The Juice Box Bully

Juice Box BUlly9781933916729_p0_v1_s260x420The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others

Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy, Authors

Kim Shaw, Illustrator

Ferne Press, Fiction, 2011

Mom’s Choice Award, 2012

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes:  Acceptable behavior, Bullying, No bystanders, Self-esteem, Empowerment

OpeningAs Pete stood in front of his new class, Mr. Peltzer announced, “Let’s welcome Pete to our team.  Pete, you will be sitting behind Ralph.”  Settling into his seat, Pete pulled his hat down over his head so that only his eyes could be seen.

Synopsis:  Pete is the new kid in class.  It’s obvious from the start that he has an attitude when he won’t remove his hat in class.  He is a bystander watching the other kids play soccer at recess and refuses to join.  Ralph invites him to play, but Pete has his own ideas and steals the ball.  Lucy and Ruby talk to Pete nicely and explain the classroom rules and promise.   Pete only responds by squirting his juice box on Ruby’s shirt.  Will Ralph and the students stand up for each other and make a new friend?

Why I like this bookThe Juice Box Bully belongs in every classroom.  Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy have written a book that empowers children to stand up for themselves and their friends.  It encourages children to make the right choices, teaches them not to be bystanders and to solve the problems with each other before involving adults.  This is one of the few books I’ve read where the kids are empowered from the start.  If used with a classroom curriculum, it would inspire kids to action.  Kim Shaw’s illustrations are bold and colorful.  She beautifully captures the action and mood of the story.

Resources:  There are excellent back pages on bystanders, empowerment and a classroom Promise.  You may also visit Bob Sornson  and Maria Dismondy at their websites to learn more strategies about empowering children.

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.

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.

30 thoughts on “The Juice Box Bully

  1. Agreed (though I think we’re always on the same page)! I read this book to 600 students this spring and it made such an impact. Kid couldn’t believe it yet it was just so real. They thought maybe the new kid came from a “uncharacter” school, but eventually came around to what was really going on with him.

    It makes my day that you’ve chosen one of Maria’s titles for today’s PPBF.



      • Thank you for such kind words Barbara and Patricia! I am excited to share my newest book that will be out late December/early January with you and your readers. Patricia, if you would like a copy to review, please email me and I will get one our in the mail to you as soon as the books arrive.


      • Maria, I am pleased that you were happy with the review. I really appreciated that your book was not preachy and allowed the kids to solve the problem together. And, I liked the fact you focused on bystanders. Yes, I am interested in your upcoming book. I sent you an e-mail. And, I removed your e-mail address from your comment. – Pat


  2. It is an eternal problem. Bullying or bystanding when bullying is taking place is so difficult to solve. Do bullies ever change? I know a few adults who need to read about sticking up for their friends when they are wronged instead of turning a blind eye. Time was when we used to stick up for each other.


    • I thing you’re spot on. We don’t know what is going on at home with the bully — like the bully in your novel! I can only hope that there is so much more attention on the subject with schools taking a stand against bullying and creating programs. We grew up with mean kids, but not to the extent that today’s kids have to deal with the problem, including cyber bullying. Thank you for your thoughtful remarks.


  3. It’s challenging writing picture books about bullying without being preachy or having the resolution adult-driven, this sounds a real success.


  4. This looks like an excellent book, especially for schools where there are practices already in place that empower children to take the first steps in handling troublesome situations. I had a teacher in the shop the other day who told me about their program and how they have specific kids who have volunteered to be mediators when problems arise. She told me that in around 90% of the incidents the children handle the situations themselves, without needing adult intervention.

    I loved the comment about the kids hearing the story and wondering if the protagonist in this book came from an “uncharacter” school!

    We’ll have to get this book for our shop! Thanks for reviewing it.


    • Craig,
      Thank you for sharing that news. I believe that a lot of schools are developing programs to help children learn how to deal with bullying instead of adult intervention. That is very empowering for kids and a win-win situation. This book is a great classroom book because of how the students stand up and solve the problem. And, yes it is similar to the teacher’s story. – Pat


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