#SOL15: Day 6, The Bully Book

He sits on his knees, leaning on his forearms. His body is draped over the desk.  Three other boys surround him, reading.

S, N, A, and P love video games, graphic novels, and recess. They have a hard time settling in a classroom. Historically, they’ve needed shorter books and lots of teacher support.

After recess, they are totally engaged in this book:


Here’s an excerpt:

I’m an observer. I see what works and what doesn’t. Why does a joke sound funny coming from one kid but seem stupid when someone else says it? Why do some kids eat alone while others are rolling in friends? These are the questions I’ve been  thinking about.

This mystery, based on Eric Kahn Gale’s elementary school experiences, has grabbed my students. It names what they deal with every day. These boys are expert in bullying.  They’ve been on both sides: the bully and the bullied. This story speaks to them.

S, N, A and P don’t sit together. They’ve been known to argue and bully each another. But the gravitational pull of this book has sucked them in. It’s as if sitting together intensifies their experience.

I’m fascinated, and wonder — How are they internalizing this?

I heard one of them in the midst of reading say, “This is M!” They are connecting, but do they see themselves?

At the very least, this is a book they want to read. They love it without me helping them love it. They love it all by themselves. That is huge.

They plan to talk tomorrow.

I can’t wait.


Thanks to Anna, Beth, Betsy, Dana, Stacey and Tara of Two Writing Teachers blog for hosting the Slice of Life March Story Challenge.  Read other slices here.