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Jake Drake, Bully Buster

by Andrew Clements. Simon & Schuster/Aladdin; $14/$3.99



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Eight- to twelve-year-olds will identify with Jake and his problems when a bully moves into town. This new book realistically portrays how children think under pressure and why they often hesitate to tell an adult they are being victimized. Jake Drake is just the kind of kid bullies love to bother: he's medium-sized, medium-smart, and he doesn't tattle. When the new kid in town starts to torment him, he decides it's too risky to ask a grownup for help. What if it just makes the bullying worse? Jake's situation gets critical when he and the bully are paired for a class project and Jake has to do all the research. When Jake discovers the bully's weakness, he's tempted to take revenge, but in the end the two boys share their strengths and build mutual tolerance and respect.

Told with realistic good humor, the story will ring true to kids who have handled taunts and and teasing on their own. Parents and teachers can encourage kids to consider other options-such as bringing the problem to a trustworthy adult rather than suffering in silence.

--Jane Brown, MSW, creator of Adoption Playshops

Copyright 2001 Adoptive Families magazine. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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