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Latest Finds Archive:

Level identifier in parentheses at end of descriptions
PB – picture book,
I – intermediate (most can be read to primary),
M – middle school,
H – high school.


August 2012

book cover Haze by Erin Thomas

Orca Sports, 2012. In this bully mystery, Bram is working hard to make the swim team at his private high school even though he has heard rumors of hazing initiations that may have caused one student's dead. Then Jeremy, Bram's swim team friend, ends up in the hospital with very suspicious injuries that put him in a coma. M/H

book cover Lilly Traps the Bullies by Brenda Bellingham, illustrated by Clarke MacDonald

Formac Publishing Company Limited, Nova Scotia, 2011. Lilly doesn't like that Spider and Bugsy tease her friend Theresa, but she likes being included by these boys. She has a decision to make. Early middle grades

book cover Fat Vampire by Adam Rex

HarperCollins, 2010. Targeted Doug Lee is not enjoying his teen years all that much, and then he is bitten by a vampire. Now he will be fat and fifteen for eternity. M/H

book cover No Ordinary Day by Adam Rex

Groundwood Books, 2011. Living on the streets in Kolkata, India, Valli survives as well as she can. One day she sees "the monsters," people suffering from Leprosy, and their misshaped, marked bodies scare her. What Valli ignore is that the loss of feeling in her feet, which are also covered with festering sores, cuts, and caked with dirt--signs of Leprosy. Grades 4, 5, 6.

book cover Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Ten-year-old August was born with genetic facial abnormalities that have not been changed much after more than ten surgeries which caused him to be home school. For fifth grade, his mother thinks he need to be part of public school. There will always be good kids and bad kids, Auggie is a good one who converts many of the others. Grades 4, 5, 6.

book cover Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught

Bloomsbury, 2012. Jason gets called Freak because he is schizophrenic, Derrick is called Drip because his nose drips all the time partly from his meds, and then there is Sunshine who never talks but Jason understands her perfectly. When she goes missing and is possibly dead, Jason knows better and believes he and Derrick can find their best friend once they figure out the clues, but the police believe these two freaks are part of the crime. M/H

book cover Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick

HarperCollins, 2011. Set in Cambodia at the moment the Khmor Roughe starts herding the people out of the cities and into the fields, Arn, his aunt, sisters and brother try to survive though they are separated first by generation and then by gender. Before very long, Arn is on his own and realizes that if he wants to live he must become a Khomr soldier. M/H

My husband and I have visited one of the killing fields in Cambodia, walked across the ground where thousands died, their broken bones mixed into the soil, saw glass-cases filled with skulls, and in the trees, loudspeakers that blared music to cover the screams of people being bludgeoned to death. Children had stood by, waiting to push the bodies into the trenches before of them.

book cover My Awful Popularity Plan by Seth Rudetsky

Random House, 2012. In an attempt to become popular, Seth agrees to play the boyfriend of popular girl Becky so she can secretly keep dating super jock Chuck Jensen-her real boyfriend that her father disapproves of, only she realizes that Seth is much nicer. M/H

book cover a & e 4ever by Ilike Merey

Lethe Press, 2011. This award winning graphic novel tells the story of two friends, Asher, a male with a beautiful androgynous face and Eulale, an extremely tall female who always chooses the extreme. Their friendship is solidly based on their common love of art. H

book cover October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman

Candlewick, 2012. In this novel-in-verse, Newman fills pages with poems told from many different perspectives, the fence that held his body, the biker who found him, the killers, the girlfriends of the killers, the EMTs who worked on Matthew body, the trees near that fenced, and many others -all telling the story of Mathew Shepard's murder. M/H

book cover Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Neither Ari or Dante have ever had a close friend, but their friendship clicks, partly because Dante, very out-going, creative, perceptive, and wonderfully unique, just will not give up. Dante is gay. Their parents are wonderful, loving and accepting. Beautifully written H

