Confessions of a Former Bully

Confessions of a bully137404387Confessions of a Former Bully

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.

My Secret Bully

My Secret Bully101471089My Secret Bully

Trudy Ludwig, author

Abigail Marble, illustrator

River Wood Books, 2004, Fiction

Suitable for:  Ages 5-11

Themes:  Bullying, Behavior, Friendship, Relational Aggression

Opening/Synopsis“Katie is my secret bully.  A lot of people would be surprised to know this because they think she’s my friend.  And she does act like my friend…sometimes.”   Monica and Katie have been best friends since kindergarten.  Monica enjoys being around Katie when they have fun together.  But at school, Katie  is just plain mean.  She gossips about Monica, threatens her when she plays with other kids, and stakes a claim on her friends.  Monica’s mother confronts her when she doesn’t want to go to school.  Mom shares her own experience with a bully.  With Mom’s support, Monica musters the strength to stand up to Katie with interesting results.

Why I like this book:  Trudy Ludwig has written a moving story about emotional bullying among girls.   Abigail Marble’s illustrations are emotive, colorful and support the story.   Since  Ludwig wrote this book, bullying continues to increase among girls.  It takes many forms “exclusion, humiliation, manipulation and name-calling.”  There are many reasons why, but social media hasn’t helped the situation.   Trudy has tackled a poignant subject about relational bullying/aggression.  The book is an important read for kids, for teachers and school counselors who have or are creating bullying prevention programs.

I’m featuring Trudy’s books because they are a culmination of what she’s learned about bullying as an author.  She is a member of the International Bullying Prevention Association and is a popular Random House speaker.  On Monday I will review Confessions of a Former Bully, which brings closure between Katie and Monica.  It is written as a journal.  I will end with Trouble Talk next Friday.  Last spring, I featured her book Better Than Youa book for boys about bragging  and hurtful behavior.

Resources:  The book provides a message or parents and teachers, and interesting information for victims.  There is also a guide for classroom discussion and other resources.  Trudy Ludwig is a member of the International Bullying Prevention Association and is a popular 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 during October’s National Bullying Prevention Month.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.