Category Archives: bullying

Sticks by Joan Bauer

Sticks, Joan Bauer

While I have enjoyed most of Joan Bauer’s books (Hope Was Here, Looking for Alaska, Almost Famous and more) I wasn’t sure when someone recently gave me a copy of Sticks.
Cover? Not that great…
Short content? Said it was about pool and math.
I am not into pool.
And I don’t like math.
But Newbery Award winning author Joan Bauer spins a great tale. Her words, her language drew me right in. I came to care for Mickey. And his motley crew of friends.
They became real. I wanted to know more. What would happen.
I couldn’t put the book down.
One of those wonderful books where you “see the movie in your head” as you read. Where you do want to know how it ends, but you don’t want the ending to come. Which it always does.
OK, maybe it was just a tiny bit predictable. I kept wondering if all would really end well. But the ride was wonderful.
This is a book that especially boys will like. A story about tough kids in a small town. 5th Graders. But there’s just enough girl to make it a story for them, too. A good book for anyone, really. If she’d made it a 7th grader it would have worked too, and more kids would possibly read it.
What intrigued me most is how Joan Bauer weaves playing pool and math together effortlessly. Who knew that pool can be based on math? It sure sounds plausible. Throw in a science project, a bully, a truck, and you have great ingredients.  Let Joan Bauer tell the story and you have… a plain good book you should read.

Then follow up, if you are a teacher, with her teaching guide:
http://joanbauer.com/ToolkitTeachers.html

  • ISBN 13: 9780142404287ISBN 10: 0142404284

Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester

Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester, Lynn Munsinger (Illustrator)

This is my favorite picture book about bullying. Great to use with students of all ages.
Poor Rodney Rat can’t pronounce his R’s and the other rodents tease him mercilessly. Wodney is shy and mostly hides inside his jacket.
But when Camilla Capybara joins Rodney’s class and announces that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than any of the other rodents, everyone is afraid. It seems she really is bigger, meaner, and smarter than all of the rest of them.
Until Wodney Wat, catches Camilla out in a game of Simon Says. Read along with Wodney as he surprises himself and his classmates by single-handedly saving the whole class from the big bad bully. Children will delight as shy Rodney Rat triumphs over all and his tiny voice decides the day.
Paperback, 32 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ISBN
061821612X (ISBN13: 9780618216123)

Lesson Plan: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/hooway-wodney-wat-lesson-plan