Authors: Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy
illustrated by Kimberly Shaw
Interest Level: Ages 6-9
From The Book Jacket: Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it? Instead of being bystanders, the kids at Pete's new school get involved. When the juice box mess becomes more than just a dirty shirt, Pete's classmates teach him about "The Promise." Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make "The Promise"?
Why It's On My Bookshelf: Bystander. If you've ever used a bullying curriculum then you've seen that word. Over the years I've REALLY struggled (translation = awful lessons) finding a decent lesson plan or book to explain this term to kids and what it means in the world of bullying. Maybe you've had this problem too. Well, look no further! Juice Box Bully is an awesome new book to my shelf and has already made quite a presence in classrooms. Those days of awful bystanders lessons are over!
It's always rewarding to look at the students and see how much they're relating to a story. Lots for them to soak up in this one. The language is not overdone, it makes concrete sense. "And, I'm not a bystander," Ralph said. "I don't stand by and let mean things happen." Nothing greater then reading a book with EMPOWERED kids in it. "The Promise" is what empowers them to do the right thing when it comes to bullying. It's a pledge to stand up to bad behavior. The first line is, "I WILL speak up instead of acting as a bystander." Love it. One student asked me, "Do we have "The Promise" at our school?" We definitely have a pledge but it's not specific to bullying. Inspired me as the school counselor to get on it!
I also pointed out how, Pete, the new kid was using bullying behavior his first few days of school but kids didn't turn him into an outcast or label him for life. They all took "The Promise" and were committed to helping him become a caring classmate. They didn't judge him, even in the midst of a conflict.
So the next time I use the word bystander in a real life situation with kids, they'll know what I mean and remember their own promise. Check out the book trailer at author Maria Dismondy's website. Maria has also written Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun (review to come) and she has a facebook page!
A Link to This Book and Others You Might Find Helpful: