When I taught elementary school, I was constantly on the lookout for children’s books with appealing narratives that contained important messages. Had Trudy Ludwig been publishing her acclaimed picture books during my teaching days, every single title would have been found in my classroom library. Not that I’m dwelling on missed opportunities here – I couldn’t be more grateful as a parent to have such wonderfully written books to draw from at home in dealing with difficult friendship issues and nontraditional bullying.
Ludwig is a master at weaving important problem solving skills and coping strategies into realistic and relevant stories for kids. I typically like to pay tribute to a book at the beginning of each month, but there are so many great stories by this fabulous author, I had a difficult time picking just one. So in order to not play favorites, I’ve chosen to salute My Secret Bully – the first of Ludwig’s stories that I came across.
My Secret Bully is written in such a relatable manner that adults and children alike will ache as the subtleties of relational aggression get played out between two best friends, Monica and Katie. As readers, we experience with Monica the anguish suffered from name calling, exclusion, humiliation and manipulation of friendships. We also get to celebrate when Monica – with the guidance and support of her mother – learns to cope with a devastating relationship crisis, face her fears of isolation and reclaim her power. My Secret Bully offers kids (ages 5-12) an incredibly meaningful and powerful perspective, and provides adults with invaluable tools and tips for helping to guide our little ones through the often rocky social waters of childhood.
Other wonderful books by Trudy Ludwig