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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: This is the story of a bully named J.J., and how he manages to change his negative behavior to accept the person he once ridiculed. In Alley Oops, the issues of playground bullies and aggressive behavior are told from the bully's perspective.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud, learning to read
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 3 to 9
Age of Child: Read with 5-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: The storyline is easy to follow for any child age 5 and above.
Adult Reader Reaction: I highly recommend this book. Levy presents the topic in comprehensible language with a gratifying, realistic solution.
Pros: The book offers great insight and straightforward treatment of an age-old problem.
Cons: An emphatic none!
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book that can come in handy to address not only bullying but mean behavior in general.
Educational Themes: J.J.'s personal journey from name-calling snit to an embracing friend of the overweight kid in school helps readers understand how unique we all are without sugar-coating the topic of bullying.
Notes: Christine Louise Hohlbaum, American expat author of Diary of a Mother
(2003) and SAHM I Am (forthcoming), currently resides with her family near Munich, Germany.