book cover Personal Effects by E. M. Kokie

Candlewick Press, 2012. Ever since they got word that Matt's older brother T. J. died in Iraq, he and his father share a house but nothing else. When Matt rummages through boxes holding T.J.'s personal effects, he finds some letters from C. Carson in Wisconsin, love letters. Believing that C.Carson might not know T..J. was killed, he decides to deliver T. J.s' last unsent letter. M/H

book cover Happy Families by Tanita S. Davis

Knopf/Random House, 2012. Fifteen-year-old Justin and Ysabel are twins and best friends which is what they hold on to when Justin sees a woman in the back of the auditorium at his debate competition and realizes "she" is their father in a dress. M/H

book cover Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Dial/Penguin, 2012. Jay Nazzaro used to attend school, he was on the wrestling team, and he also has seizures. The last one happened at a pep rally when the wrestling team was called onto the gym floor and Jay had a major seizure. Every kid with a cell phone filmed it and sent it out. He switched from public schooling to home schooling and the Internet. Then someone threw acid into Nicole Caster's face when she came around the hallway at school and Jay becomes a teen sleuth. M/H

September 2011

book cover Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wilis Hurwin.

Little Brown, 2009. Told in two voices and in two time settings spanning several years. Doug is the angry, drug-involved kid who eventually turns hard core Punk. Jason, a gay kid, gets thrown out by his overly Christian mom. The two only meet twice in the book, once when a hate-filled, seventeen-year old Doug, beats up Jason, a fourteen-year-old kid who survives on the street as a prostitute. The second time is when both males are well into adulthood, and Jason recognizes Doug. Inspired by real lives of Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal. (H)

book cover Who Am I by M.L. Rice

Bold Stroke Books, 2011. When her father dies before her senior year, Air Force brat Devin and her mom find an apartment on the edge of Beverly Hills. On Devin's first day of school, rich and privileged Jason starts harassing her, however, his sister Melanie comes to her rescue. A strong friendship quickly forms and Devin becomes aware she might be lesbian because of her attraction to Mel. (H)

book cover Shine bby Lauren Myracle

Amulet/Abrams, 2011. While Cat's close friend Patrick lies in a come, the victim of a violent hate crime, she decides to track down his attacker who she believes could not possibly be from her tightly-knit Southern town. (M/H)

book cover Bitter End by Jennifer Brown

Little, Brown , 2011. With her senior year nearing its end, Alex and her two best friends have been planning a trip to Colorado. Instead she falls for the new guy, Cole, who is handsome, romantic, and very attentive, however, she soon discovers he is also controlling, manipulative and physically abusive-can she love him out of that? (H)

book cover Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories edited by Megan Kelly Hall and Carrie Jones

HarperCollins, 2011. This book grew out of Hall and Jones's need to react in some way to the bullycide of Phoebe Prince in 2010. They created a website, Young Adult Authors Against Bullying where YA authors were able to talk about the problem of bullying and offer their stories. (M/H)

book cover How to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston

Little, Brown, 2001. Eighth-grader Kacey Simon is the "it" girl in her middle school--pretty, confident, intelligent, the student broadcast journalist of the school's tv network, and the leader of her group of four who she rules with what SHE calls honesty. Then in a 24 hour period, she has to return to her glasses and get braces, but as she falls from stardom a couple of good friends help her sort out what is important. (M)

book cover Fire Girl by Tony Abbott

Little, Brown, 2006. One day, Tom Bender's teacher announces a new student will be joining their class-but she wants the class to know that Jessica has been badly burned and will receive treatment at their local hospital. Tom watches as everyone stares and then ignores Jessica. Some even make up rumors about her burns. (M)

book cover Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts

Little, Brown, 2011. Sixth-grader Rafe has a buddy who wants to help Rafe change his reputation or perhaps get one by breaking every rule in the school's rule book. Rafe ends up in more trouble than he knew possible. (M)

book cover The Queen of Kentucky by Alicia Whitaker

Little, Brown, 2011. Entering a public high school after years in Catholic schools, has Ricky Jo planning ways to become popular-and the first way is starts using her real her name, Ericka. Soon Ericka is fitting in with the popular cheerleaders and ignoring her old friends. But when her best friend forever, Luke lands in the hospital after his abusive father beats him, it is Ricky Jo who shows up at his bedside. Ricky Jo has some great lines in this a fun read. (M)

