Confessions of a Former Bully

Confessions of a bully137404387Confessions of a Former Bully

Trudy Ludwig, author

Beth Adams, illustrator

Random House Books, Fiction, 2012

Suitable for ages: 8 – 12

Themes: Bullying, Behavior, Relational Aggression

Opening/Synopsis“A few months ago, I got sent to the principal’s office again.  Only this time, my parents were there waiting for me.  Mom looked like she’d just sucked a lemon.  Dad had steam coming out of her his ears.”  Students reported Katie’s mean behavior towards Monica to a teacher.   It was hard for Katie to hear the principal refer to her as a bully.  She hadn’t thought of herself as a bully, after all she hadn’t hit Monica.  What Katie hadn’t realized was that hurtful words and behavior are also forms of relational bullying.   Katie had to deal with the tough consequences of her behavior with a counselor.  She had to learn about being a better friend, and find a way to make up for the hurt she had caused.  Katie decided to write a journal and turn it into a special book to help kids learn about hurtful behavior from a former bully.

Why I like this book:  Trudy Ludwig wrote this unique book for her readers who wanted to know what happened to Katie after she bullied her friend Monica in  My Secret Bully.   In Confessions of a Former Bully, I liked that the school had an anti-bullying program in place to work with Katie and help her understand how her behavior affected others.  Katie apologized to Monica and all the kids, but they didn’t trust her.  I like that Trudy left no tidy ending.   Katie’s consequences will stay with her until she changes and becomes a better friend.  This is a great classroom book that children will relate to as they will be able to talk about the subject from both perspectives.   Beth Adams illustrated the book like a journal.  It is full of illustrations and very appealing to this age group.

Resources :  The book provides interesting discussion material for the classroom about bullying.  Trudy Ludwig is a member of the International Bullying Prevention Association and is a popular Random House 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 to use during October’s National Bullying Prevention Month.  You may also want to check out the National Bullying Prevention Center.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

28 thoughts on “Confessions of a Former Bully

  1. This sounds terrific, Pat. I like that it isn’t tidy, and that there are realistic consequences to the bullying behavior (though I hope it leaves kids with a sense that there’s room for change and growth and they can turn things around if they try.) Thanks for sharing!


    • Genevieve, I agree. There are so many books being written for a variety of age groups, and the subject is so much in the news. Like that many schools are developing anti-bullying program.


  2. I sometimes wonder if there is less bullying that goes on today than happened in my time. Schools seem to be much more aware of the problem. When I was young, I got victimized by a bully.


    • That’s sad to know — don’t you wish you could show that bully what you’re doing now? I know bullying went on when I was a kid, but I don’t remember it being the extreme it is today, especially with social media involvement. There were stories about a teenager on the news today. I think we just looked at certain kids as mean and stayed away. But, I’m generations ahead of you.


  3. Bullying seems to be a growing problem in schools today. It’s nice to see a book that shows kids that how they treat others matters, and that there are consequences to their hurtful behavior. Nice review Pat!


  4. Thank you Pat, for your wonderful reviews of my two books, My Secret Bully and Confessions of a Former Bully. They were truly labors of love for me. I strongly believe that if we can address bullying at an earlier age, providing school communities with the tips, tools and resources they need to create safer, more caring school climates, bullying won’t be as prevalent.


    • Trudy,
      Thank you for leaving a comment. It has been a pleasure to review your books and a wonderful way to kick off National Bully Prevention Month. I hope you enjoy my review of Trouble Talk on Friday. I know this subject is important to you and I wish you much success in your endeavor to provide schools and communities with the right tools to bring change.


  5. Great book on an important issue, Pat. Kids need to know bullying doesn’t only mean ‘pushing.’ Verbal abuse can hurt a lot more than a shove sometimes. Thanks for sharing this review!


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