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Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories Hardcover – September 1, 2010

3.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-8–Thirteen young people representing a variety of ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds tell about their experiences. Shapiro retells their stories of not only the act of bullying itself, but also the steps they took to deal with it and the effects it had on their lives. From Jean, who was picked on for facial burns, to Mariah, who was new to school and had a hard time making friends, these brief accounts all resonate with the same theme–the inner strength of the individuals and their response to the bullying. Each story is accompanied by a short commentary from a psychologist who offers advice or support about handling these situations, from ignoring perpetrators to telling a trusted adult. With very little background or context for the young people, it is difficult to muster up much of an emotional response to this litany. Photographs are included on each spread, and there are some tips for dealing with bullies at the back of the book. Teachers and librarians could find some nuggets of information to mine with students, but all in all, this is a fairly generic entry in the burgeoning field of bullying literature.Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The painful and inspirational stories of 13 diverse young people, bullies and bullied alike, are presented in a style similar to that in Autism and Me: Sibling Stories (2009), from the same creative team. The accounts include physical, verbal, and online bullying that occurred in a variety of social groups, from urban gangs to suburban cliques. Each first-person story is accompanied by full-color photographs and followed by advice from an educational-psychology professor. The fluidly paced stories are realistic (“Some kids . . . don’t want to be called a snitch”), and the adult commentary is well meaning, if slightly stilted (“Donovan approached the bully in a positive way”). A final page provides six tips for dealing with bullies, and while the picture-book format feels somewhat young for the intended audience, it also highlights the images, which reinforce the text’s direct, supportive message: “It’s not your fault. The bullies are wrong.” Grades 4-7. --Andrew Medlar
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 8
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807509213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807509210
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,450,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John T. Horner VINE VOICE on November 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book gives a quick and easy access into the stories of kids who have been bullied. It is written simply and seems appropriate for kids from 5th grade through middle school. The author is a psychologist who comments briefly on each story that is told. She seems to hear the stories and acknowledge the kids and tries to steer them to taking actions themselves including getting adults involved sometimes.

I think "Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories" would be useful in a group discussion which addresses what kids can do to create awareness around the bullying issue. It's a good starting point and worth the read as it gets kids to look at many situations from many views. It's valuable and thought provoking.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I work in an elementary school setting and thought this would be a great resource. I was disappointed. It is quite short (about a picture book length book) and not too helpful. I was hoping to find a few new suggestions on dealing with bullies and the book didn't have much to offer. The author seems to recommend ignoring the bully as the best tactic. I would think that anyone looking for advice on bullying has tried that to no avail.

There's just not much in the way of new, fresh information to be found here.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm really shocked that people say this isn't a good book. I teach 8th grade health and I read this during my bullying and social health unit. I ready about 8 of the stories and my students love them. After each story we discuss what they would have done in that situation and we share experiences we have that are similar. I like the fact that some of the stories are obvious bullying and some or more of just dealing with annoyance and teasing.This makes it easy to discuss how to prevent bullying but knowing how to deal with annoyance and teasing first. I feel all my students have been able to relate to one or more of the stories. Overall great book.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Hearing stories such as that of Jared High or, even more recently, Phoebe Prince, has made me more aware of bullying with my own children. So when I was offered a review copy of a new book on the subject by Ouisie Shapiro titled Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories, I was interested.

Created with children ages 9 to 14 in mind, this book offers thirteen stories from tweens and teens who are, have, or have been bullied. Following each short story (each average only 1 or 2 pages), Dr. Dorothy Espelage offers a short piece of advice based on the preceeding scenario.

Adhering to the standards found in this book, I think bullying has been given too broad of a definition. I don't wish to downplay this very serious matter, but I believe there is a difference between being bullied and being annoyed.

For example, a kid named Donovan tells a story about another kid who tripped people in the hallways and threw people around the rooms. That's bullying. But then it's followed up with a story from a young teen boy named Doug about a school trip where they stayed over night and he was rooming with three other boys.. After watching a scary show on television, one of the boys got scared. When the other two figured out he was afraid, they started making eerie noises and pretended to be demon possessed. I don't know about this kids, but where I come from that's called pranks.

Then you've got the Dr. Dorothy quips at the end of each story. "Ignore the bullies" and "Find one or two real friends." Are you friggin' kidding me?

And don't even get me started on the one girl who tells the story about living in a gang-infested neighborhood.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The premise behind this book is a good one... Present first-hand accounts of bullying behavior and tips to deal with bullying. In fact, when I received the book, I was rather impressed by the graphics and layouts. The book is rather colorful; the stories presented well.

That's about all, though, this book has going for it. The item description states the book is geared towards grades 3-8. As a former K-12 educator of students with special needs, that's a rather wide range. The book is too difficult for third graders to read, and it's too childlike for an eighth grader. Additionally, eight graders might find the preachy "tips" for dealing with bullying silly and unrealistic. I wonder if the author of this book had ever been bullied as a child. Kids, especially in middle- and high-school, can be rather vicious and judgmental. Advice like "Try to ignore the bullies and keep them from having power over you," the overuse of the term "grownup", and the plethora of self-affirming statements turned me off. The use of the word "whore" by one of the students in the book is reason enough to send many people (those in groups that like to censor) into an uproar.

I _was_ bullied some as a kid and dealt with it often as an educator. I know how important the issue of bullying is -- especially with the visibility given in the national media -- but I'm also realistic.

Using this book in the classroom (I can't see any child checking it out of the library), while probably the intent of the author, will make very little difference if the issue of bullying is not addressed appropriately from the "top down" at a school. The administration, faculty, staff and parents have to be "on board" and be willing to deal with the issue.
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