Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 207

Picture Book: My Secret Bully

Author: Trudy Ludwig

Illustrator: Abigail Marble

Summary: Monica and Katie have been friends for years, but Monica is confused because now there are times when Katie is mean to her. She calls her names, talks about her in means ways to others, threatens Monica when she tries to play with mutual friends, and pointedly leaves her out of conversations and activities. Eventually Monica has no one to play with at recess so she starts to doubt herself and miss school because of stomachaches. Monica confesses her trouble with Katie to her mom who listens and helps her practice being more assertive via role-playing. The next day Monica confronts Katie in front of the other girls, and their relationship ends. Monica is sad about this loss, but she knows that real friends don’t treat each other the way Katie has treated her. She chooses to only be around people who really like her. Monica has new friends and no more stomachaches.

Hanna’s Comments: One benefit of this author’s books is the way she has the adult characters listening and then teaching appropriate coping strategies to the children. Be sure to check out the Forward by Susan Wellman, founder of the Ophelia Project. This introduction gives some details on emotional bullying aka relational aggression. In the back you’ll find Making a Difference: A Note to Parents & Teachers, a section called What can a Target do?, discussion questions, and lists of additional resources. Today’s book continues this week’s PBT focus on bullying before Anti-bullying week here in the US next week.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Tricycle Press, 2004

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 6 and up, 1st and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abuse/abuse of power, action, anxiety/worry, belonging, betrayal, bravery/courage, brokenness, bullying/martyrs/persecution/oppression, challenges, conflict, discord, education/learning/school, emotions/feelings, endings, enemies, exclusion/inclusion,  friends/friendship, injustice, insecurity, power, problems/problem solving, relationships, resisting evil, security, self-acceptance/self-image/self-esteem, trust/trustworthiness, victims

Scripture Connections: A friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17); encourage one another and build one another up (1st Thessalonians 5:11)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of elementary-aged children if you are having any relationship problems in your group. Consider having them engage in some role-playing similar to what you find in this story. 

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