Dare!: Book Two (The Weird Series)
By Erin Frankel
Illustrated by Paula Heaphy
The characters from The Bully Free Kids series are back in this picture book, and this time its about the bystander, Jayla. Sam has been picking on Luisa and Jayla can’t bring herself to do anything about it. Sam picked on Jayla last year and it made her feel terrible. Now that Sam is picking on Luisa, Jayla is relieved to be excluded from Sam’s torment, but she worries about Luisa. She feels guilty because she knows how it feels, but doesn’t know what to do. Sam even expects Jayla to pick on Luisa as well. By going along with Sam, Jayla thought she would feel accepted, but she just feels worse. The only thing to do is take steps to stop the bullying. She is scared at first, but she gains courage and confidence as things improve once she and Luisa stand up to Sam.
The Bully Free Kids series has three volumes: one from the victim’s perspective (Weird!), the bystander’s perspective (Dare!) and the bully’s perspective (Tough!). Dare! shows sensitivity to the child who has endured bullying for some time and shows how much fear he or she lives with. All three books would be good read alouds for an anti-bullying program. The emphasis on courage in this book is helpful to any child facing bullying in his or her daily life. The reading activities included in the book are excellent both for young readers to do on their own or for teachers or counselors who want to make a unit out of the books. The reading level would be easy enough for the students to read on their own or in a reader’s theatre. I continue to be impressed by this series.