Friday, September 6, 2013

Fictional book about bullying for 10-13 year olds


Batjack by Ann Neville published by Create Books
 
Thirteen year old Tom wants to audition for the school musical Batjack but he has a problem …

A Big One – Dylan, the school bully, and Tom’s arch enemy want the same part.

When Tom is cast as the main character and Dylan is his understudy the battle begins – fights, verbal abuse, vandalism, theft … You name it, it happens.

How will Tom and his friends deal with the bullying? What is Dylan’s secret? Can they reach a compromise and manage to co-habit on the same planet let alone the same stage? Read on to find out …
 
Bullying is an issue in most (if not all) schools. Kids are often too scared to tell their parents or teachers and suffer in silence.  As a teacher I saw it happening all the time and talked to the class about looking out for each other.
Batjack is a much needed story that would make a wonderful read aloud in class. After each chapter the students could talk about the issues that have been brought up and also role play or problem solve how they would get out of situations.  I think Ann has taken the issue of bullying one step further than most books too.  She has addressed the problem that a bully might have and looked at how victims can be more confident and therefore not look like victims or easy targets.
If I was still teaching I would encourage the students to turn the problem solving techniques  into posters. I suggest that schools perhaps invite a self defence instructor to teach a few sessions.  At the moment, schools seem to deal with the problems rather than search for solutions. This book will be a great addition to middle, senior Primary and Intermediate schools libraries (even years 9 and 10 where bullying is often rife) plus I'd recommend schools purchase it as a resource for their Health curriculum.
Ann also has two small books - one for children and another for parents - as a follow up to the book.  She'll also be adding a free downloadable teaching resource to her website:  www.createbooks.co.nz
Ann Neville has lived in Hamilton most of her life and taught in various towns in New Zealand and the UK. She has written Bullying Guides for parents and children, as well as other educational resources.
Ann has a Master’s in Education, Diploma in Educational Management, Diploma in Educational Leadership and Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing. She has also studied Short Story Writing for Children and is currently completing a Diploma in Publishing through Whitireia New Zealand.
Her research has looked at all forms of violence including physical, verbal, isolation, sexism, ageism and cyber bullying. This lead Ann to write the book ‘Violence...not in our school’, which was made possible through a Graduate Study Award from the University of Waikato.  A Winston Churchill Fellowship enabled Ann to travel to USA to study their strategies for dealing with violence in American schools.
Her book ‘Batjack’, aimed mainly at 9 to 13 year olds, was short-listed for the Tom Fitzgibbon Award in 2011.
 
 
 

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