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Kate Messner


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Tough Jim PDF Print E-mail

What You Need to Know:
• This book is ok, but it is not the best book available on bullying.
• Although it is mediocre, it can be used as a jumping off point for conversations on the topic.
• This is a re-issue, the original was published in 1974.
Sweet Book Summary:
This book didn't blow me away, but it will do nicely if you need to help young children understand what a bully is. If you have a choice, instead, reach for the far superior, The Last Laugh first! (see below). The premise of Tough Jim is simple. The first graders plan a costume party and Jim struggles to decide what to wear. On the day of the party he arrives as The Strongest Man. During the party, the third grade bully wanders in and bullies the kids, especially Jim. Jim, being the Strongest Man that he is, accidently knocks the bully into the garbage can and the bully runs away. Bully problem solved.

Ok, not the most well-developed story, but it can lead to some good conversations if you need a light way to bring up a bully issue with young children. Also, the teacher doesn't add much to this situation. The teacher comes in at the end of the story and upon hearing the bully story advises the children to just forget about it, the bully won't be back. Alrighty then, that's one way to handle things. Clearly, things were done a bit differently in 1974. Some of the costumes are hilarious, though. One child comes as a hiccup and another comes dressed as fried chicken, to which a child inquires, how can you be alive if you are fried?
Author: Miriam Cohen Illustrator: Ronald Himler Published: 2007, 28 pages
Themes: Bullying, School, Friendship
Sweet Discussion Questions:
• How do you think the class handled the bully?
• Do you it was ok to scare the bully right back, even though it wasn't intentional?
• What do you think of how the teacher handled things?
• Where was this teacher while the bullying took place?
• Were there no other adults around?
• What would you do differently if an older student wandered into your classroom and started bothering everyone?
If You Liked This Book, Try:
Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain, Trevor Romain
The Last Laugh, Ariane Dewey and Jose Aruego
This recommendation was written by: Melissa Y.
Support Independent Book Shops: Click Here to Buy this Book on IndieBound

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