Friday, October 4, 2013

National Bullying Prevention Month, Book Giveaway, Birthday Sale, and Poetry Friday!

National Bullying Prevention Month

As April and Mary Ann have pointed out in their moving and helpful posts, October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Resources for parents, teachers, students, and communities are available at PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.

Wednesday, October 9, is Unity Day, when people who care will wear orange to show their support. More information is on UNITY DAY, 2013's Facebook page.

When I started exploring what to write about for this post, I began (as I often do) with a search on the Milwaukee Public Library's web site. The subject "Bullying" brought up 53 categories of books about bullying, including Bullying in Schools, Bullying Juvenile Fiction (477 titles!), and Bullying Prevention Juvenile Literature.

Overwhelming, isn't it?

I decided to focus on one classic book, Bootsie Barker Bites by Barbara Bottner, illustrated by Peggy Rathmann. I've always liked the satisfying way the young narrator triumphs in the end.

At first, her mother tells her she has to play with Bootsie. When the girl resists, her mother tells her she has to "learn to get along with all kinds of people."

When the poor girl "can't stand it anymore" and shouts, her mother looks surprised. (Ack. How clueless can we parents be sometimes?) The girl goes to her room to think over her response to her mother's suggestion that she tell Bootsie she doesn't want to play that game.

A light bulb flashed when I reread the book after seeing what an expert on disruptive behavior said in April's post:
  1. Bullies pick on people who are weaker than they are.
  2. You need to stand up to a bully.
  3. Be empathetic.
  4. Create clear boundaries.
In her room, the girl in Bootsie Barker Bites invents her own creative way to handle the situation. She stands up and looks Bootsie in the eye. She's not exactly empathetic, but empathy is a lot to ask of a kid who's been tormented. She does create a clear boundary by refusing to play along with the bully's demands. What's satisfying about the conclusion is that she solves the problem for herself. I love books that inspire kids to take control when they need to. How I wish all bullied kids could find one book or person or piece of advice that would empower them to stand up for themselves. I hope these resources help.

Book Giveaway

Enter by October 9!
Check out the details in April's September 27 post for the Teaching Authors Book Giveaway, featuring The Kite That Bridged Two Nations by Alexis O'Neill.

Birthday Sale

Besides being Unity Day and the last day of the Book Giveaway, October 9 is my birthday—mine and my twin sister Judy's, that is. I'm celebrating with a Birthday Sale: Order Write a Poem Step by Step from  through Wednesday and save 20%! Here's a poem from the book, written by a third grader in one of my poetry workshops. This is what today looks and sounds like in Wisconsin.


A big flash of light and a BOOM!
Drip drop drip drop.

Melanie Gilmore, Grade 3

Poetry Friday

Today's Poetry Friday Roundup is at Dori Reads. Enjoy!

JoAnn Early Macken


Linda B said...

JoAnn, my birthday is Oct. 12th-we libras have to stick together! I love the idea of this picture book for bullies-so many are written for older children, but this can work for younger readers very well. Thanks for telling about it! And Happy Birthday week!

GatheringBooks said...

Thank you for sharing this title. I am in the process of collecting picture book titles related to bullying for a course I'd be teaching in January. Will definitely add this one to my list.

Margaret Simon said...

Mary Ann's post reminded me that this is National Anti-Bullying month. I sponsor a leadership group at our school, so I introduced the idea to them on Friday using videos from Pacer's site. Some great resources there. Some of them expressed interest in reading to younger students. I was planning to use Kate Messner's Sea Monster and the Bossy Fish.
Love the precious Thunderstorm poem. Heading over to Lulu now. Thanks!

Doraine said...

This sounds like a great book, JoAnn. And I enjoyed the thunderstorm poem.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

My husband's birthday is October 9 as well, so I guess we'll be celebrating with you! Loved Melanie's Thunderstorm poem, BTW.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

I must be having computer issues--all these comments just showed up--on Monday afternoon! (And I was afraid no one read my post--whew!)I'm so glad the info was helpful!

Thanks for the birthday wishes! Linda, happy birthday to you, too, and to Michelle's husband!