April, May 2011

book cover Boyfriends and Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez

These four main characters are certain to keep readers involved. Sergio is openly bisexual. Lance is openly gay. Kimiko is Lesbian and questioning while Allie has completely into her boyfriend until she meets Kimiko. Lance and Allie have been best friends and Sergio and Kimiko are best friends. When Lance and Sergio meet, they are immediately attracted to each other; however, Lance thinks Sergio calls himself bi because he is afraid to accept he is really gay. Sanchez does a great job keeping all these story lines convincing while presenting a book that lets readers know that sometimes figuring out one's sexuality may take a little time. Simon & Schuster, 2011 (H)

book cover Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde

When Elle's mother chooses a new boyfriend over her 15-year-old daughter, she simply moves Elle into her own apartment in a new school district. On her first day alone, Elle meets her neighbor Frank who lives next door. Though Frank lives with his girlfriend, Elle crushes on him big time. At school, new kid Elle makes friends with kids who happen to be gay or accepting. When they visit her apartment, they meet Frank and realize he is transgender F2M. Though Elle refuses to believe it at first, she comes to understand that her friend is facing difficult times. Knopf/Random House, 2010 (H)

book cover Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright.

Carlos/Carrlos Duarte might be in high school, but he is an amazing make-up artist, just ask him. After he gets an interview appointment for the make-up counter at Macy's New York, he has to hire a model--his sister, create a color palette, and learn everything about the specific make-up line he will be using. He gets the job but his skills create conflict with his insecure boss. A fun read. Simon & Schuster, 2011 (M/H)

book cover Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg

Senior year, Bobby Framingham, a very talented quarterback hopes to be picked up by Stanford-but he keeps questioning-- has there ever been a gay quarterback in the NFL? Bobby isn't out, but after he confides in one of his best friends, word spreads and the reporter for the school newspaper prints Bobby's story. During the smear that follows, Bobby's dad is diagnosed with Lymphoma and as he is waiting for treatment, he tells Bobby "You are the bravest person I have ever known." Dutton, 2008 (M/H)

book cover Teenie by Christopher Grant.

Teenie, officially Martine, is a shy, smart, pretty but not self-absorbed sophomore with two very caring parents. Teenie tries to counsel her best friend Cherise who is involved with an older man who gives her gifts while Cherise convinces Teenie to wear more provocative clothing at school to attract Greg Millions, captain of the basketball team. Teenie does, Greg is, but he is also an abuser. Only Teenie's lab partner Garth, brilliant, overweight and in love with Teenie comes to her rescue. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010 (M/H)

book cover Monster High by Lisi Harrison.

Told in the voices of Melody Carver and Frankie Stein, both girls are new to the school but do not meet until late in the book. Melody, her mom, dad, and older sister, move to Oregon because of Melody's asthma. Frankie, daughter of Victor and Victoria Stein, was just created last week-by her father, Dr. Stein. In this area of Oregon, monsters are feared and Monster sightings are broadcast regularly. Quirky and funny while mirroring teen life. Poppy/Little Brown, 2010 (M/H)

book cover Warp Speed by Lisa Yee.

Marley Sandelski is different, very smart, and a little dorky; he and his parents live in an old movie theatre. At home, he feels relaxed and unencumbered, but at school he sneaks through the halls trying to be invisible to avoid the bullies who delight in chasing him and who sometimes get physically abusive. Arthur Levine/Scholastic, 2011 (M)

book cover The Duff by Kody Koplinger.

