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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Why Are People Bullied? is the second installment in The Adventures of Gleeson and Cormac series, written by Molly O’Rourke and illustrated by Kalpart. When Gleeson and Cormac – two frogs from Main Pond – learn about an upcoming class about bullying, they decide to attend. Their friend, Rachel, is also invited. The three frogs sit on the window ledge, observing the class as children talk about their bullying experiences and how it made them feel afraid. The teacher recommends to the children that, if they witness bullying taking place, they should find and tell a teacher immediately, while also befriending and giving emotional support to the victim. Ensure that the victim knows that they are special. After all, nobody deserves to be bullied.
This is such an important book for children to read. Not a single day goes by that somebody is not being hurt and bullied somewhere in the world, making them feel quite fearful. Molly O’Rourke’s words ring true in so many ways, and remind me of my high school days where bullies always ran amok. With no rules in place at that time, the results were quite horrific, with the bullying leading to the victims either being hospitalized or taking their own life. Every time I witnessed bullying taking place at school, the bully was almost always somebody much older or larger than the person they had targeted, making the bully nothing more than a coward. If only things had been different back then like they are today, where rules are put in place to keep people safe.
Children need to be raised to treat each other with respect and kindness, rather than causing harm and injury just for the sake of making themselves feel important. Although Why Are People Bullied? is written for children, reading through it brought tears to my eyes – sadness for those who have been lost and hope for those who might become a survivor. I highly recommend Why Are People Bullied? to readers aged 5-12, in the hopes that children know immediately what to do and how to help if they witness the horrid behavior of a bully.