Today I read 4 of Patricia Polacco‘s books. They were, as always, beautiful, sweet and funny.

Bun Bun Button is a sweet story about a little girl and her grandma. Grandma makes her a cute little bunny and Paige, the little girl, takes it everywhere. One day Paige ties the bunny to a helium balloon and the worst thing possible happens, she loses her grip on the string. Grandma can only comfort her by saying that their family has always been lucky. Bun Bun Button does find his way home and Paige and Grandma have to wonder if it was luck or love that helped him get back to Paige.

Polacco has written some great stories about her own family, and her brother Richie is no exception. Like most sisters, Patricia thought her brother was the worst, most awful boy in existence, and yet, when she needed him, Richie was always there for her.

Unfortunately, bullying is a part of growing up. Lyla is new to her school and despite finding a great friend named Jamie, she really wants to be popular and fit in with the cool girls. Things seem to be going her way, but part of being friends with the cool girls means hiding her friendship with Jamie. Lyla has a good heart though, and chooses to stop being their friend after she witnesses them using Facebook to bully classmates. Lyla becomes the target of the bullies after the state testing where she scores the highest. She is accused of cheating and no one in school will talk to her. Jamie is able to help solve the mystery of who really cheated and even helps locate the anonymous online bullies. Lyla, thankfully,has a true friend to stand beside her.

Bully really struck a chord with me. Lyla’s father tells her, “Think about it, Lyla: in order for people like Gage’s candle to burn brighter, she has to blow out yours.” A few years ago my daughter had a similar issue with a friend in TaeKwonDo. The girls were working hard on their second degree blackbelts when word reached my daughter that her friend was telling everyone that she (my daughter) did not deserve the opportunity to test with the rest of the students. Thankfully, both girls got their belts and have mended their friendship. I always remind my kids not to measure their self worth against anyone else. Life is too short to spend outdoing others when you can only do your best.

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