Bianca Piper, 17, has been informed by Wesley Rush that she is The Duff, the designated ugly fat friend, and so he will talk to her to gain favor with her prettier, sexier friends. When things start falling apart at home-Bianca's mom mails in divorce papers from her traveling job to Bianca's dad, a recovering alcoholic who starts drinking again. Not wanting to tell her friends whose worlds always seem perfect, Bianca turns to Wesley for some intense avoidance sex. Poppy/Little Brown, 2010 (Definitely high school)

July, August 2010

book cover The Bully Blockers Club by Teresa Bateman, Illustrator Jackie Urbanovic

Grant Grizzly decides to pick on Lotty and after several days of the harassment, her parents notice something is wrong. Though her dad calls the school-things don't change until Lolly comes up with her own plan. After observing Grant on the playground as he bullies other kids, she asks these kids if they would like to form a club to support each other whenever Grant picked on one of them. As their club grew, Grant's power diminished and eventually he started being nice.

I like the way this book empowers the bystanders who are also the targets. They learned how to take care of each other and that spreads to other kids, even the bully. I also like that the author showed that parents trying to fix a bully problem rarely works and does not empower their child. This great book supports the research on bullying; not all picture books do so. Albert Whitman & Company, 2004. P/B

book cover Not So Tall For Six by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrator Frank W. Dormer

Kylie Bell is the "not-so-tallest one in the first grade," but she handles it really well even when the new bully boy, Rusty, lurks over her. In her mind Kylie Bell is "brave and smart and big at heart" and even Rusty cannot resist and becomes a friend.

Kids with such a strong self-concept rarely stay a target for long. What I love about this story is readers will understand that being short is not a deficit, and new kids can be won over. Charlesbridge, 2010. P/B

book cover A Tale of Two Daddies by Vanita Oelschlager, illustrators Kristin Blackwood and Mike Blanc.

Through a series of simple questions one little boy comes to understand one little girl who has two daddies. He is curious and she is proud. Bright, colorful, uncluttered illustrations add to the book.

This simple text shows how easily children can accept a family with two daddies. The little boy asks normal-type questions because he is curious not because he is trying to hurt or embarrass the little girl. The little girl gets to share about her family in a way that lets the boy and the reader know she is proud. Vanita Books. LLC, 2010.P/B

book cover Jake's Best Thumb by Ilene Cooper, illustrated by Claudio Muñoz

Jakes exists quite well with one thumb in his mouth and one thumb handling the tasks in his world. When people ask him when he will stop sucking his thumb, he says, "Not for a while." But then he starts kindergarten and Cliff loudly labels Jake a "thumb sucker." Slowly everyone's special security is discovered-Jake has his thumb, Nell has her little stuffed cat, Kitty Harold, and even Cliff has a scrap of his blankie. The book ends with each child deciding the next day s/he would go to school without her/his bit of security.

I like that people didn't ignore Jake's thumb sucking but he was given the space to decide when he did not need it, He was probably only 5. Everyone has a special bit of security, some bits are more visible that others. Dutton Children's Books, 2008. P/B

book cover Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson, illustrator R.G. Roth.

Set in Boston during 1974 when court ordered-busing started, the main character, Brewster and his brother are taken to their first day in a white school. Though there are words thrown by children and adults, Brewster finds the right adult to help him, Miss O'Grady, the librarian, who encourages Brewster in his hopes to one day become president.

I like that history is woven with the realities of today, Brewster might just get to be president, and there were white people who believed in the busing. Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, 2010. "Random House Children's Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read." (Printed on the copy write page) P/B

