Roberts addresses prejudice, bullying, and allied behavior with young children.
Like the rest of the World Around Us series, this title aims to help children confront difficult truths about our world and to empower them to create change. The text begins with an unspecified bullying incident, which it then reframes as “harassment,” saying “when someone is harassed because they are different, it’s often due to prejudice held by the person who is being mean.” While these terms are defined, biases “based on that person’s different race, religion, sex, age or ability” are presented as existing in an equitable vacuum, without attention to the impacts of systemic imbalances of power and marginalization. The narrative does not follow anti-racism best practices by acknowledging that biases are the stories we all tell ourselves about other people before we know them and also advocating that everyone work against biases by acknowledging privilege and resisting internalized oppression. While the text does address openness to learning about others, its failure to situate harassment/bullying and allied behavior within the realities of social and political inequities undermines its efficacy. Throughout, illustrations and photos of diverse people depict scenarios of bullying and allied behavior, and Q-and-A text models conversations between adults and children about prejudice.
A heartfelt if inadequate tool to provoke conversations about prejudice and bullying. (Informational picture book. 5-8)