Trudy Ludwig, author
Abigail Marble, illustrator
River Wood Books, 2004, Fiction
Suitable for: Ages 5-11
Themes: Bullying, Behavior, Friendship, Relational Aggression
Opening/Synopsis: “Katie is my secret bully. A lot of people would be surprised to know this because they think she’s my friend. And she does act like my friend…sometimes.” Monica and Katie have been best friends since kindergarten. Monica enjoys being around Katie when they have fun together. But at school, Katie is just plain mean. She gossips about Monica, threatens her when she plays with other kids, and stakes a claim on her friends. Monica’s mother confronts her when she doesn’t want to go to school. Mom shares her own experience with a bully. With Mom’s support, Monica musters the strength to stand up to Katie with interesting results.
Why I like this book: Trudy Ludwig has written a moving story about emotional bullying among girls. Abigail Marble’s illustrations are emotive, colorful and support the story. Since Ludwig wrote this book, bullying continues to increase among girls. It takes many forms “exclusion, humiliation, manipulation and name-calling.” There are many reasons why, but social media hasn’t helped the situation. Trudy has tackled a poignant subject about relational bullying/aggression. The book is an important read for kids, for teachers and school counselors who have or are creating bullying prevention programs.
I’m featuring Trudy’s books because they are a culmination of what she’s learned about bullying as an author. She is a member of the International Bullying Prevention Association and is a popular Random House speaker. On Monday I will review Confessions of a Former Bully, which brings closure between Katie and Monica. It is written as a journal. I will end with Trouble Talk next Friday. Last spring, I featured her book Better Than You, a book for boys about bragging and hurtful behavior.
Resources: The book provides a message or parents and teachers, and interesting information for victims. There is also a guide for classroom discussion and other resources. Trudy Ludwig is a member of the International Bullying Prevention Association and is a popular speaker. Visit Trudy Ludwig at her website. She has recently written a Wonder Lessons Guide for Random House about bullying. A great tool for teachers and parents during October’s National Bullying Prevention Month.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.