Book Review: My Secret Bully

Author: Trudy Ludwig
illustrated by Abigail Marble
Interest Level: Ages 5-11

About This Book: A touching, inspirational story targeted for 5 to 11 year olds, My Secret Bully instantly draws young readers into Monica's world where she is bullied by a friend and learns how to cope and thrive. Relational aggression is an act of emotional bullying hidden among tightly knit networks of friends. Instead of using knives and fists to bully others, emotional bullies employ relationships, words, and gestures as their weapons of attack. Emotional bullying is often dismissed as a normal rite of passage, but research shows it is as harmful as physical aggression, with devastating, long-term effects.

Name-calling, humiliation, exclusion, and manipulation are some bullying tactics Monica's friend Katie employs. Monica learns to face her fears of betrayal and social isolation and reclaims her power from the bully with the help of a supportive adult - her mother. Included in this wonderful resource for children, parents, teachers, and counselors are helpful tips, discussion questions, and additional information.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Every school counselor, teacher, and parent needs to read My Secret Bully to their child or student. I have a HOOKED audience when I read this book because a lot of kids can relate to the story. There is a lot of bullying (relational aggression) going on in friendships. Sadly, kids think it's normal in friendships to give each other the silent treatment, to be nice one day and mean the next, or be in an all out war against another child. What they learn through the story, is it may be time to re-examine their current friendships. They may also need to re-examine their own behavior. Is this going on in their friendships? And if yes, how do they stop it?  I constantly have kids come to my office asking if they can borrow My Secret Bully  because they'd like to share it with their parent. This has been a helpful resource to end sneaky quiet bullying. Most importantly, it encourages our youth to not keep hurtful behavior a secret.

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

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