Posts tagged ‘bulllying’

SEEDS AND TREES

STRONG WORDS

SEEDS AND TREES: A Children’s Book About the Power of Words

WRITTEN BY BRANDON WALDON

ILLUSTRATED BY KRISTEN AND KEVIN HOWDESHELL

 

This book features a young prince as the protagonist. He lives in a castle by the sea. Every day he goes out to collect seeds. The prince soon realizes that some of these seeds become dark seeds, while others remain green. As the trees he plants grow, the dark seeds develop thistles and thorns. The green seeds blossom into beautiful shade trees. The reader comes to understand that the green seeds represent good words that are beautiful and true, while the dark seeds represent harmful, cruel words. As the prince becomes older, he notices that the dark trees are overshadowing the others. One day he meets a young girl who always speaks true and kind words. She carries with her the tools to remove the dark trees. She helps him take care of and nourish the green trees while removing the dark trees.

This tale is a beautiful way to teach children the importance of the type of words they use. Harsh words lead to hurt, bullying, and the destruction of good relationships. I would highly recommend this book to parents and teachers of children in elementary and middle school. It provides lots of material for a variety of discussions on behavior and developing good, strong relationships with peers and adults. The illustrations complement the text beautifully.

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LOVE GROWS

Una Bo: The Magic Tree of Love

Written by Dr. Rebecca Verghese Paul

Illustrated by Ada Konewki

Podero is just a six-year-old boy when he meets Filgard, a wizard, who is passing through the town of Darae. Little Podero has been thinking about the way things were before the war. Podero wishes that he could have something sweet and that his parents would allow him to have a puppy. Filgard asks what he would do with the sweets and Podero says he would share them with his brothers. The wizard rewards Podero by causing a huge tree to grow in the center of town. This tree has the power to grant wishes, but only to those who are pure of heart and do not ask for more than they need.

Pretty soon the villagers gather round and try to rob the tree of its gifts, but they soon learn they will get nothing if they are greedy. Eventually, all learn to partake of the tree with good intentions and moderation. Podero and his best friend, Miyana develop a friendship and trusting relationship with the tree. They name it Una Bo, the tree of love. The tree helps the two friends to achieve their dreams of becoming a baker and a carpenter. Their life if happy until war threatens the town once more. Will the tree be able to save the villagers of Darae?

This chapter book tells a heartwarming story filled with lessons about bullying, generosity, greed, and coming of age. The characters are interesting and relatable. A few color illustrations enhance the tale. That adds to the appeal for beginning and reluctant readers. Highly recommended for middle-grade readers.

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OUT OF THIS WORLD

Alien Kid

Written by Kristen Otte

 

Charlie Baker is the new sixth grader in Silver Lake Middle School. Middle school is a difficult period in any child’s life, but for Charlie, things are especially tough. Charlie and his family tell everyone that they have just moved to upstate New York from Cleveland, but they are aliens from Jupiter’s moon, Europa. A revolution led to a militaristic faction gaining control. Charlie’s family had to flee in order to survive. The family struggles to blend in on Earth, but their ability to read minds is both a blessing and a curse.

Charlie is bullied by Caden and Jordan. He falls in love with a fellow student named Maya, to whom he reveals his secret. But Maya wants Charlie to use his gift to help others. Charlie is having enough problems trying to understand the culture and the language. He says things like “hot spaghetti” and “oh pug” leaving his fellow sixth-graders mystified. The book focuses on middle-grade issues like bullying, peer-school relationships, and first love. This tale will appeal to students struggling to fit into a new school or neighborhood. The characters are believable and realistic.

Recommended especially for readers in fourth through seventh grades, but the story is well-written and appealing for any age.

