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Buddies, Bullies, and Baseball Paperback – August 12, 2018
"The Last of the Moon Girls" by Barbara Davis
A novel of secrets, memory, family, and forgiveness by the author of When Never Comes. | Learn more
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 5.3 ounces
- Paperback : 104 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1631610511
- ISBN-13 : 978-1631610516
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.24 x 9 inches
- Publisher : TCK Publishing (August 12, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
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Jack has two close friends in his class, close neighbors, CJ and Lizabeth. Lizabeth is an intelligent, take charge little girl, CJ an average type boy. Jack is from a loving family. He and his father love baseball, live in Boulder, Colorado, their favorite team is the Colorado Rockies. His mother makes wonderful brownies. His favorite uncle, Max, is another baseball fan who gives Jack gifts about baseball, gloves, jackets, and spoils Jack. There is a new boy in school., Hans, from Germany. Jack is requested by the teacher, Mrs. Hollis, to show Hans around the school, make him feel at ease. One school project is to choose a country and write, show pictures, tell as much as you can about your chosen country.. Jack and Hans choose Switzerland, CJ, Italy, Lizabeth, France. Another good friends is Jack's little dog, Echo,.a black and white mutt.
Jack has been harassed and bullied by Steve. a big lad, and his friend, Cliff. The pair follow him around, meet him on his way to school, steal his lunch, lunch money and whatever else they can take. The two have nicknamed him Mustard because he is a yellow coward. The two sneak after him in the playground, the halls, anywhere they can. Steve is a big boy, much bigger than Jack. Jack refuses to report these boys, he doesn't want to be a tattletale. After all this bullying, he decides to handle his problem like an adult. Read how Jack goes about solving this problem. This is a wonderful story about dealing with bullies.
My husband is going to read this book. He also loves baseball. And is interested in kids.
In Buddies, Bullies, and Baseball, author Phyllis J. Perry authentically portrays the problems that Jack, a fifth grader and avid baseball fan, encounters at school every day.
Here's the opening paragraph:
"I squeezed my eyes together as tight as I could, praying that when I opened them again, the two distant figures that I saw leaning against the fence wouldn't be there. But I knew better." (p.1)
From that point on, Jack is confronted with Steve and his sidekick, Cliff, who harass him every day. He chooses not to tell his friends or his parents about how they tease him, take his lunch, and how he doesn't stick up for himself.
I didn't want Dad to know I was a coward. I was afraid he'd be so disappointed in me if he found out that I was letting Steve bully me, and that I didn't even try to stand up for myself. And nothing could be worse than disappointing my dad. p. 10-11
Jack tries several different ways to avoid Steve and Cliff, but avoidance doesn't work and he ends up more disappointed in himself for not speaking up. At the same time, he is appointed to help out a new student, Hans from Germany, who helps him see the situation differently.
When Jack finally speaks his mind to the bullies it's over something that matters to him even more than his own reputation--his beloved baseball glove that his uncle gave him.
At the end of the book the reader discovers what many adults know: young bullies often see bullying in their families or are victims themselves.
When Jack finally confides in his parents that he didn't want to be a tattletale or disappoint his parents, his mother's response is one I wish all parents in this situation would echo:
"I probably wouldn't know what was best to do about it either," Mom said, "But I'd never think you were a coward for avoiding a fight with two bullies." (p.77)
One of my favorite lines is when Jack prepares himself to come face to face with Steve and Cliff. "...I wasn't really scared. It was funny, but I was over that. Part of being scared is not knowing what to do." (p. 80). Jack also helps a boy younger than himself confront his fears. That is a sweet demonstration of Jack passing along what he has learned.
This would make a great elementary school classroom read. The book's (unfortunately) current topic makes it accessible to older reluctant readers also.