Why is Everybody Always Picking on Me: A Guide to Handling Bullies

By Terrence Webster-Doyle; Weatherhill; 1991; pp 131.

Ages: 9 to 12

Think about it. You and your spouse are having marital problems. Would you walk around carrying Dr. Phil’s Relationship Rescue: A Seven-Step Strategy for Reconnecting with Your Partner?! Sheesh. So the biggest problem with this book—and it has several—is the title and the cover art. A kid might as well walk around with a sign that says “kick me!” as check this out of the library. The book does provide sympathetic insights into the roots and causes of bullying, interesting examples (yes, parents can be bullies), and role-playing strategies that can help youngsters cope with and avoid bullying. Each chapter includes questions and thought-provoking exercises that increase awareness of bullying and victimhood and even allow readers to see bullying through the eyes of the perpetrator. However, the book fixates on the martial arts (Disclaimer: the book was published in cooperation with the Martial Arts for Peace Association) and then veers again, discussing how propaganda is a form of bullying and war is the ultimate permutation of bullying. Great topics, but this might not be the venue for those discussions.

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