Almost every child has encountered a bully, either in school or online with the ongoing episodes of cyber bullying. Bullying continues to be present in many forms. Children need tools to learn to manage a situation in which they find themselves to be the victim of a bully, and books about a bully and a character who is successful in defeating a bully can be great tools to aid with discussions on how to manage a situation with a bully.
“Life on Doll Street” by Nicole Bissett is a great choice for ages 9-12 to open a discussion about bullies and how to manage them. Katie has a collection of dolls that she loves dearly. She also has a beautiful dollhouse to keep her dolls comfortable. Katie takes one of her dolls to school with her, but encounters a bully who teases her about her doll. Her teacher also tells her that dolls don’t belong in school, and tells her that she may not bring the doll to school. AJ, the bully, continues to tease Katie whenever he encounters her on the playground. He becomes angry after being caught by one of the playground monitors, and decides to get even by stealing the dolls. He breaks into Katie’s home and is successful in stealing 3 of her prized dolls. AJ returns home, and gets a huge surprise.
Nicole Bissett creates a surprising scenario by making the dolls come alive in representation of the teachers and playground guards who reprimanded AJ for being a bully. The dolls frighten AJ so much that he changes his mind about teasing Katie so much, and decides to give up his bullying behavior. The dolls return home and all is well.
“Life on Doll Street” also creates a second theme that describes the reason that AJ and real-life bullies are often guilty of this behavior. AJ comes from a home in which he lives with a father who drinks and no mother. Bullies often come from a home in which there is very little love and support, and their behavior as bullies is a result of this environment. This story can also be used to open a discussion with children as to causes for a bullying behavior. There is also an interesting twist in the beginning with teachers who initially handle the bullying by making Katie feel that it is her fault that she is a victim of AJ’s bullying. Adults often mishandle a bullying situation, and the story calls attention to this fact.
This creative story can be a valuable tool for calling attention to situations in which children find themselves the victim of a bully. The book is available in both paperback and Kindle. It was published by Authorhouse, and has an ISBN of 978-5049-0310-3.
Nicole Bissett grew up as a totally blind child and encountered bullying as a result of her disability. She admits to having been a bully herself. She wrote “Life on Doll Street” to call attention to issues with bullying. She currently lives in San Diego. She may be contacted at email@example.com.