Sadly, we live in a world where we sometimes encounter bullies. That’s why Bullies are a Pain in the Brain by Trevor Romain is one of our recommended books for kids to learn how to deal with bullying. Melissa Gaynor from Sweet on Books explains why:
What You Need to Know:
• While this book can be read at the Reader Junior level, it can be appropriate for any age or reader level.
• Like any book that deals with a difficult and meaningful topic, this information may lead to questions or concerns.
• Gangs and weapons are briefly mentioned as a form of bullying.
• This book will hopefully inspire some parent-child conversations.
• A humorous element is incorporated into this serious subject.
Dealing with bullies is never easy, and each person’s experience is going to be different, but this book offers a place to start the conversation on how you or your child can manage their own particular situation. Even if your child has never been bullied, this information will help them be more prepared should the situation arise or even just make them more aware of appropriate behavior. It explains what bullying is, and let’s kids know that they’re not the only ones to encounter it and that it is never their fault. From there, it goes on to address why people are bullies and how to deal with them. Some of the strategies Romain suggests are sticking up for yourself, following your instincts, ignoring the name calling and removing yourself from the situation.
There are plenty of pictures and only a few concepts on each page so it is easy to move through the book pretty quickly. There are questions and examples throughout and at the end it includes resources for kids and a message to parents and teachers. Romain uses humor to make a difficult topic somewhat more comfortable. He does briefly bring up some serious issues, though, like gangs and weapons. In the end, hopefully readers will find some ideas or even just confirmation of different ways to feel stronger and more powerful when faced with the cruelty of a bully. While this book was important when it was written, it is probably even more relevant today as we see incidents of bullying increasing as technology advances. Bullies are no longer at school or on the playground, but now they can reach their targets at home 24/7 with cell phones and computers. It is extremely important to start talking about these issues at a young age so that our kids will have as many tools as possible to cope, if and when they need to. Even if your kid’s not being bullied, talking about it might give them the confidence to help a friend or be more aware of their own behavior.