Weird! Book One of the Weird! Series

By Erin Frankel

Illustrated by Paula Heaphy

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Luisa thinks there is something wrong with her because a girl in her class calls her “weird” every time she does something.  Whether she’s answering a question in math, telling a joke at lunch or kissing her mom at pick-up time, Sam says, “weird!”      Luisa keeps changing the things she does but Sam keeps calling her weird.  After her mother’s advice to be herself, Luisa works at building her self-confidence and ignoring Sam’s hurtful words.  By gently and realistically taking a sweet character through an all-too-common dilemma, the reader can see Luisa triumph in the best possible way: being herself.

This would make a good read aloud during an anti-bullying program or a one-on-one if a child needs help navigating this problem him or herself.  The black and white drawings using a single color to bring out some aspect of each two page spread evoke a graphic novel feel.  Luisa is a charming character both in the text and in the illustrations.  Sam is even sympathetically portrayed.  There is a lengthy section in the back for adults to deal with bullying and advise each child in the bullying cycle: the target, the bully and the bystander.  Other books in the Bully Free Kids series are told from each of those perspectives.  There are reflection questions for every page as well as suggested reading activities.  A valuable contribution to anti-bullying literature.

Leader’s Guide to the Weird Series

  • TITLE: Weird!
  • AUTHOR: Erin Frankel
  • ILLUSTRATOR: Paula Heaphy
  • PUBLISHER: Free Spirit Publishing, 2012
  • REVIEWER: Risa Brown
  • EDITION: Hardcover, 42 p.
  • ISBN: 978-1-57542-398-2
  • LEXILE: 660

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