February, March 2010

book cover We Were Here by Matt de la Peña

Court ordered to a group home, Miguel meets Ming, Asian, chronically ill, and borderline crazy, and Randall, black, strongly religious, and socially/mentally challenged. Slowly their stories are revealed as they flee the home and follow the coastline down to the Mexican border. Delacorte/Random House, 2009. M/H

book cover Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

There are two Will Grayson's. WG#1 is best friends with Tiny Cooper, huge, extraordinary, and the "gayest gay" around. WG#1's support of Tiny at school makes him an outcast, too. WG#2, a few towns over, is lonely in his closeted gayness. Through a mean trick by his best friend, WG#2 meets Tiny and WG#1. This book is rich in characters, structure, and fun. Penguin, 2010. M/H

book cover Truancy Origins by Isamu Fukui

Displays institutional bullying. Twin brothers Zen and Umasi live with their father-the Mayor, who is also runs the schools where independent thinking does not exist. Zen, aggressive and violent, leaves home to organize the "truants," those who have been expelled from school and live on the streets, to fight his father's "Enforcers." Umasi, once weaker than Zen, follows him to the streets and becomes a very powerful pacifist and Zen's opposition. (I was blown away by the completeness and the creativity of this book! This is Fukui's second book, and he is still in college.) Tor, 2009. M/H

Bystander by James Preller

Shortly after Eric Hays and his family move to Long Island, he witnesses Griffin and his thugs harassing David Hallenback, but he does nothing which draws Griffin's interest. After an attempt at friendship, Eric realizes Griffin cannot be trusted and Griffin realizes Eric has become a dangerous witness. Eric has trapped himself by his own silence. Feiwel and Friends, 2009. M/H

Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have by Alan Zadoff

Fifteen-year-old Andrew Zanisky is fat, but some how he makes center for the varsity football team, and therefore protects the very charismatic quarter back, O. With O's influence, Andrew goes from fat target to popular varsity guy, and he is not sure he likes it. Egmont, 2009. M/H

I'm Number One by Michael Rosen

A-One sets himself up as leader of the Toys with the proclamation-A-One rules. A-One is number one. Then he takes Maddy's hat, Sally's knapsack, and Sid's scarf. Soon Maddy, Sally and Sid make up riddles and giggles. Soon A-One just wants to be part of the group. Candlewick Press, 2009. M/H

Sit-in:How FourFriends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney

On February 1, 1960, four young black men confronted racism by sitting in the white section of a Woolworth's lunch counter. Their inspiration was the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., "We must meet hate with love." Little, Brown, and Company 2010. M/H

The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

The summer before college, Date Hamilton stops being used by a closeted star athlete and lets himself fall in love with Alex. A great coming of age and coming out story. Dial Books/Penguin, 2009. H

Bait by Alex Sanchez. Deigo

a kind and responsible young man, explodes with anger when someone refers to him with a homophobic slur. He knows he isn't gay, but with the help of Mr. Vidas, his P.O., Diego reveals his deeply hidden shame, his step-father had sexually abused him for years. Simon & Schuster, 2009. H

Rage: A Love Story by Julie Anne Peters

Johanna has never had a girlfriend but falls hard for Reeve Hart even with her violent behaviors. Johanna think she can love her out of the violence but quickly becomes tangled in an abusive relationship. Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, 2009. H

Rage: Brutal by Micahel Harmon

Poe Holly, an out-spoken punker, transfers to an elitist school that validates students who are privileged students but does not protect those who are bullied. Poe feels the need to point this out at every opportunity, which doesn't win her many friends. Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, 2009. H

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Valerie and Nick were having a nice morning but as they are crossing the Commons, Nick pulls out a gun and starts shooting—aiming for everyone on their hate list. After Valerie gets shot trying to stop him, Nick kills himself. This incredible book tells the story through Valerie’s return to that high school and flashbacks to events leading up to the shooting. Little Brown, 2009. M/H

June / July, 2009

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Lockdown by Diane Tullson,Trapped in the hallway, Adam and Zoe think the school lockdown is just another drill, until they hear gunshots. When Adam realizes he knows the shooter, he tries to stop him. For Middle School and High School. Orca Soundings, 2008.

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Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen,Life is hard for Sam who has Tourette syndrome and an abusive, hate-filled stepfather who rules Sam's mom and lies about Sam's father. After his high school graduation, Sam leaves and takes a job with a crusty old landscaper who knew his father and who enables Sam to take a trip to discover the truth about himself and his dad. An odyssey book. Puffin, 2008.

