Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Title: Stop Picking on Me
Author: Pat Thomas
Illustrated by: Lesley Harker
Reading level: Ages 4-7
Publisher: Wayland Publishers Ltd.

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CLICK HERE for more about the author of Stop Picking on Me
Parents Anonymous
675 West Foothill Blvd.
Suite 220
Claremont, CA 91711-3416
(909) 621-6184

Works for the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Publishes two free newsletters. With 31 state and 1200 local groups, the organization may be listed in your local phone directory.

Stop Picking on Me  is a friendly children’s picture book that teaches children about bullies and would be bullies. The book has a myriad of characters that are being bullied, and explains why bullying happens and where it may have stemmed from.  The book does not encourage bullying through fighting back but rather through the approach of compassion and kindness.This book emphasizes that it is acceptable for children to tell an adult or teacher they trust about the bullying they are either witnessing or experiencing. Additionally, this book poses various questions that encourage children to think about what they do or have seen others do that may be considered bullying. The book concludes with the message that without bullies the world is a better friendlier place to live.

Element #6- Taking Social Action:
Stop Picking on Me: Reinforces the taking social action element because it teaches children about taking action against bullies, the book has various conversation striking illustrations that display the reasons why some children are bullied; be it because of skin color, the clothes they wear, and that sometimes it happens for no reason at all. The book portrays the issue of bullying in a very creative way that makes it feel real. Through resourceful illustrations children are able to see how being bullied negatively affects the characters of the book. This book provides children with a first look at how to combat bullying by taking action and speaking out about the issue with an adult or teacher they trust. It is also a great conversation starter for parents looking to speak to their children about this issue.

Follow-Up Activity:
Stop Picking on Me offers a “how to use this book” section, that encourages parents, teachers and schools to take a stance against bullying. It advises parents, to not encourage the child to fight back but rather to acknowledge how their child feels. It also encourages them to take a look around at their environment at home and to look objectively at how family members interact with one another. It advises teachers to promote in class discussions and to role play. This will give the child a chance to act out both the role of the bully, and the bullied in front of their class. This can be followed up with a group discussion of how it felt to be bullied and how to handle a bully. The how to section closes by stating that schools are in a powerful position to rule out bullying by promoting a zero tolerance for bullying. It encourages schools to have a “bully box” where children can report bullying anonymously. I would use this book to give children a perspective on all the angles of bullying. This book will give the perpetrators of bullying a chance to see how harmful bullying is and how it impacts the lives of their victims. Children who are bullied were often victims themselves, and hopefully through raising awareness, and taking action towards bullying we can nip this growing issue in the bud.

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