The Skinny on Bullying: The Legend of Gretchen

The Skinny on Bullying: The Legend of Gretchen

By: Mike Cassidy
Publisher: Rand Media Company
Publication Date: November 2010
ISBN: 978-0982439012
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 2010

Bullying is a frequent topic in the news today as so many children are being faced with a new form of bullying - cyberbullying. To help kids understand and deal with problems associated with all forms of bullying, the popular series, “The Skinny On,” which deals with various topics in short, concise books, has published a book on this problem.

Written as a story about Billy and Beth, The Skinny on Bullying introduces readers to these best friends. Fifth grade was awesome for the two, but as they enter a new middle school, things are about to change. There are bullies afoot at Stickville Middle School and Beth and Billy must learn to deal with them. What should they do?

The author covers the four types of bullying; physical, verbal, indirect, and cyberbullying. Using Billy, Beth and their friends and nemeses as examples, young readers can easily see what actions define each type of bullying. The author also gives many suggestions on what to do when being bullied and even if you think you might be a bully. Among the numerous tidbits of advice is the “Golden Rule” which is repeated many times throughout the book. What is the Golden Rule? “Talk to an Adult.” Excellent advice for all victims of bullying. We also learn what not to do – for example, “Do not insult the bully back.” And realistically, the author, a victim of bullying himself, knows that talking to an adult may not solve the problem so he stresses that if the adult doesn’t do anything, don’t give up, talk to somebody else.

There’s an good, somewhat detailed look at cyberbullying; what it is, what it might include, and some very interesting facts about the issue. The author also includes statements from several celebrities who have dealt with bullying in their lives. From Taylor Swift to Michael Phelps, kids should feel a sense of encouragement from these personalities.

Quill says: An excellent tool to help youngsters deal with bullying.

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