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K-Gr. 3. Waiting to be chosen for a pickup game of basketball, D. J. hears Vince challenge Cody to a game of Rock Paper Scissors: "Loser gets D. J." It's not the first time Vince has crossed the line, but D. J. can't figure out how to respond. With a helpful suggestion from his dad and support from a teacher, D. J. begins to handle his problem. The story offers a realistic portrayal of a bully who uses words in hurtful ways but avoids punishment. It also offers hope that children can break the pattern, at least if the adults around them are aware of the problem, competent to deal with it, and supportive of the children involved. The book concludes with a list of "Teasing Dos and Don'ts" for kids. In addition, a detailed foreword offers suggestions to parents and teachers trying to help children in this situation. The well-composed illustrations, apparently acrylic paintings, offer sensitive portrayals of children in realistic settings. Pair this with Becky Ray McCain's Nobody Knew What to Do (2001). Carolyn Phelan
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TRUDY LUDWIG is a nationally acclaimed speaker and an award-winning author who specializes in writing children's books that help kids cope with and thrive in their social world, including The Invisible Boy and My Secret Bully. She has received rave reviews from educators, experts, organizations, and parents at schools and conferences around the US for her passion and compassion in addressing peer aggression and friendship issues. An active member of the International Bullying Prevention Association, Trudy also collaborates with organizations like the Committee for Children and ConnectSafely.org, and has served as content advisor for Sesame Street Workshop. Trudy's books have won the Mom's Choice Gold Award, the IBPA Gold Benjamin Franklin Award, and the NAPPA Gold Medal, and also been recognized as NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Books for Young People. ADAM GUSTAVSON is an illustrator who lives in West Orange, New Jersey, with his family. This is his second book with Tricycle Press.