Sophia Writes to Her Bully: Review

Sophia Writes to Her Bully
By Dr. Mildred D. Peyton, with Leah N. Peyton and Jada L. Peyton
Illustrator: Andy Hoang
Category: Children’s fiction, 24 pages
Genre: Education, Social Skills & School Life
Release date: February 21, 2017

Book Reviews - Liked ItLiked It

Synopsis:

Content Rating: G

Sophia experiences verbal and social (also referred to as relational) bullying from her classmates during recess. Whenever Sophia attempts to play with a group of students from her fourth-grade class, she is rejected; Amber also calls her an inappropriate name. Only when Sophia takes action by confronting her bully with a letter does her victimization finally end. Want to know what Sophia was being called and how her classmates treated her? Read Sophia Writes to Her Bully and find out what her letter is all about!

Social exclusion is a form of bullying experienced by some children. When it occurs, they feel isolated, alone, and humiliated. It is important for parents to be informed and talk with their children about all types of bullying (e.g., verbal, physical, social/relational, and cyberbullying) so they are better equipped to intervene or prevent their child from bullying others or being a victim of bullying.

Review:

I choose to do this book because I wanted to do a post for Bullying Prevention Month which is October.  The story is one that many kids will recognize, from both points of view. Sophia just wants to play with a group of friends during recess, but they keep excluding her.  Amber seems to be excluding without thinking about it or without realizing what she’s doing. I think it’s important to remember that not every bully is a “mean kid”. Frankly sometimes kids just say mean things without thinking about it, they may be afraid of including someone new in their group, or they may not know how to handle situations with new people.

When Sophia comes home and tells her mom what’s been happening  her mom acts with empathy, but doesn’t blow up the issue. I appreciated that she took some time to think about a solution while allowing Sophia some time to rest and refresh. Her mother doesn’t tell her what a bad person those other kid are, or tell her to just ignore them,  or call up the school and demand that they do something. Her calm solution helps to defuse the problem rather than escalate it.

The solution resolves itself rather quickly, and I would have preferred if the book had gone on for a few more pages with Amber and Sophia having to take a few more steps to resolve their problem.

The illustrations are unique, very colorful and expressive, and much improved from the first book (see more below.)

Bottom Line:

A book that you can use to create space for conversations around bullying, but stops short of being a really good book.

Goodreads / Amazon


A Bully on the School Bus
by Dr. Mildred D. Peyton and Leah N. Peyton
Illustrator: Andy Hoang
Category: Children’s fiction, 26 pages
Genre: Education, Social Skills & School Life
Release date: Sept 2015

Book Reviews- It Was OkayIt Was Okay

Synopsis:

Content Rating: G

Nicole is the main character in the book “A Bully on the School Bus.” Nicole is a young girl who rides the school bus to school every day. It wasn’t until Nicole started experiencing problems with another bus-rider named Dylan when she became uncomfortable being on this bus. Her experience with Dylan is a form of bullying, and she was frightened. After several incidences, Nicole made her parent aware and found a way to solve the problem.

Review:

The first book in by Dr. Mildred D. Peyton and it feels like it. Phrases are awkward, and the flow of the book just seems off. The illustrations are amateurish and while they are expressive they just don’t seem professional. This book has a great idea, but really needs more polish.

Goodreads / Amazon

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