Book Review: My Friend Maggie

Author/Illustrator: Hannah E Harrison
Interest Level: Ages 5 and Up

About This Book: A sweet and heart-tugging story about bullying, friendship, and fitting in. Paula and Maggie have been friends forever. Paula thinks Maggie is the best—until mean girl Veronica says otherwise. Suddenly, Paula starts to notice that Maggie is big and clumsy, and her clothes are sort of snuggish. Rather than sticking up for Maggie, Paula ignores her old friend and plays with Veronica instead. Luckily, when Veronica turns on Paula, Maggie’s true colors shine through. 

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is a powerful story about exclusion and how harmful it can feel. As a school counselor I have witnessed these types of power plays among students. It is very hurtful when a student tells another student not to play with a certain person. Veronica puts down Maggie by body shaming and saying that she is too big. It's a putdown I have heard other students use. I have not used a story like this before so it was a good discussion when we read it. This book fits perfectly into my curriculum around including others and accepting differences. I also like how the victim in the story ends up being the upstander. 

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