Book Review: Not My Fault

Author: Leif Kristiansson
Illustrator: Dick Stenberg
Interest Level: Grades 2-6

From the Book Jacket: The collective memories of childhood will always include the scene of a classmate being bullied and victimized. In such a situation, do we choose to stand up and protect him or her? Do we watch silently from the sidelines? Or do we join the ranks of the bullies? This book is written from the perspective of schoolyard interactions, intended to stimulate thought on the matter of "responsibility." the simply worded narration ends with a question, leaving the reader room for reflection.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is a powerful, impactful, little book. It has really empowered kids to report bullying, especially physical bullying.  One of the things I notice when I read Not My Fault is how silent the students become. Each page shows the same child, who is being picked on, with an audience of kids standing by doing nothing. My students were very bothered that a child is being targeted. I feel unity in the room when we finish reading this one. A lot of discussion and feelings come up followed by solutions on how to stop cruel behavior. Don't pass up on this book, your kids will thank you for educating them on how to break the silence. 

PS. Don't freak out about the last few pages with the realistic pictures of what can happen when bullying reaches a larger scale. I don't show those pages to the kids. If you are a parent, go for it. In a classroom setting it's a little trickier.

A Link to This Book and Others You Might Find Helpful:

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