The Haunted Bakery of Seven Pines Paperback – June 20, 2018
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Five to twelve year-olds will learn valuable lessons about bullying. This can be a good tool for teachers and parents to be used in teaching children about bullying without being preachy or having it look like they are being taught a lesson.
Children will enjoy this fun tale of mystery and intrigue as the bullies take up the challenge and learn a lesson.
At the beginning of the story, we see Albert and Timmy bullying the other kids, but it's pretty clear that this isn't a behavior that they do simply out of spite. Both boys have experienced some form of bullying themselves in the past and therefore they’re simply ‘beating the other kids at their own game.’ I think this is a wonderful dynamic to explore in children's fiction. I think it's a good idea to explore in any type of fiction. I think too often people feel that a bully is just a bully, but often there's more to the story. And then there's the evil witch. Perhaps there's more to her story as well.
While the action of the story begins with a dare that sends Albert and Timmy on their adventure into the haunted bakery, there are underlying tones to the story that you might miss if you don't pay really close attention. To young readers, the fun, mystery, and adventure of the story will pull them in, along with the colorful images, but adults will appreciate the other significances of the story, hopefully prompting them to discuss them with the young readers.
Aside from the central theme of bullying, the story also touches on aspects of: asking and seeking help from others, accepting help from others, accepting others as they are and for their differences, and even acknowledging the changes in times. Considering the social climate of modern times, being able to look back at the past and see how things have changed and or improved is important. I feel more people should take time to look at the past for improvements while continuing to strive for even better in the future.
I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which has in no way affected my opinion or overall rating.
I think this is a fun story that teaches an important lesson. I highly recommend it to elementary classroom teachers, parents, and anyone else seeking a way to help deal with bullying.
Top international reviews
But that is just a silly story to frighten little children... isn't it?
Albert and Timmy do not have many friends because they choose to terrorise their classmates by tripping them up and calling them rude names. But when one of their classmates dares them to enter the bakery, they have to take up the challenge. They don’t want anyone to call them cowards. But as soon as they enter that bakery, they realise that they have made a terrible mistake.
The Haunted Bakery of Seven Pines by Becky Robbins and Erika M Szabo, deals with the difficult issue of bullying. Not only do they approach things from the victim's point of view, but they also delve into the emotions of the bullies and discover why they do what they do.
I read the story to my two boys, and their interest was held throughout, which is always a good sign! My youngest son particularly enjoyed the pictures that were included in the story. As he is a visual learner, these images helped him to see the world that these two talented authors have created.
There is a moral lesson in this story, which I thought was done with integrity and compassion. A Great Read for younger children. It has the thumbs up from my boys!!