From School Library Journal
Grade 1-5–This companion to My Secret Bully
(Tricycle, 2005) addresses the topic of teasing. D.J. is tired of Vince's mean-spirited comments at school. Vince knows which buttons to push, using the I was just kidding defense when he goes too far. Unsure how to handle the situation, D.J. talks with his father and his teacher and learns a few strategies to help him deal with putdowns. Most importantly, he realizes that he isn't the problem and that he hasn't done anything to deserve Vince's taunts. This frank and plausible story will help youngsters to distinguish between good-natured teasing and the destructive variety, empowering them by providing options they can use when faced with bullying. Realistic acrylic paintings beautifully capture the text's mood and action. Gustavson is adept at revealing the subtle emotions of his characters, and both D.J. and Vince will strike a familiar chord with readers. A foreword by a bullying-prevention consultant outlines four points that educators and parents need to impart to victims of this behavior. Also provided are conversation starters for further discussion, a list of pertinent organizations and Web sites, and suggested reading for both adults and children. This useful resource is an important addition to school and public libraries.–Carol L. MacKay, Forestburg School Library, Alberta, Canada
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K-Gr. 3. Waiting to be chosen for a pickup game of basketball, D. J. hears Vince challenge Cody to a game of Rock Paper Scissors: "Loser gets D. J." It's not the first time Vince has crossed the line, but D. J. can't figure out how to respond. With a helpful suggestion from his dad and support from a teacher, D. J. begins to handle his problem. The story offers a realistic portrayal of a bully who uses words in hurtful ways but avoids punishment. It also offers hope that children can break the pattern, at least if the adults around them are aware of the problem, competent to deal with it, and supportive of the children involved. The book concludes with a list of "Teasing Dos and Don'ts" for kids. In addition, a detailed foreword offers suggestions to parents and teachers trying to help children in this situation. The well-composed illustrations, apparently acrylic paintings, offer sensitive portrayals of children in realistic settings. Pair this with Becky Ray McCain's Nobody Knew What to Do
(2001). Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved