a quiet girl who is often teased and finds a new friend. As well as demonstrating different examples of bullying, the author gradually but clearly illustrates that being a silent bystander contributes to the problem. Points are made quickly and simply, and the narrative has a natural flow that immediately draws readers in. Back pages include topics for discussion, practical and proactive advice for kids who are being targeted, and some good Web sites. The realistic watercolor illustrations depict busy school life and represent a diverse population. Emotions are portrayed beautifully through facial expression and body language. Suitable for independent reading or for sharing aloud, this book can be used in a classroom environment to set the stage for important dialogue about this universal and ageless issue.–Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
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K-Gr. 3 Can one person make a difference? Moss' obviously didactic book, which seems designed for group discussion about bullying, focuses on the role of the bystander, a girl who sees the sadness of the victim but does nothing ("I walk on the other side of the hall. I don't say those things"). Realistic, lively watercolor illustrations show the child in a diverse school community, where kids are picked on and called names for being slow or different. The girl feels sad for them, but she looks away--until one day, when she is alone, the bullies make her cry, and her friends do nothing. The dramatic climax is quiet: the girl reaches out to a child who always sits alone on the bus, and the children have fun together. This is one of the best of the recent books for discussion about teasing; its direct, first-person narrative and informal portraits bring close classroom, hallway, and schoolyard scenarios for kids and adults to talk about. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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