I am Jack by Susanne GervayIllustrated by Cathy Wilson
Target audience: Ages 8 to 12
Jack lives with his mom and sister, Samantha. His dad left and remarried. Rob, his mom’s boyfriend is a steady presence at home. While his family life is safe and welcoming, his school life becomes more terrifying every day because of George Hamel, popular rugby player and bully. After the kids overhear Jack’s mom talk to the coach about the dangers of playing rugby, George launches Jack’s new nickname, Butt head. Jack can never seem to find a good time to tell his mom what’s happening. His new status at school spreads like wildfire and soon even his friends are ostracizing him, all except for Ana. The more he’s picked upon, the worse his headaches get, so much so that he fakes illnesses to stay home. What should he do? He doesn’t want this problem to affect his family. What if his grandma dies or Rob leaves? After all, his dad left, he could lose everyone he loves. The author takes on the topic of bullying effortlessly with genuine compassion. Jack’s emotional and physical reactions are true to life. Kids will easily identify with him and want to see him triumph. The author includes a list of anti-bullying internet resources for both kids and parents. This is an excellent addition to the growing need for anti-bullying literature. (This book provided for review by Children's Lit - www.childrenslit.com).