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MG book recommendations for girls who are being teased or left out...

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Don't know if this has been asked before, but my cousin's daughter has psoriasis, suffers from seizures and unfortunately has some body image issues that her mom is trying to combat.  Her self esteem is low and and mom is looking for some books that they can read.  Any suggestions???  She is in upper elementary.   :eh2
#1 - September 29, 2010, 05:44 PM

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These may be a bit mature, but "Jellicoe Road" and "How I Live Now" come to my mind. MG covers an awful lot of ground so it's hard to say. (These, I think, would be upper MG.) IMHO (and I really mean that) it is not (always) helpful to give a kid with problems a 'problem' novel that mirrors what they are going through.

The reason I suggested these two novels is that the MC's problems fall into the realm of their personal histories; they do not 'define'  the MC's and they do not limit them. The 'story' of their lives is informed by their past and their problems but not dictated by them. They are strong people who are rising above what they've been through in order get through the present moment.
And they succeed.






#2 - September 29, 2010, 07:04 PM

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Hi Kim

I found a few lists.  Perhaps these might help?   

~nan


http://www.embracingthechild.org/bully.html   Contains fiction, non fiction for YA & MG


http://www.best-childrens-books.com/childrens-books-about-bullying.html  This one looks like it has a bunch of MG books

http://www.santaclaracountylib.org/kids/lists/bullies_older_kids/index.html  Here's some from the santa clara county library for grades 3 to 8.
#3 - September 29, 2010, 09:10 PM
Neil Armstrong is My Uncle & Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me/Roaring Brook Press/2009
Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace/Roaring Brook/April 2013

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Thanks so much for asking this question! I'm still wandering around the children's library, overwhelmed by the number of books. Browsing through the Santa Clara library information is a start...

'Becca
#4 - September 30, 2010, 08:16 AM

I was one of those kids who was teased, left out, pranked. Right now, I can't think of any books that helped me except for Madeleine L'Engle's trio, especially A Wrinkle in Time. Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace all felt like they were different. I loved that! I also loved the escape.
#5 - September 30, 2010, 08:31 AM

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Allow me to gush about Nan's book!

Muscle Man was the first book about bullying that my son and I have read that truly allowed us to have sympathy for the bully. Tamara and Muscle Man's interactions really opened up some thought-provoking discussions for us, mostly about looking beyond first impressions and why it is so important to give second chances. GREAT story!!
#6 - September 30, 2010, 08:55 AM

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If A Tree Falls At Lunchtime by Gennifer Choldenka (sp)  has a main character dealing with weight issues who gets dumped (sort of) by her best friend, gets lied on and ultimately learns something about her family that may make her even more of an outcast by her peers.  Fast read.
#7 - September 30, 2010, 10:05 AM
How Lamar's Bad Prank Won A Bubba-Sized Trophy (Balzar & Bray, 02-2011)
The Laura Line (Balzar & Bray, 04-2013)
http://www.crystalallenbooks.com

SQUASHED by Joan Bauer is a humorous, engaging book about a girl trying to win a pumpkin-growing contest (helping "Max" put on pounds) while she herself wants to lose weight.

Also consider RODZINA by Karen Cushman, a historical novel about kids on the orphan train being sized up by potential adopting couples in the Old West. How does Rodzina (Polish-American girl) handle repeated rejection, and also her concern for the younger kids?
#8 - September 30, 2010, 11:09 AM

I really enjoyed Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree and the sequel.  Emma Jean is way different, no doubt about it--she sees the world with a strictly scientific mindset.  But we also get the POV of another girl in school--one who might be a little more "typical" but has problems of her own.  Book has lots going on--how difficult it can be to be different, how even those who seem to fit in feel different inside them, how you can work on not worrying so much about the impression you're giving . . .

Have to mention Linda Urban's A Crooked Kind of Perfect.  MC feels left out and different, esp. because of her seemingly un-perfect quirky family.  Scenes that are probably familiar to many who've gone through middle school--like going to the birthday party where you feel like a "baby" next to the trendier, "cooler" kids.  So much heart to this book!  Lots of humor and piano-lesson-related content.  Great for any MG girl, especially those who might have trouble with feeling insecure.

A View from Saturday is one of my faves--MG-age kids team up to be an unstoppable quiz bowl team.  They fit in perfectly--with each other.  The kids are bright and enlightened, valuing what's really important, like kindness.  I really love books where smarter kids are the MCs, not just some "class nerd" minor character.  I also love how characters of all ages (including adults) are shown to have their own set of problems.  IMO, this kind of story helps kids grow up to be better-adjusted adults.

I think the characters in all of the above are in 6th grade.  No content too tough for upper elementary.  They are all contemporary/realistic.
#9 - September 30, 2010, 12:13 PM

Interestingly, I used Loser (Spinelli) as a book study in my 5/6th grade class room a few years ago, and the kids totally missed the Loser's perspective. They agreed he was a loser and felt no empathy.   :confused2
#10 - September 30, 2010, 02:01 PM

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HARRIET THE SPY?
#11 - September 30, 2010, 02:51 PM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, IT'S YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, BUSY BUS!, EMERGENCY KITTENS!
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

Heidi

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Mitali Perkins has a GREAT list of books ... not all MG, of course. This might help

http://www.mitaliblog.com/2010/04/list-of-ya-novels-that-battle-bullying.html
#12 - September 30, 2010, 03:01 PM

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I was talking about this issue with another writer and she recommended North of Beautiful (Little Brown) by Justina Chen Headley. When I looked it up on Amazon, it said it was for grades 7 and up, so it might be a bit old at this point for the girl.
#13 - October 03, 2010, 02:55 PM

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If you can find a copy, I remember Bruce Coville's Jennifer Murdley's Toad as dealing with body image/self esteem as part of the plot, if she enjoys fantasy at all.
#14 - October 03, 2010, 04:19 PM
BOUND BY BLOOD AND SAND | Delacorte Press, Fall 2016
www.beckyallenbooks.com | @allreb | beckytext.tumblr.com

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Out of my Mind by Sharon M. Draper

I just read this book and loved it!  It is about a fifth grade girl with cerebral palsy and is stuck in special education classes because she has no way of communicating with anyone.  Her family understands some of her sounds, she has some words she can point to on a word board... then they begin mainstreaming the special ed kids into the regular classrooms.  Her perception of what is going on and what happens in the classrooms is mind boggling. 
She gets a medi-talker and everyone discovers that she has a brilliant mind. 

The story is also heart breaking in some parts because of what happens to her on when she is supposed to go with the Quiz Bowl team to D.C. and also it is empowering. 

The book is is five stars and five Kleenexes! 
#15 - October 03, 2010, 04:27 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

http://www.lizstrawwrites.com/

This is really old school, but BLUBBER by Judy Blume immediately came to mind.
#16 - October 03, 2010, 05:05 PM

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 There is a book put out by American Girls called Stand Up for Yourself and Your Friends. Great resource to help teach girls how to be strong and recognize when someone isn't treating you fairly.
#17 - October 04, 2010, 04:33 AM
Stacy Barnett Mozer
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You guys are the best!!!!!!!    :grouphug2   I'll be able to give my cousin a ton of recommendations and I must sing Nan's praises too!  She's at the top of that list!!!!!! :love

Kim

#18 - October 06, 2010, 09:04 AM

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