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In Our Mothers' House by Patricia Polacco,A narrator tells the story of her loving mothers who adopted her and later, two other children to complete their happy family. Polacco's books are always beautiful. Philomel Books/Penguin, 2009.

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Daddy, Papa, and Me by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson,"Me," a voice of a toddler, tells what the day is like with two fathers. Simple language and colorful illustrations. Tricycle Press, 2009.



Mommy, Mama, and Meby Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson. A parallel book to Daddy, Papa, and Me, a toddler tells the story of a day with two mothers. Simple language and colorful illustrations. Tricycle Press, 2009.August / September, 2008

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Crossover by Jeff Rud,Kyle was involved in theater until high school when he switched his passion to basketball. Now as a junior he has made the starting line, but after he earns a lead in the fall production of "Oliver," he comes up against time conflicts, an angry coach, team homophobia and his guilt for abandoning a valued friend because of his own insecurities. This book is good for looking at one's responsibility to doing the right thing, even when that is difficult. For Middle School and High School. Victoria: Orca Sports, 2008.

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In the Garage by Alma FullertonThe book opens with BJ (Barbara Jean) standing at Alex's funeral trying to understand how they got to this place. They had been friends since third grade when the new kid, Alex had rescued her from the bullies. The rest of the book is told through BJ's flashbacks and Alex's journal. BJ is harassed because of the birthmark over one side of her face and Alex because of a homophobic former friend. This is a very strong book, in content, structure and language, the poetry of Alex's journal is beautiful. For Middle School and High School. Calgary, Canada: Red Deer Press, 2006.

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The Truth about Truman School by Dori Hillestad Butler, 2008.Finally a GREAT cyberbullying book!And it's for middle school! After getting frustrated with their newspaper advisor's policy of only happy articles, Zebby Bower and Amr Nasir start an Internet newspaper and give everyone a chance to post the truth about their school. Soon someone decides to use the site to anonymously take down Lilly Clark, one of the popular girls. Lilly is humiliated, her clique friends have abandoned her and several others add anonymous postings to the attack. Of course, the school does not know what is going on until Lilly runs away. There are many great things about this book. All of the components of cyberbullying are displayed, the increased evilness that comes with anonymity, the ignorance of all the adults as well as the issues of freedom of speech and the student press, homophobia, justification for believing in rumors, and responsibility in relationships. Every librarian and middle school teacher should get this book now and then hand it to students!Morton Grover, Illinoi: Albert Whitman Company, 2008. May, 2008

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Generation Dead by Daniel Waters,Both humorous and painful, GENERATION DEAD is unsettling. A strange phenomenon has been added to the usual crazies of high school - some teens who have died, have come back to life, and Oakdale High seems to have more than anywhere else. Previously ignored or called names (zombies, corpsicles, dead heads, worm food, living dead), the dead kids now want to be treated as normal kids. In fact, Tommy Williams has gone out for the football team, and even though the coach has hand picked certain bullying players to take him out, Tommy can't be hurt - he is already dead! The Hunter Foundation steps in to help in acceptance of the "differently biotic." All the prejudices that have existed against minorities are shown in this great discussion book. New York: Hyperion, 2008.

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Burn by Suzanne Phillips Cameron Grady, fourteen and in ninth grade, used to do well in school, ran track and helped his younger brother with math. Then Rich Patterson and his letter-jacket thugs target Cameron and school becomes a survival mission. Only Charlie Pinon is lower on the social scale. Then Rich and the thugs catch Cameron in the locker room, strip him, take cell phone photos of his genitals and send them out to everyone in school, while Charlie watches from the shower room. Cameron's mind snaps and he does the unthinkable. For High School. New York: Hachette / Little, Brown and Company, 2008

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Please Don't Tease Tootsie by Margaret ChamberlainToo often bullying starts with children bullying pets or harming small animals. This very simple picture book warns not to tease these animals and suggests much nicer ways to treat them. New York: Dutton Children's Books / Pengin Young Readers, 2008. March, 2008

