Erin Frankel has an M.A. in English education and is passionate about teaching and writing. Shetaught ESL in Alabama before her recent move to Madrid, Spain, with her husband and threedaughters. Erin knows firsthand what it feels like to be bullied, and she hopes her stories will helpbring smiles back to children who have been involved in bullying. In her free time, Erin loveshiking in the Spanish mountains and kayaking in her hometown of Mays Landing, New Jersey. Paula Heaphy is a print and pattern designer in the fashion industry. She's an explorer of allartistic mediums from glassblowing to shoemaking, but her biggest love is drawing. She jumpedat the chance to illustrate her friend Erin's story, having been bullied herself as a child. She livesin Brooklyn, New York.
Three stories told from the perspectives of three different
children: one who is bullied ("Weird!"), a bystander ("Dare!"), and
the bully herself ("Tough!"). Each title shows readers, through the
texts and the expressive ink illustrations, what each child feels.
In Weird! Luisa is portrayed as a bubbly and vibrant character
wearing her beloved polka-dot boots everywhere she goes. Then she
is tormented by Sam, and her uniqueness and confidence become
liabilities instead of strengths, and she throws away her boots. It
isn't until a bystander, Jayla, stands up to the bully and returns
Luisa's footwear that the book ends on a positive note with the
victim confidence restored. Following the stories, nonfiction
sections offer tips from each character's perspective or suggest
simple group activities that model positive behaviors. Each title
also has talking points and discussion questions, so readers can go
back into the story and discuss what is occurring and how they
might be able to change the outcome in a real-world scenario. The
books stand alone as separate titles, but they're much more
effective when utilized together to give a complete view of how the
main characters are feeling and the outside events that help shape
their roles. For example, Sam, the bully, is being taunted at home
by an older brother-setting her up to then find someone that she
can pick on at school. These will be useful titles particularly for
schools, but also for public libraries that see a fair number of
requests for character-education titles.--"School Library Journal
One of a trio of books that present the topic of bullying from three perspectives: the bullied, the bystander and the bully.
No matter what Luisa does, from wearing her favorite polka-dot boots to telling jokes at lunch, Sam declares that she is "Weird!"Luisa gradually stops being herself, until her mother and friends help her realize that she is wonderful the way she is. Jayla's fear of becoming the target governs her actions as she alternately stands by and does nothing and takes Sam's "Dare! "to participate. She eventually realizes that she has lost too much to feeling scared and befriends Luisa. From glimpses of her home life, it is not hard to see why Sam acts as "Tough!" as she does. But her attempts at keeping things cool are not winning her any friends, and the fact that no one is playing by her rules anymore gets her to start thinking about her behavior. While the series is slightly didactic, the well-drawn characters have real problems with (mostly) credible resolutions. Extensive backmatter, with separate sections for children and adults, in each book summarizes the lessons learned and provides activities to help change ingrained behaviors. Heaphy's pen-and-ink illustrations are dotted with highlights of color that spotlight the main characters. She is a master of facial expression and body language; Sam's hoodie sweatshirt speaks volumes all on its own.
While the series would benefit from a boy's version, the message is still loud and clear; this should find a home in every school library. "(Picture book/bibliotherapy. 6-12)--Kirkus"