Tag Archives: bullies

The Bully Box: a cool, new website

If you have a bully in your life, you’re not alone. If you don’t know what to do about the bully, you are in good company. Nearly 1/3 of kids are bullied at some time in their lives. And trust me, not very many know how to get the bully to back down.

That’s why I am part of a cool, new website called The Bully Box where teachers, parents and authors give tips on dealing with the big bad in your life. They also give tips to parents and teachers to help make your life a little easier at school or on the playground.

If you want to unlock the box on bullying and find out what you can do to make your school a safer, better place, click the picture above and visit The Bully Box.

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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in News


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Cover Revealed for Tales from the Bully Box


Thanks to author/illustrator, Sarah Tregay, the collection of short stories I helped pick and edit has a super awesome cover.

Stay tuned for its publication date, then ask mom or dad or your teacher to buy a copy asap–which means as soon as possible–because behind the super awesome cover are ten super awesome tales that can help you deal with the bully in your life. Even if that bully is you.


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Posted by on October 13, 2014 in Book Blurbs


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Bike Meet Forehead: writing the half truth

Back in the day, when I still wore pigtails and forgot to brush my teeth every morning, my sister and I were playing in the alley behind our house. I’m not quite sure exactly what happened, but all of a sudden, I was on the ground. Flat on my back. I looked up just in time to see my sister’s bike barreling toward me.

Forehead, meet tire.

My sister ran over my head, not once, but twice. Both her bike tires thunked over my forehead. Thunk. Thunk. I had tire tracks on my head for a week.

Okay, maybe not a week. In fact, I’m not even sure you could see the tire marks of her blue banana seat bike at all. However, the story sounds way cooler if my battle wounds remained visible for a whole week…or was it a month?

You see, that’s the amazing thing about being an author. It’s my job to make stuff up. I can pull ideas right out of thin air like a magician, I can embellish (which means to exaggerate the details), or I can tell half truths. As long as it makes sense and adds to my story, I can write just about anything.

Fast forward a few light years to my middle grade novel, Abigail Bindle and the Slam Book Scam. My main character Abi gets plowed over by the bullies–an event that inadvertently (which means in a round about way) helps her solve the mystery and clear her name.

When my sister ran over my head, I never solved a mystery, but I did call her a name or two. One for each tire track!

What unbelievable things have happened to you? As a writer, how can you make boring things sound better? When do things sound too crazy to be true?

Curious minds want to know.

p.s. In just a few short months, you’ll be able to read how I snuck my bike accident into a novel about boys, bullies and dirty tricks.

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Posted by on September 12, 2014 in Abigail Bindle, Daily Log


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(Freak) The Mighty Review

In the movie, The Mighty, Maxwell Kane is a seventh grader whose body grew faster than his brain. The kids at school pick on him. They call him names, they push him around, and they threaten to beat him up. Even the gym teacher is mean. All this bullying makes Max feel stupid and worthless.

That changes when the new boy moves in next door–a boy the bullies call Freak. Freak was born with a birth defect. He can’t walk without braces, so he’s learned to live in his own brilliant mind. Once Freak becomes Max’s reading tutor, he introduces Max to the medieval world of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Max and Freak are two misfits who just want to be normal. They both want to be more than what other people see them as. Max has all the physical power that Freak’s broken body does not, while Freak’s got the brains that Max doesn’t realize he already has. Together, they follow a code of honor from the dark ages: A knight proves his worth by his actions.

Just like Freak and Max, we have a choice in the way we treat others. While we can’t make people like us, we can make people feel good about themselves by being nice. We can also make them feel ugly or stupid or worthless.

So, watch the movie, The Mighty. Or, read the book, Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. I have watched The Mighty twice in one month. It rocked both times. It was easy to see myself in all the characters–even the bullies. I gave the movie four gold stacks because it made me think about the way I treat others and because I love King Arthur.

What actions define you? What can you do to prove your worth? If you have read the book or watched the movie, what is your favorite part?

Curious minds want to know.


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Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Book Reports


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