Useful ideas about dealing with bullies, wrapped in a loving hug.

Bully Proof


A debut guide advises adults who want to help children eliminate bullying.

In his book, Leigh-Smith writes that when children come to him “saying that they have a bully in their life, the first thing that I do is congratulate them.” This upbeat, brains-over-brawn approach urges children to think of getting bullied as a challenging opportunity for personal improvement and growth, rather than as a negative encounter. This manual details 28 concepts and 20 hands-on strategies for extinguishing a bully’s fire, providing tips on how to ignore or deflect taunts. Part I highlights concepts—such as the different types of bullying—and lays the foundation for helping children understand their own self-worth. Confident kids with healthy self-esteem shed the “victim mentality,” asserts the author, and are less likely to be targets. Part II offers easy activities for building a child’s self-esteem. For example, kids can draw a “Dream Board” of desired life goals to help visualize their futures. According to the author, a child with an anti-bullying team of adults and a larger circle of friends is also less likely to attract bullies. Part III explores how youngsters can develop positive relationships with others. This gentle, thoughtful, and amicable manual sometimes delivers eyebrow-raising advice: telling a small child who has been pounded by a big kid to be empathetic with the perpetrator seems more like fantasy and less like the real world. But the author does present several practical points, including how to cope with cyber-bullies and document persistent harassment. For the novice, some of the mental tips are refreshingly new; for example, Leigh-Smith recommends that a child never stand still when confronted by a bully, as even slight shifts of the body can keep the mind from “freezing.” Embellished with debut illustrator Niebler’s cute black-and-white drawings, the pleasant, readable chapters flow easily and end with key concepts. Leigh-Smith’s conversational stories and sayings are memorable; for example, kids are urged to hold friends like water in their palms, instead of becoming too clingy. When all else fails, the author recommends physical self-defense (he is partial to martial arts) to escape a foe as quickly as possible.

Useful ideas about dealing with bullies, wrapped in a loving hug.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4602-9162-7

Page Count: -

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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