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Ricochet by Julie Gonzalez,Have you ever read about an accidental shooting between kids who had a gun and were playing Russian roulette? And you wondered - what were they thinking! Ricochet will tell you. Connor, his best friend Daniel, Ryan, and Will, all 15, were on the roof of Will's apartment building. Will pulls out a gun and first challenges them and then shames them into playing Russian roulette. The gun goes around the circle once - they are all safe. And then Will says, "Now let's play idiot's roulette. You spin the chamber and point the gun at the guy next to you." The others agree, NO WAY. Daniel turns to leave. Will spins the chamber, points it at Daniel, and says, "Bang, bang you're dead." He pulls the trigger, the gun fires and Daniel is dead. Connor tells his story of after. How they were all arrested and charged, how he visited Daniel's mother, how he had a probation officer and a curfew, and how terribly he missed Daniel. This is a must read, particularly for young males. MIddle/High School. New York: Delacorte Press, 2007.

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Owning It: Stories About Teens With Disabilities edited by Don GalloIn his introduction, Gallo says "...disabled teens are likely to face more obstacles and exclusions by society in general and to be the objects of physical and verbal harassment by their peers." The ten stories that follow show characters challenged by Tourette's syndrome or ADHD or cancer or alcoholism or migraine headaches or several other disabilities. The only way this anthology could have been better is if it had a story about every possible challenge. Cambridge: Candlewick Press, 2008

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My Secret gathered by Frank WarrenI don't know how it started but Frank Warren collects hand-made postcards from people who write a secret they need to tell someone. The first collection of cards was published in PostSecret and became a national bestseller. They are amazing, touching, tear-filled, liberating and very human. You can also check out the website www.postsecret.com New York: HarperCollins Publishers. Inc, 2006. February, 2008

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First Day In Grapes by L. King Perez IIlustrated by Robert CasillaChico and his migrant family arrive in grape camp for his first day inthird grade. The bullies on the bus and in the lunchroom try to pick onthe new kid, but Chico uses his math talent to even the score. Thisbook gives a voice to kids in migrant families. New York: Lee & Low Books, Inc., 2002

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No Castles Here by A.C.E. Bauer,Half fantasy and half real world, this book tells the story of Auggie,a short skinny eleven year old, who tries to be invisible as one of thetwo white kids in a gang-filled part of Camden, New Jersey, where hissingle mom and the landlady look after him. At a special bookstore,Auggie finds a fantasy book that takes him to a magical world and yethelps him to meet some people in his real world. Intermediate / MiddleSchool New York: Random House, 2007

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Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher,Clay Jensen receives a box of audiotapes, recorded by Hannah Bakerexplaining the 13 reasons why she committed suicide two weeks earlier.Instructions tell him to listen to the tapes and then send them to thenext person mentioned. Clay, whose voice alternates with Hannah intelling the story, is one of the good guys, but came along too late forHannah to changer her decision. Jay Asher gives us a thorough analysisof sexual harassment and its snowball effect through the experiencesHannah suffered since ninth grade. In TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY he has alsowritten one of the first books to deal with bullycide - committingsuicide to escape the bullying. Excellently crafted, humanly conveyed,this is a must read as this type of suicide is happenins morefrequently, and no one seems to notice. New York: Razor Bill / Penguin Group, 2007

 

December, 2007 / January, 2008

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Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson,

Tired of being the "nobody," Tyler Miller sprayed graffiti on the school, did school maintenance for his punishment, and earned a "to-be-noticed-but-avoided" reputation. Add crush on Bethany, daughter of his father's boss and sister of the top elitist bully in the school, to living with his own dysfunctional family, and it is no surprise that Tyler thinks of suicide. Definitely for high school classes.Penguin, 2007

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The Orange Shoes by Trinka Hakes Noble, IIlustrated by Doris Ettlinger

