________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 20 . . . .May 25, 2007


The Bully. (New Series Canada).

Liz Brown.
Toronto, ON: HIP Books, 2005.
90 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 1-897039-08-5.

Subject Headings:
Bullying-Juvenile fiction.
Teenage girls-Juvenile fiction.
High schools-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 5-10 / Ages 10-15.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4


The Bully: Teacher's Guide.

Lori Jamison.
Toronto, ON: HIP Books, 2005.
20 pp., pbk., $5.95.

Grades 5-10 / Ages 10-15.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

*** /4



Justin and I were standing in line when his cell phone rang. He looked down, saw the number, and cut it off.

"Who was that?" I asked him. I wasn't being nosy-really, I wasn't. I was just kind of curious.

But then Justin turned red in the face. "Just some stupid girl," he said, "bugging me."

"Anybody I know?" I asked him.

"Don't think so," he replied. "I think her name is Danielle something…I can't remember the last name."

Suddenly I felt myself turn red in the face. "Danni Heller?" I asked.

"Yeah, that's her name," he said, almost with a shrug. "Doesn't know how to take no for an answer, I guess."

Then he kissed me on the cheek and the line began to move into the theatre. I couldn't ask him any more questions then. Nor could he sense the awful beating of my heart.


Four years ago, Allie's best friend Danni turned on her. Danni became a bully and made Allie's life miserable. Now in high school, Danni is back to torment Allie, and this time she's determined to get Allie's boyfriend, Justin.

     What starts with phone calls, escalates into threats, and vicious rumors. Soon, Danni's word is believed over Allie's! Fortunately, there are a few people not laughing at Allie or whispering behind her back. Greg does some spy work in the bathroom for Allie, Caitlin convinces Allie to tell someone about the bullying, and Ms. Drayton gives a speech to the class that clarifies for everyone what's been happening.

      After the bullying stops, Allie sees a different side of Danni and Justin, but it's too late. These friendships have been damaged. Allie has learned whom she can and cannot trust, and this helps her when she's faced with two decisions she has to make at the end of the story.

      Liz Brown, who also wrote Dark Ryder for "New Series Canada," is from Ontario. She remembers the bullying in her high school and how the teachers set up a program where students and bullies were able to talk to one another. The Bully is a story to which many students will relate, and one from which many students and teachers can learn.

      There is a helpful Teacher's Guide for The Bully. Twenty pages in length, there are many features inside that will be of use in the classroom. For those unfamiliar with these high-interest, low-vocabulary books, Lori Jamison, a Language Arts Consultant for the Regina Public Schools, explains how the books and stories in "New Series Canada" are designed for reluctant readers in grades 5-10. The stories, which have an average of a grade 3.5 readability level, include black and white illustrations every few pages to help readers who may need help visualizing the story. After providing ideas for introducing the novel to the classroom, Jamison provides plot summaries, discussion points, and a reproducible activity sheet for the chapters. Also included are an eight question quiz, and seven After-Reading Activities that provide further reflection for the students. This study guide is sure to develop the student's understanding of the book, and enhance the teacher's and the student's enjoyment of the story.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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