Weird! (Book 1) By Erin Frankel • Illustrated by Paula Heaphy Free Spirit • 2012 • 48 pages Hardcover ($15.95) ISBN: 9781575423982 Ages 2-3
Dare! (Book 2) By Erin Frankel • Illustrated by Paula Heaphy Free Spirit • 2012 • 48 pages Hardcover ($15.95) ISBN: 9781575423999 Ages 2-3
Tough! (Book 3) By Erin Frankel • Illustrated by Paula Heaphy Free Spirit • 2012 • 48 pages Hardcover ($15.95) ISBN: 9781575424002 Ages 2-3
Each of these three books about bullying stands alone as it contributes to the series as a whole by providing the point of view of each of the parties involved (the target, the bystander, and the bully).
In the first book, Weird!, Luisa, the one bullied, views herself as “weird” because her bully always tells her that’s what she is. Luisa finally discovers that she does not have to change because of the bully and enjoys herself her uniqueness. In Dare!, Jayla is the witness to Luisa being bullied and has to decide if and how she will act. In the end, she decides that the bully will not decide her actions for her and sides with Luisa. The bully, Sam, is introduced in Tough! in a very sensitive manner. The author never excuses what Sam does, but does take the reader into Sam’s world where she must be strong and tough to deal with her family issues. In the book’s pages, Sam begins to discover that she does not have to be a bully and starts the process to change.
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As a series, these books are relevant and very useful to parents, caregivers, and educators. Individually, they may help children who find themselves in one of the roles portrayed. Each book includes many pages in the back that share how its main character views the situation, how she talks herself through the decisions that she makes, and finally, how the other two players view those decisions.
There is help in these pages for everyone involved in bullying. This is a must have for parents in this situation, for counselors to have readily available, and for public schools as a whole. The books may be useful as intervention programs, though the publisher makes no mention of that particular use.
—Reviewed by Bianca Elliott, PhD, Lansing High School and Concordia University, Portland