Publishers Weekly, 2004-05-31 Moss and Lyon make their children's book debuts with this well-intentioned if often wooden story, which opens as the narrator points out "a kid in my school who gets picked on all the time," another boy who gets teased and pushed in the halls, and a girl who always sits alone on the bus. The narrator asserts that she doesn't harass these individuals ("I don't say anything"). One day when she's sitting alone in the cafeteria, three schoolmates approach her and start telling jokes. She laughs-until the jokes "started to be about me." Her tormentors laugh as she cries, and the students eating at the next table stare at her in silence. When she relays the story to her older brother and shares her anger at the students at the neighboring table, he replies, "Why? They didn't do anything," and she responds, "Right." The tale ends abruptly on the following spread, as the narrator is pictured smiling with another girl: "On the bus the next day, I sat next to the girl who always sits alone. She's really funny!" The somewhat simplistic and monotonous tone is relieved by the impressionistic watercolors, which successfully capture the girl's expressions and moods. Concluding tips about dealing with bullying speak to older, more sophisticated readers ("Say something to the bully. Don't become part of the fight. But remember, often just a quick word or two will make the teasing or the mean-spirited joke stop"). Ages 5-12. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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