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Trouble Talk

by Trudy Ludwig
Illustrated by Mikela Prevost

Published by Tricycle Press, 2008
32 pages
ISBN: 978-1582462400

Ages 6-10

Podcast featuring this book

Initially, Maya is excited to befriend the new girl at school, Bailey, when Maya’s teacher selects her to be Bailey’s Welcome Buddy. Loquacious Bailey has a million questions and shy Maya is glad to provide answers and have something to talk about. Soon the two girls are friends, and while Maya enjoys Bailey’s bubbly energy and jokes, a few incidents between Bailey and other girls at school make Maya uneasy about Bailey’s way of talking and teasing. When Bailey spreads a rumor around school about Maya and her family, Maya can’t believe it. Multimedia illustrations enhance the emotional aspects of the situation. After her teacher encourages her to speak to Ms. Bloom, the school counselor, Maya learns that there is a name for Bailey’s behavior: trouble talk. “Spreading rumors, saying hurtful things, and sharing information that isn’t hers to share are examples of the kind of talk that leads to nothing but trouble,” Ms. Bloom explains. With Ms. Bloom’s help, Maya identifies strategies for avoiding trouble talk. Even though a boundary has been crossed in her friendship with Bailey, Maya realizes that it is possible, with time, to rebuild trust if a person is willing to change. The realistic scenarios presented in this powerful picture book will resonate with readers and help them explore unhealthy relationships. The foreword, author’s note, discussion questions, and additional resources provide a host of valuable information for parents and educators on issues related to “trouble talk.” (TM) ©2008 Cooperative Children’s Book Center


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