Monday, October 15, 2007


Super Emma

by Sally Warner.

Yet another young reader featuring a spunky young girl, this little star is not the wild and wacky diva so many other strive to be. Rather, she is just a regular girl who in this short early reader, jumps into a situation without thinking, taking on a bully who is bothering a classmate. Bullying situiations are complicated, though, and she asks her mother not to get involved, while also finding herself on the receiving end of some hateful glares from the kid she tried to help. She draws the bully's ire, and the situation escalates into a full-scale schoolyard scrap. She and the bully's other victim get themselves in trouble, as does the bully, and the whole class endures an afternoon of lecturing and problem-solving talks. Her mom is proud of her standing up to the bully, though not thrilled with the fighting, and the lesson is passed on without preaching that the kid who told the teacher did the right thing. All in all, not a bad treatment of how a bullying situation can get out of hand, and how it could be better handled, without straying into Earnest territory.

Try also Andrew Clements' Jake Drake, Bully Buster, another early reader on the same theme.

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