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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Weird! Dare! and Tough! Erin Frankel


The Weird! Series
These three books tell the story of an ongoing case of bullying from three third graders' perspectives. Luisa describes being targeted by bullying in Weird! Jayla shares her experience as a bystander to bullying in Dare! And in Tough!, Sam speaks from the point of view of someone initiating bullying. Kids will easily relate to Luisa, Jayla, and Sam, as each girl has her own unique experience, eventually learning how to face her challenges with the help of friends, peers, and caring adults.

Notes: Text and illustrations present bullying from the perspective of the bully, and address how to change that behavior. Includes related activities and notes for parents.

Pros: I was prepared to be underwhelmed by what seemed to be some sort of cheesy looking bullying books, but I was wrong.  These books have power as teaching tools, particularly when used all together, as each one takes a different point of view for basically the same content. The message is pretty overt, but not off-putting. The additional content, including activity ideas as well as discussion questions is well done and connected in all three books.

Cons: I think there's a little too much back matter in these book for them to be popular for checkout, but their best use is really as a teaching tool, anyway, so that probably doesn't matter. I would like to see (and perhaps these already exist and I just don't know about them) a similar series with boy main characters and another with boys and girls together.

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