Until her family can afford school shoes, Delly Porter is happy walking barefoot to school, but Prudy Winfield tells Delly her toes will fall off and she is just going to get "dumber and poorer." Then there is a class project that will identify each student by his or her shoes. (I know, another ignorant teacher - heavy sigh). Sleeping Bear Press, 2007

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Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn William & Khadra Mohammad, IIlustrated by Doug Chayka

(I found THE ORANGE SHOES and this book at the same time, and though FOUR FEET, TWO SANDALS is not a typical bully book, it will help children gain a greater understanding of the world, which is an important way to build respect which will prevent bullying.) In a refugee camp in Pakistan, the relief workers are handing out clothes and two young girls each find one yellow sandal with a blue flower in the middle. Lina and Feroza believe they can build a friendship by sharing one pair of shoes. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007


September, 2007

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Raider's Night by Robert Lipsyte,

In his senior year, Matt Rydeck is co-captain of the football team and feeling pretty powerful. His future looks bright, the steroids and weight lifting are building up his body, and the school adores him. And then the Raiders go away for a week of intense training and to initiate the new guys on the last night. Ramp, the other co-captain, takes things too far. Matt and the other seniors witness it all and do nothing to stop it.

This is a book that needs to be read, by high school athletes, coaches and teachers. There are two themes, the performance-enhancing drugs and the rape. They don't happen everywhere, but they do happen. Definitely for high school.HarperCollins, 2006

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Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of online Social Aggression, Threats, and Distress by Nancy E. Willard,Cyberbullying is the fastest growing form of bullying and most school systems do not know how to handle this problem. This book will inform an individual about cyberbullying and a school district about setting up a comprehensive plan to deal with the problem. The twelve reproducible appendixes in the back (ranging from a Review Process to separate Guides for students, parents, and staff) are worth the price alone. Research Press, 2007

book coverSay Something by Peggy Moss, IIlustrated by Lea Lyon. The narrator in this picture book sees the kids at school who get bullied and she feels sorry for them, but she never does anything. Then she gets made fun of and others just watch. The next day she reaches out to the girl sitting alone on the bus. Reading this with a class and then brainstorming safe and simple things to do to make everyone feel welcome are very important steps. Children need to practice ways to make friends with the targeted student. Two pages of ideas are in the back of the book. Gardiner, Maine:Tilbury House, Publishers, 2004


July, 2007

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Not My Fault by Leif Kristiansson, IIlustrated by Dick StenbergThis is really two books, one for younger students (grades 2-6) and one for older students and adults. The first part has simple text and drawings that tell a story we can all understand, witnessing someone being bullied. On each page another witness steps forward to define his or her part in the event. Some blame the target, some join in the harassment, others judge. The second part begins with one sentence, white letters on an all black page, "Does it have nothing to do with me?" Following are six black and white photographs taken during times of great suffering around the world, from starving child to soldiers with their captives to an atomic blast. The question, Where is our responsibility? applies throughout the book and will lead easily to discussions. Heryin Books, 2006

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Home, and Other Big, Fat Lies by Jill WolfsonEleven-year-old Whitney is on her way to her twelfth foster home in northern California and arrives with her survival rules in place. "Number one: Aim for immediate high noticeability." She explans "Don't wait for them to sneak up and ambush you. They're going to call you a weirdo anyways, so be THE weirdo. Be it proudly."(50)

Her foster brother nick-names her Termite because of her small size due to an earlier heart condition, and she embraces the name fully. In this logging town in northern California, logging had been stopped because a rare owl had moved in and any environmental reference earned scowls. The men were all out of work and in order to pay their bills, families had taken in foster children. A quarter of Termite's class was foster kids.

I loved this book for a couple reasons, first Termite is an endearing character and second there is a real education presented around the foster care life. Foster kids don't fit in anywhere, not at school and not at home. Termite loves school because there are so many other foster kids. For the first time, she has a place to belong. Great book. Henry Holt, 2006

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