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Say Something

by Peggy Moss
Illustrated by Lea Lyon

Published by Tilbury House, 2004
32 pages
ISBN: 0-88448-261-8

Ages 5 - 10

Podcast featuring this book

A welcome picture book focuses on the difficult position in which many children find themselves as witnesses to mean or bullying behavior and also invites them to consider the role that silence plays. “There’s a kid in my school who gets picked on all the time,” begins the young, unnamed narrator. She describes several situations in which other kids in her school are being teased, bullied, or hurtfully ignored. Each time she separates herself from the instigators, pointing out that she doesn’t do what they do. She feels sorry for the victims, but she never says a word or does a thing to try to change what is happening. Then comes a day when her friends aren’t with her at lunchtime and she has to sit alone. A group of kids approaches and start telling her jokes; then the jokes become about her. Just as she’s felt sorry for kids being teased, she can tell that other kids in the cafeteria feel sorry for her. But they don’t say a word. Peggy Moss offers a hopeful ending rooted in one small, affirming action in a pointed book that invites children to talk about how hard it can be—yet how important it is—to take a stand, and how a simple act like saying “hello” can be the first step in making a difference. CCBC categories: Understanding Oneself and Others. 2004, Tilbury House, 32 pages, $16.95.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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