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Stop Bullying Me! (Putting on a Play) ISBN: 9780750265492
Keen, Sophie and Powell, Jenny
Published by Wayland, 2011
It is unusual to find a play about a serious problem, and this book provides just that. Designed to be used in a classroom or in a school auditorium, it gives specific parts for a number of children and scope for 'extras' too. There is a narrator, Harry, who it being bullied, his younger sister Millie, their parents, the bully, Louis and others in his gang, a teacher, Ms Newton, the headmaster, and Mrs Hastings, Louis' mum. At the beginning of the play we are given suggestions as to set, costume, props and staging - all very straightforward and simple. The plot is basic. Harry is very bright at school and very interested in learning. The other children find him difficult to like, and when Louis joins the class, he resents Harry's always knowing the answers. He forms a gang who begin to make life miserable for Harry, and when he finds he must tell his parents about the bullying, they take him to Ms Newton to sort things out - which she does. In the process she discovers that Louis has a new baby sibling at home and that his dad is away in the army. While there is no excuse for his actions, she understands his problems. He promises not to bully Harry any more, and Harry, though doubtful, is convinced by his family to invite Louis to his birthday party, and they become friends. There are colour illustrations along with the text, and the story is a good starting place for discussion about bullying. It would make an excellent programme for assembly too, and a class would enjoy making the set, props, etc. Harry's family is mixed race, and the class is shown as being multi-racial, so there may be a racial aspect to Louis' bullying of Harry.
Age: 8+