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.