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My Secret Bully Hardcover – April 1, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5-This overtly bibliotherapeutic offering tackles the difficult topic of bullying. Monica and Katie have been friends since kindergarten, but lately Katie increasingly seeks to exclude and embarrass her pal in front of their classmates. Monica's despair and isolation are realistically portrayed and highlight the often-overlooked aggression between females. The child eventually shares her anguish with her mother, who effectively counsels her without presenting any pat solutions or easy answers. Lists of resources for adults and children and discussion points are appended. A muddy palette, uninspired renderings of the characters, and a small typeface detract substantially from the appeal of this picture book. Still, libraries may want to purchase it because of the scarcity of material on this very important issue.
Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Review, School Library Journal:
“This . . . bibliotherapeutic offering tackles the difficult topic of bullying, . . . [L]ibraries may want to purchase it because of the scarcity of material on this very important issue.”

Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out:
“Too few resources are available to families dealing with girl bullying. MY SECRET BULLY provides an important resource to help parents.”

Dr. Kathy Masarie, founder and director of FULL ESTEEM AHEAD:
“A must-read for any child who has ever been teased, ignored, or excluded by his/her peers. . . . A very useful resource for addressing social cruelty among children.”

Theresa Markowitz, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology:
"...a desperately needed tool to help parents, techers, and other professionals address the growing epidemic of relational aggression (emotional bullying)."
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 0630 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tricycle Press (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582461597
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582461595
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on October 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Monica, a "tween" (8-12) is facing the ugly truth about subtle bullying. Her former friend Katie makes snide comments about her to other girls; excludes her from games and tells Monica who she can and cannot talk to.

Monica is devastated; she and Katie had been friends since they were in kindergarten. She cannot understand why Katie turned against her. She tells her mother about the problem, but the two are at a loss as to what to do. To Monica's mother's credit, she does not tell her to be nicer to Katie or blame her; I know from personal experience that when I was a tween that was the kind of atrocious advice I would have been given.

When Katie's insidious hostility becomes so aggressive, Monica suffers from tension and stomach pains. She dreads school. Naturally, this forces her hand into telling her mother about the problem. Monica is empowered once she learns her mother is an ally and not beguiled and duped by Other People's Children, as I always believed mine was. (I never understood why people who are blessed with children sing the praises of Other People's Children to their own.)

Monica's mother comes up with an excellent solution. She said to confront Katie using mental strategy; instead of stooping to retaliation, Monica might say, "Does it make you feel good to say mean things to me in front of other people?" and comments of that ilk. That way the bullying behavior would be on record and Monica could stand tall and walk away, knowing she'd called Katie on her behavior.

Sadly, such insidious nastiness is very common among girls. This is to date the best book I've come across in openly and intelligently dealing with this subject. I highly recommend it to all parents and educators.
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A Kid's Review on October 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm 10 years old and I've seen and heard girls be mean to each other just like in the book. When I read the book, it gave me a lot of ideas of what my friends and I could say and do when other kids are mean to us.It's also a good eye opener for people who are bullies. It made me realize that I'm even a bully sometimes.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book when my 9 yr old daughter was experiencing this exact type of bullying. She was miserable and I had no clear "fix" for the problem. I bought this book in desperation and asked her teacher to read it to the class without letting them know who gave her the book. She read it and followed it with a discussion regarding bullying. The bullying has stopped!! I don't know if the bully saw herself in this book or was afraid she would be punished, but the results were the same. Thanks for such a necessary book!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, relational aggression is not a rare occurrence, and the type of bullying depicted in this story is far too common. Monica is being tormented not physically but "relationally" by her friend Katie. Katie is talking about Monica behind her back and excluding her from activities they used to do together. Monica begins to feel socially isolated and begins to wonder if there is something wrong with her. Fortunately, she finds the support she needs from her mother who helps her develop some coping tools for dealing with Katie. There is a valuable note to parents and teachers at the end of the book as well as some discussion questions which will facilitate some great discussions both in the home and in the classroom. Highly Recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
As a bullying prevention educator, I am always looking for childrens' books about bullying that show bullies' behavior clearly, that affirm targets' feelings, and that present helpful solutions. Reading this book to young people and discussing the issues it brings up has been a hit with young people aged 7-12 in many different schools, with teachers, parents, and children describing it as the high point of my workshop. The students at the school where I work continue to refer to this book as they talk about friendship issues. My Secret Bully captures the truth of relational bullying- bullying within friendships. It helps young people see how they expose themselves to further pain by staying in friendships with people who hurt them, and how they can get out of those friendships. The clear writing and attractive illustrations help young people connect with the characters and the story. A useful discussion guide at the end of the book helps adults talk with children about destructive friendships. Highly recommended for parents, teachers, youth group leaders, and all who work with children.
Stan Davis
...
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Format: Hardcover
Excellent read! Two thumbs up! My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig is a must-have for any parent whose child has been bullied by a peer.

When Monica's good friend Katie starts excluding her and begins whispering behind her back, Monica is faced with a painful situation. She and Katie used to be good friends but now, for some unknown reason, Katie's turned their friendship upside down and is choosing to purposefully hurt Monica through avoidance, teasing and ridicule. Why? Monica doesn't know and the exclusion is causing her to have stomachaches.

It isn't until Monica confides in her mother about the situation with Katie, that Monica is taught an important lesson: Friends don't hurt friends.

Through role-playing with her Mom, Monica learns to take proactive steps, such as using humor, to help diffuse Katie's bullying. Monica learns that her mother is always there to protect her and to share constructive advice when handling Katie's bully tactics. Most importantly, Monica learns that Katie's behavior is not her fault and she does not need to accept the poor treatment from her so-called friend.

As parents and teachers we can use My Secret Bully as a tool to talk to our children and students about the issue of bullying and address positive ways to diffuse the aggression.

As adults it is important that we step alongside the children in our lives, protecting them from bullies, and teaching them how to be good friends to one another while creating a more compassionate, kindhearted world to live in.

Armchair Interviews says: Highly recommended for parents to read with their children.
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