Where Honesty Never Ends.
Note: This free copy was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is not affiliated with my assigned reads from The Review Board.
The Bully Barn: A Lesson for Bullies, Bystanders and Victims is a touching story about a mouse named Marty who is having a difficult time at the barn. He is subjected to teasing by Carla the gossiping chicken, threatened by Henry the horse, rejected by Payton the pig, and hurt by Gatson the goat. When a fellow animal (Rusty the rooster) receive Carla’s wrath, Marty decides to take a stand for himself and for Rusty. As a result, the whole attitude of the barn (bystanders and bullies alike) begins to change for the better.
A beautiful job was done on the illustrations. They were visually accurate and really captured the expressions associated with the actions (fright of Marty when he saw the look on Payton’s face and the sadness of Rusty the rooster stand out for me).
I love the story as a whole. It tugged at my heart and I related to not fitting in and being teased without knowing why. For quite a few years in my youth, this was my reality.
There were two miniscule drawbacks for me.
1. In a book tailored towards younger audiences, I prefer that visually it’s simple to read and accurate in terms of syntax. On a few pages, I felt the word “and” was used a bit too much and made the sentences too long.
2. I felt like this could have easily been divided into two books.
Here is what I mean.
There was a lot of supplemental information that went above and beyond the background and introduction to The Bully Barn. For me, it would have made more sense to make the discussion questions and the additional thoughts on bullying as a separate workbook. That way, the references and the cute story would not seem as if they were competing for attention.
This is a terrific story and great read for teachers, parents, and students alike on dealing with bullying in a modern world.
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