Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bullying

There was a recent study, and much ensuing press, about kids with food allergies being bullied by their peers.  "Of those bullied, 57% described physical events, such as being touched by an allergen and having an allergen thrown or waved at them, and several reported intentional contamination of their food with allergen."  What can I say about that?  Of course as the mom of a kid with food allergies, I think it's awful, as is all bullying.

How the Moon Regained Her ShapeMany of you know how much I love Sylvan Dell's books; you can see a few of our raves about their books here, and here, and here.  We were fortunate to receive a copy of a timely book about bullying this month; How the Moon Regained Her Shape.  This book is Sylvan Dell's featured book for November, which means you can access the full text here on their website -- for today, at least! 

In How the Moon Regained Her Shape, the sun bullies the moon.  Where once the moon "danced across the sky, laughing as she twirled her skirts," after the sun's hurtful words, she stopped dancing, hung her head, and "her body began to shrink until she was just a sliver of her former self."  Ultimately, the moon's friends help her to regain her self-confidence and return to her former self.  The educational section in the back of the book features an essay by the author titled “How to Deal With Bullies," as well as information about the phases of the moon.


I would certainly recommend this book for any children having trouble with bullying.  Honestly, the Bibliophile didn't care for it much.  He made it all the way through, but then said that we should donate it to the library.  He is young, though (just turned 3), and thankfully has no concept of what bullying means.  The illustrations (and folktale-like text) are clearly Native American-influenced, which might also be of interest to particular readers.  I think the applicability of the message here goes beyond just bullying, to any situation which dampers a child's spirit (trying to fit in with new friends or at a new school, worrying what people think of them, or general self-confidence issues, for instance).

Additional bullying resources:
Comment: Have you or your kids experienced any issues with bullying that you would like to share?  Do you have other resources to recommend?

Disclosure: We received a publisher copy of How the Moon Regained Her Shape at no cost in order to write this review.  If you click on any links in this post and purchase anything, we may earn a small commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.

5 comments:

Raising a Happy Child said...

Sadly, the bullying seems to be more or less the norm of life for young kids. It falls to adults to be on the lookout and make sure this behavior is nipped in the bud. I think sometimes "early intervention" works great. The boy who is our closest neighbor used to bully Anna quite a bit, but after very decisive interventions by his parents they play together quite nicely.

MaryAnne said...

Bullying is terrible, and I think kids pick on anyone who is different. Did you hear, though, about the recent study using infants to help reduce bullying (and to reform bully-ers?) Fascinating research:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/fighting-bullying-with-babies/

MaryAnne said...

And yes, I did get bullied as a kid - in 7th and 8th grade, maybe because I looked more like I was 9 or 10 instead of 12 and 13? I remember the teachers didn't know what to do, so they finally resorted to giving me my assignments and sending me to the library to do them. I went to school, picked up assignments, spent the day in the library, and went home. And then we moved countries (and continents) and my new school was much better. I remember being speechless, I was so shocked when I started 9th grade and random people would say hi and be nice. My parents had no clue about the situation; I'm not sure why the school didn't talk to them but my guess is it was a private school and the bully-ers were wealthy students? And nearly all of the bullying I faced was nearly always verbal, so there wasn't any physical evidence - unlike my younger brother, who got his glasses broken over and over during "recess" at a different school.

Gale said...

For teens, I think The Wounded Spirit (non-fiction) by Frank E. Peretti is excellent. I was bullied as a teen though I was not a teen when I read it. I just found out he wrote two more books on bullying after that...No More Victims and No More Bullies.

Pam said...

This is great! I'm not sure bullying is such a new thing, as the media claims it to be, but it certainly has drastic modern implications like allergens and the internet. I think a lot of it falls (has always fallen) with parents and teachers to upend cruelty and that's why I like the concept of books teaching against such things, in metaphor or outright. Thank you for this!