Bullying: self-help books

How to Handle Bullies, Teasers and other Meanies (8-12 years)
Author Kate Cohen-Posie, 2008

'Useful and simple. Nice techniques and responses to help kids deal with a bully'. 

Review: The book opens with a discussion of what makes bullies and teasers tick, giving tweens important insight into why their bullies may be acting the way they do. It covers various forms of bullying (name-calling, prejudice, etc.) and offers multiple ways to handle these situations. Cohen-Posey also includes examples of ways to respond to mean, bullying comments, a glossary of important terms, and a section for parents. Cohen-Posey's book is a great resource for tweens who are being bullied. The second chapter ('What Makes Teasers and Bullies Tick?') exposes bullies as people who "act mean because they feel angry, hurt, or afraid" (Cohen-Posey, 1995, p.11). It develops empathy for other people and to consideration for what they may be going through. Another of the book's strengths is its comic approach. Many of the suggested responses to a bully's mean comments are hilarious! However, some tweens may find the book a bit immature. The use of the word "meanies" in the book's title, for example, may seem childish. Thus, the book is best suited for younger, less mature tweens. 

Bullying: A Parents' Guide
Author Jennifer Thompson, 2005

'An educational guide to help parents prevent and deal with bullying sensitively'. 

Review: The author provides the reader with a clear understanding of bullying. She illustrates how bullied children feel by using personal experiences and those of other victims. She clearly states the seriousness of the problem and relates very practical steps parents can take to prevent and deal with bullying including legal obligations of schools. Unfortunately, the author paints a rather bleak picture of the children who are bullied. In her effort to highlight the seriousness of bullying, she fails to acknowledge the significant number of people who are bullied yet well-adjusted in later life.