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ALONE NO MORE…

Gumbo Goes Downtown

Written by Carol Talley

gumbopicA tale that is charming and sweet, yet focuses on some important issues. The obvious story line is about a guard dog named Gumbo, who lives in a shotgun house on St. Charles Street in New Orleans. He spends most of his time barking at any one who comes near the chain link fence, such as the girl in a polka dot dress and the postman. When the postman fails to close the gate one day, Gumbo seizes the opportunity to see the world. He follows the trolley tracks downtown to New Orleans. Here he meets up with a poodle named Pompon and a champion pure breed named Stella. Gumbo has the time of his life in Jackson Square with clowns, dancers, jugglers, musicians and the like. Soon his friends leave to go home and be pampered by their owners. Gumbo begins to miss his house and owner Gus, whom he never appreciated. Will Gumbo decide to remain free in the big city on his own and fend for himself or return to his former life?

The book description suggests an audience of K-2. While the simple story of Gumbo’s adventure is appropriate for that age group, the larger issues of homelessness and running away from home are better addressed to a middle grade audience. Talley provides a nice guide for parents and teachers to set up a discussion on these issues. Maeno’s illustrations are soft, colorful and appealing, but the text is small and difficult to read on some of the pages. I recommend the book especially for parents and teachers who would like to open up a discussion on homelessness, running away, and poverty. Talley also includes an interesting background section on New Orleans and the points of interest mentioned in the story.

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NIGHTMARES NO MORE

Furry Friends No More Book 1: Boris to the Rescue

Written by Kaz Campbell

Boris,pic

Bob is pretty much your average fourth grader. His father is a teacher at his school; that can be a problem. Lately, he has been having bad dreams that keep him up at night. His mother has a solution; she gives him a dream catcher and explains that his dreams will be trapped there and no longer keep him awake. Bob is astonished when a red furry monster named Boris materializes out of the dream catcher. Boris will answer Bob’s call whenever he needs help. Turns out Boris can help him with homework and bullies who pick on Bob at school. How can Bob explain Boris when no one else can see this little furry friend?

The comical adventures of Bob and Boris cover topics important to elementary school children like fitting in at school, bullying and parental relationships. Book can best be described as an early chapter book. There are a few digital illustrations randomly added to provide support for early readers. First in a series. Recommended especially for ages six through eight.

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CAPTAIN NO BEARD BLOG TOUR – INTERVIEW WITH CAROLE P. ROMAN

Captain No Beard Blog Tour Twitter copy

Interview with Award-Winning Author Carole P. Roman

Captain No beard is a labor of love. I wrote the first story, Captain No Beard The Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life, on a whim, never expecting the crew to become as dear and as close to me as family. I am speaking about the inanimate crewmembers, not my grandchildren from which many of the characters are based, of course

Each character was created from the folks that people my life—my playmates, partners, and cohorts. The journeys and adventures are events that affected us—from my nephew being bullied (The Crew Goes Coconuts), to my grandson’s desire to steal the aurora borealis (Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis).

While Captain No Beard is loosely based on my grandson Alexander and the adventures we share, when he became bossy and difficult in Stuck in the Doldrums, his personality more resembled his grandfather, the captain of our own ship. Fortunately for me, my husband never read the book. He told me he’d wait for the movie to come out.

Polly’s inability to tell her right from left in Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience is a birds-eye view of my own issues. I cannot tell my right from left. She is a peacemaker who loves to read (The Treasure of Snake Island) and until I wrote this article, I didn’t realize that she has, in fact, a startling resemblance to me. 

Linus the Lion could only be my youngest brother, who is a big, sleepy, rough-tough kind of guy with a gentle side he likes to hide. Sometimes, he is seen as a scaredy cat in the books. In true life, he is not afraid of anything, except perhaps me.  Don’t tell him he is Linus! Do you think he’ll guess it when the movie to comes out?

Mongo the Monkey is an instigator, a combination of troublemakers that I work with. Lovable, cranky, co-workers that peek in my office wanting to know where the next installment is taking our ship. I’m making them wait for the movie to come out.

Fribbet the Frog is a nervous wreck. He hops around full of doom and gloom worrying about what will happen, even when nothing special is going on. He is my middle brother and can sometimes predict the direst things. He deals with a surplus of siblings (Fribbet the Frog and the Tadpoles) much as my brother has had to do. I have the pleasure of working with him daily. He is the CFO of our company and is the doomiest and gloomiest of anybody on our ship, err…I mean staff. As far as he’s concerned, the movie will never come out.

