One of a line of character-building titles, this focuses on standing up to people who are bullying others.
Three short chapters show how the MVP Kids use STAND to stop the bullying: “Stand tall and be confident. Tell an adult if you run into trouble. Act bravely and walk away if you need to. Notice what is going on around you. Display kindness to others.” On a hike, Lucas refuses to ostracize an unpopular boy, befriending him instead. Faith stops two kids from “intimidating” another student. And Leo leans on his friends (much as he leans on his walker) for help standing up to Charlie when he picks on another kid. With its short, simple tales, follow-up questions about each story and its application to real life, and notes for adults, this is clearly meant for use in an educational setting. The notes focus on various forms of bullying (verbal, mental, social) and showing kindness to everyone, bullies included; empathizing with bullies, the bullied, and bystanders as well as using role play to practice responses; and getting adults involved to prevent future bullying. The book’s format and illustrations look like those found in early readers—short sentences and a sans serif font in different sizes and colors. The MVP Kids include two girls and six boys; three are brown, five are pale. Digital illustrations are as unvarnished as the text; this is a book that puts message above art.
Didactic it may be, but until our schools are bully-free, this provides kids an easy way to remember to STAND together and be kind. (Informational early reader. 4-10)