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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bullying: Only Right If It's Done by a Bull

Hi there readers!
Welcome back to another day here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Before we jump into the featured title, just a quick reminder that there are three contests still active here on the site.  One ends tomorrow and is open internationally....the second is US/CD only but it ends Monday...and the third is open to one and all seeking a break from that pesky writer's block.  So, be sure to get those entries in!  Just check out the 'Current Contests' section on the right hand sidebar for all the links.  Now, on with the show!

Today's featured title came to me a month or so ago.  I was trying to wait for the perfect time to get a review posted for it but as obscure holidays came and went I thought, self...ANY day is the perfect day to discuss this title... so here we are!  It's a book that addresses a topic near and dear to many readers hearts, that of bullying and how it is NEVER effective unless being done by an actual bull (in which case, please capture a video of the event and share it with yours truly).  What makes this one special however is the approach through which it is dealt with.  You'll see.  Today's featured title is....

The Juice Box Bully:
Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others
Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy
illustrated by

From the author's site:

Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it?  Instead of being bystanders, the kids at Pete's new school get involved.  When the juice box mess becomes more than just a dirty shirt, Pete's classmates teach him about "The Promise".  Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make "The Promise"?

The children portrayed in this story are part of a unique school group that opted to participate in the challenge to create a more open and secure learning experience for all.  By learning that each and every one of them has something to contribute to the overall whole, they learn to cherish the connections they make with everyone.  By refusing to allow themselves or their classmates to be bullied in any way, they gain even more momentum in eventually achieving an environment  where learning is top priority and ridicule is a thing of the past.

To put this one simply without revealing the entire story, it addresses bullying in school with an interesting new way to handle those perpetrating the offense.  The school presented has proactively in lieu of reactively addressed the bad influence bullying has on everyone and everything through something referred to as 'The Promise'.  It's a guide to what children (and adults) can do in order to not merely be bystanders but to be those that make sure the voices of others are heard.  Through making better choices and wiser decisions, by including others whenever possible and accepting each other for who we are "flaws" and all, there is a great lesson to be learned and carried out into the real world by readers of all ages.  Combine all of that with the colorful illustrations and you have a winning combination indeed. 

Tolerance and acceptance.  Both words command power, but when wielded appropriately, they can help us bring the world that lives in our dreams forward to our reality and just think what a wonderful place that would be.  Curious about the writer behind the work?  Here's a small glimpse at the author herself revealing a relateable person bursting with personality and drive.  Don't believe me?  Take a look....

Born and Raised: In a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, I grew up with red shag carpet, The Smurfs and Cabbage Patch Dolls. In my past time, I played flashlight tag with the neighborhood kids and listened to NKOTB aka The New Kids on The Block.

Family: I am lucky to have a large family. I have an older sister, Angela, who also ate spaghetti in a hot dog bun (among other crazy concoctions my mom created for us) growing up. I am married to the coolest guy ever and together, we are raising our baby girl Ruby.

Favorite book as a child: Frances Books by Russell Hoban and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.

Favorite book as an adult: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (I’m a fan for the love stories).

Review copy courtesy of author Maria Dismondy.  (THANKS!)  For more information about this author's inspiring works, please visit her site.  Be sure to check out the 'Resources' section of the site for the down loadable reader's guide that goes with this title as well as your very own copy of "the Promise" to be put to use in your local school's to help build a better, brighter, and bully-free tomorrow. 
Until next time...happy reading!


Felicity Grace Terry said...

A teaching assistant in a primary school, we had countless hours devoted to the problem of bullying so I'd be interested to read this to see if there are any fresh thoughts/ideas.

Misha said...

I think books such as this one are very important. I was bullied for almost 3 years in school and I was too scared to tell anyone; so I hope books like this are read by more students.

Gina said...

Petty Witter: It's great that they devoted so much time to ending this problem....but a shame it has to be done too, you know? to me, this was certainly a "new" idea and one worth pursuing!

Misha: Oh Misha.... {hugs} I second your thoughts on the message from books like this spreading. We could provide such a more pleasant school, no world for everyone.

Melanie said...

As a soon-to-be primary school teacher, I'm aware of the bullying going on in schools and it pisses me off! I really hope I can make a difference once I get my own classroom and educate the kids on the effects of bullying. I WILL NOT tolerate it!

I'll make sure I check this book out! Thanks for the review!

Gina said...

Melanie: *high five* I believe you and cant wait to see your affect on "the future". I hope you do check out the book...and that it serves you well. ^_^

The1stdaughter said...

What a wonderful message! Definitely a book that will have a huge impact on many. And *high five* for another tween NKOTB fan! LOL :o)

Gina said...

The1stdaughter: Agreed! (on all counts!) *high five*

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