One of the biggest issues our children face today is bullying. No one talked about it when I was a kid in the late 80s-early 90s. So are bullies a new phenomenon? No. Our parents and teachers just didn’t know how to teach us to deal with it. Kids today get anti-bullying lessons at school, on their favorite tv shows and movies and even music.

There is also an author that has created a series of books that speak directly to children, targets of bullies, bystanders and bullies themselves. Trudy Ludwig is a must-read for kids entering their tween years, and maybe even earlier.

In Trouble Talk kids learn about the power of their words. Spreading rumors, saying hurtful things, and sharing information that isn’t yours to share are examples of trouble talk.

In Better Than You kids learn about the type of kids who protect themselves from potential enemies by puffing themselves up. They also end up pushing away potential friends.

Just Kidding explains the difference in joking with your friends in a kind way versus a mean way. We should laugh with our friends instead of at them.

Sorry is about a boy who is happy to say “sorry” after doing something he knows is wrong, but his apologies are hollow. Apologizing needs to be heartfelt.

Too Perfect is about the desire to be perfect, despite being perfect the way we are. The girl in the story that is perceived as perfect is stressed out and unhappy most of the time. I’m not sure, but I think she’s bullying herself.

My Secret Bully is about the way someone who seems to be your friend can really be your bully. Excluding or ignoring, forcing friends to do something they aren’t comfortable with, all of these fall under this type of bullying.

My Secret Bully is told from the target, Monica’s side. Confessions of a Former Bully is told from the bully, Katie. The books are kind of companion books. The Confessions book has so many great facts and pointers in it, and isn’t really picture book style like Ludwig’s other books. I am considering putting it into nonfiction.

I think Ludwig is doing something necessary and great with her books. Her underlying message is to hang out with people who make you feel good about yourself, and to never be afraid to speak up if you are being bullied or see it. I need to purchase two more for school, though.

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8 thoughts on “Author Spotlight: Trudy Ludwig

    1. It points out that phrases like ‘just kidding’ and ‘no offense but’ are red flags. I’ve always hated the phrase ‘no offense but’. If we really didn’t want to hurt someone we wouldn’t say anything that requires these precursors.

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      1. …I need to get that. Ive always hated it too and it recently made its first appearance. I dont think she fully understands what it is or how to use it but i dont want it to become a gross habit. Whether shes using it ‘correctly’ or not. It never sounds good or acceptable.

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      2. These are good lessons to start with. Kids get into the habit of using words and lose the feel for the words’ gravity. Unfortunately, if the words are said to you, the meaning is all too apparent.

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      3. Exactly. I’m always stunned when I hear adults say it and surprised they havent yet realized how rude it is. Or that they dont care 😮

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      4. I figured it out years ago when kids would say to me ‘no offense but your brother is so fat’. Don’t say it at all then, I wanted to scream at them. Our kids hear so much from peers, adults and from media that they absorb and use without realizing the power words can hold.

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  1. Right! Or a follow up of ‘just kidding’ is like admitting your guilt. Little don’t know though. Just keep talking to her and leading by example is your best bet. I think these would be books for you to read together. Each one has discussion questions in the back, you might have to make them more age appropriate, but that just takes some pre-reading on your part. I think my two girls, a tween and a young teen, know that these phrases are hurtful and totally unnecessary.

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