Trudy Ludwig, author
Beth Adams, illustrator
Random House Books, Fiction, 2012
Suitable for ages: 8 – 12
Themes: Bullying, Behavior, Relational Aggression
Opening/Synopsis: “A few months ago, I got sent to the principal’s office again. Only this time, my parents were there waiting for me. Mom looked like she’d just sucked a lemon. Dad had steam coming out of her his ears.” Students reported Katie’s mean behavior towards Monica to a teacher. It was hard for Katie to hear the principal refer to her as a bully. She hadn’t thought of herself as a bully, after all she hadn’t hit Monica. What Katie hadn’t realized was that hurtful words and behavior are also forms of relational bullying. Katie had to deal with the tough consequences of her behavior with a counselor. She had to learn about being a better friend, and find a way to make up for the hurt she had caused. Katie decided to write a journal and turn it into a special book to help kids learn about hurtful behavior from a former bully.
Why I like this book: Trudy Ludwig wrote this unique book for her readers who wanted to know what happened to Katie after she bullied her friend Monica in My Secret Bully. In Confessions of a Former Bully, I liked that the school had an anti-bullying program in place to work with Katie and help her understand how her behavior affected others. Katie apologized to Monica and all the kids, but they didn’t trust her. I like that Trudy left no tidy ending. Katie’s consequences will stay with her until she changes and becomes a better friend. This is a great classroom book that children will relate to as they will be able to talk about the subject from both perspectives. Beth Adams illustrated the book like a journal. It is full of illustrations and very appealing to this age group.
Resources : The book provides interesting discussion material for the classroom about bullying. Trudy Ludwig is a member of the International Bullying Prevention Association and is a popular Random House speaker. Visit Trudy Ludwig at her website. She has recently written a Wonder Lessons Guide for Random House about bullying. A great tool for teachers and parents to use during October’s National Bullying Prevention Month. You may also want to check out the National Bullying Prevention Center.