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Fridays Featuring Flintridge – Basics on Bullies

Today Catherine Linka shares her picks of …


Bullying takes all forms from power plays to violence, and most children today will run into it. They may be the victims or merely onlookers or they may turn out to be the bullies. Writers are tackling this phenomenon with books for all different age groups. The styles and tone of these books are all different so you can pick the book that seems right for your child. We aren’t going to stamp out bullying, but the right book can give a child the tools or reassurance he or she needs to cope.


THE BULLY BOOK ($16.99, Harper Collins) by Eric Kahn Gale

Perfect for 5th-7th grade readers. An average kid gets bullied and tracks down an instructional manual for bullies. Excerpts from the actual manual interspersed with text are especially interesting. A book that kids will really feel is true to their own experiences. Shows how bullying doesn’t have to be personal or something the target brought on. (Ages 8-12 years old)


WONDER ($15.99, Knopf Books For Young Readers) by R J Palacio

This book reminds me of A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY. The main character is a fifth grade boy who was born disfigured and is attending school for the first time. Told in several voices including those of his classmates and sibling. He has great impact on those around him. Palacio shows the emotions and reactions of everyone he has to deal with. Kids can see there are two sides to every story. Great discussion book. (Ages 8+) Adult readers LOVE this book.  NOTE:  Click here to read Good Reads With Ronna’s Amanda Hogg review of this terrific book


COLIN FISCHER by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz

Colin is a genius with Asperger’s syndrome and a penchant for mystery-solving. He is bullied, but ends up proving his bully’s innocence in a crime. Funny and sarcastic –supportive parents, but annoying younger brother.  Alternative for younger teens to THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHTTIME. Vague reference to oral sex.  The first in a series. (Ages 12+) November publication date


PLAYGROUND by 50 Cent (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson)

I got interested in Curtis after seeing Oprah interview him. He was thoughtful, not bombastic. PLAYGROUND is a semi-autobiographical novel. Eighth grader Butterball clocks another student in the mouth with a sockful of batteries and is court-ordered into therapy. This is bullying from the bully’s perspective. Butterball has reasons for his actions, but he’s also pressured into fighting by peers. Great discussion book for teens. Urban setting. Language. Sexuality. (fall paperback)


DEAR BULLY: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories ($9.99, HarperTeen) by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones

So many teen authors have dealt with bullying personally, they joined together and wrote an anthology of their own stories. Check out to see if one of your teen’s favorite writers is included and to read a story or two. Book is available in paperback in stores now. (Ages 14+)

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