Bonnie Lemaire created my beautiful crew, giving Linus his devilish pirate braid, and Fribbet his excited expressions. Mongo is delightfully spastic, and Polly wears an attractive bandana. 

She had no idea the crewmembers were my own and while Alexander was two when we started, Hallie was a mere three months old. Together we captured my grandson’s bravery, his charm, and winning personality without even realizing it. Our perception of Hallie’s calm voice of reason and quiet dignity soon became reality as well. Cayla arrived three days after Hurricane Sandy, sweeping into our series with the same force as her effervescent nature, and lastly, my baby boy Zachary is ready for anything, anywhere, anytime—just as we predicted. The great set of pipes is not imaginary either.

This is my crew and I adore them. Like playing a great game of imagination, I made it up as I went along, stealing and plundering tidbits of life like the pirate I am. I smile at their antics and laugh as they figure out what to do with whatever life throws their way. I don’t need to wait for the movie to come out—I’m living it everyday.

About Carole P. Roman

carole p roman headshot hd

Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 for her first book, award-winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born. She lives on Long Island with her husband and very near her children and grandchildren—the inspiration for her books.

CarolePRoman.com | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

About the Captain No Beard Series

Captain No Beard Social Twitter

Captain No Beard sets sail on 9 separate voyages of the imagination with his fearless crew aboard his pirate ship The Flying Dragon

When a young boy named Alexander, his cousin Hallie, and some stuffed animals, board his bed their world is transformed into a magical vessel, sailing the seven seas on a dangerous and exciting adventure! Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life was named to Kirkus Review’ BEST OF 2012 for children’s Indie Books, and garnered the Kirkus Star of Exceptional Merit, as was Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis. In addition to many other merits awarded the series, The Foreword review gave “Five Star” reviews to Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience: A Captain No Beard Story and A Flag for the Flying Dragon: A Captain No Beard Story.

 

Captain No Beard Series Giveaway

Captain No Beard Series Giveaway Facebook

Enter to win a complete autographed set of the Captain No Beard series, by award-winning author Carole P. Roman; plus the PLAYMOBIL Red Serpent Pirate Ship. Enter to win here »

Giveaway begins September 1, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 30, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

This is the last day of the blog tour.  PLEASE ENTER NOW!

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WHAT’S IN THE SUITCASE?

Mr. Brown’s Suitcase

Written by Kate Hughes

Mr.Brown'ssuitcase,pic

An interesting novel set in England explores the life at home and school of a middle school boy. Jez is understandably confused and bitter. His step-dad Steven is an out of work alcoholic who resents him, while favoring his two young sons Josh and Cal. Mum is so fearful of him that she has developed agoraphobia, refusing to go out alone even to shop for food. Jez has assumed responsibility for bringing food home and getting his brothers to school. He attempts to cover his problems by being a rebel at school.

One day, his teacher Mrs. Wright becomes ill. A substitute named Mr. Brown rapidly turns the tables on the out of control students in the class. Mr. Brown has only two rules; raise your hand to say something and treat others the way you want to be treated. At first Jez continues his mischievous behavior, but later becomes intrigued by the soft spoken man who makes learning interesting and rewards students by allowing them a peek in his secret suitcase. Jez is dying to know what is in it.

In the meantime, things get worse at home. Jez becomes the man of the house, but learns that he is not as tough as he thinks when neighborhood bullies try to lure him into vandalism and shoplifting. He discovers a hidden artistic talent which Mr. Brown encourages him to develop. Overhearing a conversation by chance, Jez decides he must act. He is really scared, but he forces himself to contact someone who will change all their lives for the better and give the family a new start.

This book honestly explores the issues of peer pressure, divorce, alcoholism and domestic violence that many children must face each day. The author does not preach or reveal solutions, but allows her protagonist to show the possibilities by trial and error. Children age nine or ten and older should find the story appealing and informative.

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