Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig

In the wake of the many tragic events that have occurred in our society, it is time we address bullying.

Bullying is a difficult subject to address because many times adults may not know it is happening. My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig helps parents and teachers address this issue. Monica is emotionally bullied by a friend that she has had since Kindergarten. Katie, the bully, is nice to Monica at times and at other times she is quite mean. This leaves Monica feeling hurt and confused.

The author captivates the reader by presenting a real life problem that many people encounter. Then Monica tries to address the issue with Katie by talking about it. Katie makes Monica feel like there isn’t anything wrong and that she is just being too sensitive. Monica continues to endure this emotional drama until it starts to affect her health. Monica talks to an adult who truly listens to her. She doesn’t just brush her off and say, “That’s just the way girls are.” Monica learns how to use her voice and stand up for herself. The author sends a powerful message about loving and respecting yourself enough not to let others hurt you.

The illustrations in this book, by Abigail Marble, helped me really connect with the character. I couldn’t help but feel hurt, confused, and then empowered.

At the end of the book the author includes helpful tips, discussion questions, and additional resources to help others that may be encountering a form of bullying. Hopefully, by better understanding bullying, we can equip our children with the tools they will need to overcome bullying, while still having confidence, pride, and self-worth.


Girls Inc.

120 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005-3902

Hands & Words Are Not for Hurting Project

PO Box 2644

Salem, OR 97308-2644

International Bullying Prevention Association (IBPA)

PO Box 2288

East Falmouth, MA 02536

The Ophelia Project

718 Nevada Drive

Erie, PA 16505


  1. I agree with you that bullying is often overlooked as a problem that our children are facing on a daily basis. I am glad to know that there is a book out there that specifically addresses the issue of emotional bullying among young girls. It sounds as though this story helps girls to understand what bullying is and gives them the confidence to do something about being bullied. I read a review from a 10-year-old regarding this story and she explained that it was an eye-opener for her. She mentioned how she didn’t realize that even some of her behaviors were considered bullying until she read about them in this book. I like how the book gives resources for where to go for additional help and support. This book sounds like it would be a valuable addition to a classroom library.

  2. Wow! How timely is this book? This is just what every school is encountering today! This may be the perfect book for teachers to read to their students even in grades 6-8. I am interested in finding out what the little girl's mentor (or adult friend) gave her as tips to handle this very difficult situation. It's so hard to help a child out going through this, and as you mentioned, not telling the victim to just "ignore" the problem is such valuable advice. Because who can ignore such tormenting? Hopefully, I can get my hands on this book, too.