SOPHIA WRITES TO HER BULLY
BY DR. MILDRED D. PEYTON
with Leah N. Peyton and Jada L. Peyton
Illustrator: Andy Hoang
Genre: Children's fiction, 24 pages
Categories: Education, Social Skills & School Life
Release date: February 21, 2017
Content Rating: G
Sophia experiences verbal and social (also referred to as relational) bullying from her classmates during recess. Whenever Sophia attempts to play with a group of students from her fourth-grade class, she is rejected; Amber also calls her an inappropriate name. Only when Sophia takes action by confronting her bully with a letter does her victimization finally end. Want to know what Sophia was being called and how her classmates treated her? Read Sophia Writes to Her Bully and find out what her letter is all about!
Social exclusion is a form of bullying experienced by some children. When it occurs, they feel isolated, alone, and humiliated. It is important for parents to be informed and talk with their children about all types of bullying (e.g., verbal, physical, social/relational, and cyber-bullying) so they are better equipped to intervene or prevent their child from bullying others or being a victim of bullying.
To read reviews, please visit Dr. Mildren Peyton's page on iRead Book Tours.
HALL WAYS REVIEW: Sophia Writes to Her Bully is an open and shut bullying story that has a neat and happy resolution. While at first it seems unrealistic, the structure makes it a good choice as a conversation starter between children and adults.
Quickly, the bullying behavior is established but more importantly, the impact it has on Sophia is shown, both through the words and illustrations. As the example of bullying, the author chooses a child being excluded and verbally taunted when she tries to be included. I find it interesting that despite the treatment she endured, Sophia continued to put herself in the same situation each day. She is coming to the bully, not vice versa. Again, this particular dynamic makes the story a good springboard for further discussions about bullying.
The layout of Sophia Writes to Her Bully is pleasing to the eye with the text block locations and shapes moving around from page to page. Additionally, the wonderful illustrations are sometimes drawn around the text, so it’s not boring to look at. The cursive-like font used for the letter Sophia writes could be hard for children to read given that cursive is no longer taught in school, another reason the book lends itself to being a read-along/read-aloud story. The pages are a bit text heavy at times, and there are some tense changes and punctuation liberties taken, but nothing is jarring. The grammar policewoman in me loves the generous use of semi-colons because typically, books written for that audience don’t include them and kids need to get comfortable with them.
Illustrator Andy Hoang provides readers interesting and colorful pages that include plenty of smaller details for young eyes to dwell upon when the text feels overwhelming. The characters are multicultural, and their faces are expressive, which will tug on the heartstrings a bit – an excellent way to induce emotions from the reader. Hoang’s drawings are a perfect complement to the story.
To adults, the resolution is a bit Pollyanna-ish in the simple and successful solution it presents to correcting bully behavior; however, for this age group, it really is perfect because it is hopeful and uplifting. It shows that bullying behavior needs to be addressed and acted upon. Sophia Writes to Her Bully concludes with several pages of resources, tips, and statistics on bullying, which again reinforces that the book creates an excellent read-along/read-aloud opportunity for children and adults to be able to communicate about the topic. I can easily envision this being the basis for a lesson in the library or classroom.
Thank you to the author and iRead Book Tours for providing me a print copy in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Mildred Peyton is the President and Founder of Peyton Consulting, LLC. Dr. Peyton established her consulting firm, which was initially geared towards school bullying services, in March 2016. She was inspired to create Peyton Consulting and become a children's author on bullying after completing her doctoral research study entitled, "Exploring the Meaning of School Bullying Among Parents of Victimized Children."
During her undergraduate internship in 2002-2003 at Salisbury Middle School in Wicomico County, Dr. Peyton and her team developed and facilitated a mentoring program, providing one-on-one conflict resolution and mediating skills to students who were identified by the program coordinator with ongoing needs of behavioral issues. One of the key/primary areas Dr. Peyton and the other mentors focused on was educating and addressing bullying issues with bullies and victims. And in her graduate program, Dr. Peyton also facilitated a school bullying focus group in 2005 at Maryvale Elementary School in Montgomery County, to teach participants about bullying behaviors and how to avoid bullying others. She also attended several bullying workshops to learn about the latest studies while working with the students. Her passion on this topic followed her even as she served as a member on the Committee on Hate/Violence at Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, in 2013. There she developed a brochure for students and parents for the annual bullying symposium and, provided rich knowledge and skills on this topic throughout the year.
Today, the company has expanded its services to target workplace bullying as well. With the experiences of others and Dr. Peyton's personal experience with adult bullying in the workplace (which caused her to resign from her employer in 2016), she believes attention, guidance, and solutions are also critical in this area. Dr. Peyton holds a Ph.D. in Human and Social Services with a concentration in Social Policy Analysis & Planning. She has a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and Sociology and a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology. Dr. Peyton is committed to using her knowledge and skills to influence positive change among students and adults.
Connect with Author
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:
Oct 8 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Sophia Writes / author interview / giveaway
Oct 9 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of Sophia Writes / giveaway
Oct 10 - I Love A Good Book - review of Sophia Writes and Bully on Schoolbus/ giveaway
Oct 11 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of Bully on School Bus / giveaway
Oct 15 - 100 Pages A Day - review of Sophia Writes / giveaway
Oct 15 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review of Sophia Writes / guest post / giveaway
Oct 16 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review of Bully on School Bus / giveaway
Oct 17 - Reading is My Passion - review of Sophia Writes / giveaway
Oct 18 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Bully on School Bus / giveaway
Oct 18 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of Sophia Writes / guest post / giveaway
Oct 18 - Books Direct - review of Bully on School Bus / giveaway
Oct 19 - Reading is My Passion - review of Bully on School Bus / giveaway
Oct 19 - Hall Ways Blog - review of Sophia Writes / giveaway
Oct 19 - One Frugal Girl - review of Sophia Writes / giveaway
Oct 22 - Hall Ways Blog - review of Bully on School Bus / giveaway
Oct 22 - Books Direct - review of Sophia Writes / giveaway
Oct 22 - Reading Authors - review of A Bully on School Bus / giveaway
Oct 23 - Bookworm for Kids - review of Sophia Writes / author interview / giveaway
Oct 24 - Bookworm for Kids - review of Bully on School Bus / giveaway
Oct 25 - One Frugal Girl - review of Bully on School Bus / giveaway
Oct 26 - 100 Pages A Day - review of Bully on School Bus / giveaway
Oct 26 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of Bully on School Bus / giveaway
TBD - Reading Authors - review of Sophia Writes / giveaway
TBD - Breath Of Life - review of Sophia Writes / guest post / giveaway
TBD - Breath Of Life - review of Bully on School Bus / giveaway
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