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So often we talk to our kids about bullies. We speak to them about letting an adult know, about staying away and even about standing up to bullies. But, we rarely advise them about being that voice and advocate for others.
Let me paint the picture for you. A young child is entering a whole new school, a whole new world. They are alone and afraid. Afraid of what? We don’t know. We won’t know unless we ask, we won’t understand unless we listen. And even with listening, we may not understand the full pain they endure.
A young boy by the name of Daniel enters into a whole new world with only one prize possession. You see, Daniel lived during the Holocaust, his parents died in a concentration camp. As he began his new life in New York, he had to learn English, adapt to a new life and just learn to live again. As he adjusted to his new school, he also encountered some pretty rude, insensitive bullies. Ruben and Bernie seemed to have way too much time on their hands and used that time to tease and bully other boys in the school.
Now, here comes my HERO of the story. Aaron was the primary target for Ruben and Bernie. Aaron stuttered but always remained confident and caring. When these boys turned their attention to Daniel’s prize possession, Aaron stood up for him. Why did this excite me so? Simply because it reminded me of how often we encounter bullies (school, work, social, etc.), but we turn and ignore the behavior when the bully attacks someone else. In this lovely book titled Greenhorn, Aaron did not ignore the behavior that was now happening to someone else. He did not wipe his brow and sigh a bit of relief that he now has a break from these boys. He said “no more” and stood up for a classmate. This started a new and lovely friendship to last a lifetime.
Greenhorn is a great book for you and your middle school child to read together. This book is based on a true story that gives a bit of history as well as a great story sharing how one person can save another from the daily ridicule of a bully. No worries of the book being too long of a read. Greenhorn consists of 45 pages. My middle schooler read the book in no time flat. She enjoyed the book and was able to note each character in situations she has witnessed at school. As a mother, this story tore at my heart, but the outcome was amazing.
I can’t wait to take a look at the movie that accompanies this excellent book. Check back with me for my review of the film.
grew up in Memphis, TN and received her Masters Degree from The University of Memphis. Of course, I had to take a read of her book, as a fellow Tiger myself. If you are looking for middle school fiction, adult nonfiction or picture books, Mrs. Olswanger’s literary agency is a great place to take a look. Also, you can find a discussion
guide for families.
Other works by Mrs. Olswanger: Shlemiel Crooks
Where can you find Mrs. Olswanger?
The review of Greenhorn is my personal review. I did receive a free copy of the book from the publisher to read and provide an honest review to readers. I have also been granted permission to use my Amazon affiliate links. A small commission will be earned by Preschool2Teen and will not affect your cost in any way.
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