Sticks, Stones & Stumped by Deb Landry (Author), MelissaPelletier (Illustrator)
Reviewed by Rachel Lower
As a child, I didn't know what to do if I was targeted by a bully. From the time I went to summer camp after grade 6, to the end of grade 8, one female classmate targeted me. I just tried to ignore her.
In "Sticks, Stones & Stumped" a new student, Billy Bob, becomes the newest victim of the class bully, Bull E Moose. Like real life bullying scenarios, Billy Bob and his new friends are intimidated by Bull E Moose; so, for a long time they sulk in the background when Bull E Moose is being mean. Like my case, Billy Bob wasn't about to tell his mom or teacher. He was scared of repercussions. Billy Bob's friends rationalize that Bull E Moose will eventually move on to someone else. (Something I was told in my case too!)
Eventually, Bull E Moose gets himself into a life threatening situation, and Billy Bob comes to his rescue. This puts the bully into an awkward position. That's when Billy Bob's friends and teacher, who was just informed of what's been happening, confront the situation. His friends tell the teacher they didn't want to tattle, to which the teacher responds that it's important to tell an adult if someone is being hurt. She tells them that ignoring bullying can be harmful, even dangerous.
In the end, Billy Bob and his friends learn about sticking up for one another, and that sometimes it's important to tell on someone. The mass support of Billy Bob, from his peers and teacher, should put Bull E Moose in his place.
I wish I had known "it's important to tell an adult" when I was in JH. Once I finally told a couple trusted adults, out of desperation, they confronted the bully and her new sidekick (who did most of the "in my face" teasing). The rumors and teasing stopped. However, I was already (unknowingly) clinically depressed at that point. Had I immediately sought help from an adult when the bullying started, or had I acted during the previous episodes in years past (from the same girl!), I would have avoided so much heartache in my life. I was so depressed and socially anxious from their hounding me, that I begged my parents to homeschool me. They did, and I made sure I could stay socially isolated and "safe" during my teen years-- the lost years. I wouldn't have missed out on my teen years had I known how to handle a bully!
"Sticks, Stones & Stumped" is meant for young children. As the majority of children are likely to be bullied at some point in their school careers, the lessons in this book are essential; ignoring them could be disastrous.
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