The Hare And The Tortoise (Beat The Bullies!)

Written by Mike Nach


This book is certainly not a rehash of the familiar tale, but rather a unique guide on the problem of bullying written to inform, entertain and enlighten children and adults. In the introduction, the author presents an overview on what bullying is, the effects of bullying, and the problems it causes. He promises that the story will help out victims of bullying.

His story is set in the peaceful forest where an alligator, bear, owl and python maintain law and order. Harry Hare is a natural athlete. His wife, Cathy scolds him for his vanity and tells him, “Your attitude sucks.” On the other hand, Tom Tortoise and his family are the slowest creatures in the forest, but they are kind and peaceful. One day while on his way to collect mushrooms for his family, Tom is accosted by Harry who taps on his shell and belittles him for his slowness. Poor Tom tries to avoid Harry and becomes troubled and anxious. But one day, Mr. Fox notices his worry and assures Tom he has a plan. Tom follows his suggestion, even though he is not confident that the plan will work. Harry will learn his lesson and Tom will have a peaceful life once more.

That is not the end of the lesson for the reader. In the second half of the book Nach provides a summary of the seven types of bullies: verbal bullies, emotional bullies, physical bullies, cyber bullies, sexual bullies, racist/status bullies, and adult bullies. More importantly, he sets up an action plan for the victims of bullies to pursue. The strategy includes remaining calm and confident, avoiding the bully whenever possible, controlling your emotions, reporting all instances to an authority figure, blocking gossip from the bully, and learning self defense. Nach’s final advice to a victim of bullying is never give up on yourself or give in to bullying others.

I recommend this book to parents, librarians, and teachers as an much needed and effective guide to introducing and discussing the problem of bullying to all school age children. The author does not preach, rather he talks to children in language they understand using phrases like, “whatever” and “don’t mess with me.” Makes the reader feel as if he is speaking with a good friend discussing a problem. In my opinion, that is what makes this book so enjoyable, informative and effective.

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