Joshua Weiss was our Keynote speaker during the 2018 ACR Conference in Pittsburgh, PA this past October. What a privilege to meet him and learn about all of the work he is doing! I invite you to visit his website and learn more about the work he has done with William Ury on the Abraham Path and as the co-founder of the Global Negotiation Initiative at Harvard University as well as his role as the
Director of the Master of Science in Leadership and Negotiation at Bay Path University.
This is my first book review and it was an honor to create. Hope you enjoy and are motivated to put this wonderful book on your shelf or at your children's' school.
BULLIED NO MORE!
The Continuing Adventures of Emo and Chickie
BULLIED NO MORE! is the second edition in the Emo and Chickie book series created by co-authors Gregg F. Relyea and Joshua N. Weiss with illustrations by Vikrant Singh.
The adventure starts in the first few pages--Bart the Beaver is bullied by a wolf named Scruffy and his gang. Emo, a baby bear cub, and his best friend Chickie, a red breasted robin, witness the bullying behavior first hand, but they are reluctant, initially, to get involved. Bart reacts by wanting to fight back, but after considering that option, he realizes it would solve nothing. Cue the main themes of the book-- children who are bullied have choices about ways to handle it and they are not alone.
While the book is clearly oriented towards children, there is also a wealth of supplementary support that provides tools for parents, caregivers, educators and counselors. BULLIED NO MORE! is effectively three books in one as it examines bullying behavior from 360º: the viewpoints of the bullied, the one doing the bullying, bystanders, parents, and school officials. Additionally, the colorful illustrations will engage even the youngest reader and provide talking points for the adult.
As the story unfolds, Bart explores options with Emo and Chickie for ways to address the bullying by Scruffy as well as to consider the unintended consequences of each choice. Throughout the adventure, Emo and Chickie provide the reader with examples of how to effectively support a friend as an observer of bullying behavior.
The story takes the reader through various scenarios of how Bart can stop the behavior as he reaches the breaking point of wanting to “teach Scruffy a lesson”. The options are realistically portrayed, including a creative dream sequence that captures the anxiety that many victims feel in these situations. The interaction with the school counselor impressed upon me the importance of educational staff having the tools and skills to effectively deal with bullying behavior. The authors’ skillfully demonstrate through the counselor’s perspective how to create a safe space to address the behavior and build understanding for both the bully and victim.
If the goal of writing and illustrating this story are ways to effectively address bullying behavior, I believe the goal was met with the story itself. However, the authors are negotiation and mediation professors and trainers with a wealth of experience to share. The Information and Questions section that follows after the story reflects the co-authors’ expertise. This section provides time-tested methods and tools to prompt or continue the conversation with children and support grown-ups who may be experiencing bullying themselves.
BULLIED NO MORE! is a book that I wish had been on our bookshelf when my children were younger. The format is approachable for a child to read alone, be read to, and for a parent, educator or caregiver to access when faced with a bullying situation.
Bullying is a societal issue, and as the Final Word recognizes, bullying happens to adults, too. Because it is straightforward, principled, and practical in its approach, I would hope to see BULLIED NO MORE! in every school and home library.
Sunny E. Sassaman Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution Consultant