When I read a description of The Bully Barn: A Lesson For Bullies, Bystanders and Victims by Robert Gioia, I was so excited to review the book with my son, who is a lover of farms and tractors. My son can be sensitive when it comes to dealing with other children and I thought this book would help him with his issues.
Children tend to be able to see things differently through animals and that is what is so great about this book. The animals of the barn all represent different ways one can be involved in bullying.
Gioia tells the story of a little mouse, named Marty, who visits the duck pond every day to find peace from the barn where he is bullied constantly. Carla, the chicken, is the leader of the bullying crowd. The sheep and cows follow along and act as bystanders.
The owl is the first animal to admit his fault, though he is just a mere bystander. Bystanders watch the bullying take place, but do not stop it. Marty learns that the duck pond is only an escape from the bullying and not an answer to the problem. He finds the courage to stand up for himself and his friend, Rusty the Rooster.
This book presents bullying in a different light from many others. It shows that there is a real way out. Self-esteem, maturity and problem-solving are all required to stand up to a bully the way Marty does with the other farm animals.
There are different ways one can be bullied: emotionally, physically, and/or socially. A bully is still a bully. If one is no longer viewed as lesser or alone, than the bullying can be stopped. My 5-year-old son enjoyed the questions at the end of the book which bring up different aspects of the situation and how each farm animal was involved.
The Bully Barn: A Lesson For Bullies, Bystanders and Victims is a great book for younger children to listen to at school or at home. There are a few illustrations, but my Kindle only shows them in black and white. There is information on bullying before and after the story, as well as discussion questions. Bullying is a misunderstood topic and Gioia shows its true light. This educational tool is available on Kindle.
Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.
Copyright 2014 Tanya Weitzel