Book Title: Sophia Writes to Her Bully by Dr. Mildred D. Peyton, with Leah N. Peyton and Jada L. Peyton
Illustrator: Andy Hoang
Category: Children’s fiction, 24 pages
Genre: Education, Social Skills & School Life
Release date: February 21, 2017
Tour dates: Oct 8 to 26 2018
Content Rating: G
Sophia experiences verbal and social (also referred to as relational) bullying from her classmates during recess. Whenever Sophia attempts to play with a group of students from her fourth-grade class, she is rejected; Amber also calls her an inappropriate name. Only when Sophia takes action by confronting her bully with a letter does her victimization finally end. Want to know what Sophia was being called and how her classmates treated her? Read Sophia Writes to Her Bully and find out what her letter is all about!
Social exclusion is a form of bullying experienced by some children. When it occurs, they feel isolated, alone, and humiliated. It is important for parents to be informed and talk with their children about all types of bullying (e.g., verbal, physical, social/relational, and cyberbullying) so they are better equipped to intervene or prevent their child from bullying others or being a victim of bullying.
If you want to talk to your child about bullying Sophia Writes to Her Bully is a solid introductory book worth sharing and reading together. In this story Sophia feels excluded by other children at school. When Sophia attempts to play with other students at recess she is purposefully excluded and mocked for being overweight. When she comes home visibly shaken and upset from the experience Sophia’s mom tries to help. Her mother suggests writing a letter to Amber, the student in Sophia’s class who seems to be the ringleader of this bullying circle.
Sophia loves the suggestion and writes a short letter explaining how hurt she feels when the other children exclude here and call her names. She asks Amber to step into her shoes. She wants Amber to think about how awful it would feel to be alone on the playground while everyone else enjoyed recess playing games and talking together. After writing the letter Sophia leaves it on Amber’s desk and waits for her to find it. The book unfolds with a happy ending where Amber befriends Sophia and invites her to play at recess.
While I think the book does a good job of introducing bullying I think it wraps up the ending rather quickly. As a child a friend of mine wrote a note to bully and was further mocked for trying to make peace. While I think writing a letter is a good suggestion I think the resolution of this story came to quickly. I am not certain if simply reading a letter would make most children stop their bullying behavior and I worry that a child reading this book would get their hopes up on such a happy ending.
Nonetheless I think this is a good book for children to read. It’s a good introduction to the topic and would be a valuable book for a teacher to share in the classroom.
To read reviews, please visit Dr. Mildren Peyton’s page on iRead Book Tours.
Dr. Mildred Peyton is the President and Founder of Peyton Consulting, LLC. Dr. Peyton established her consulting firm, which was initially geared towards school bullying services, in March 2016. She was inspired to create Peyton Consulting and become a children’s author on bullying after completing her doctoral research study entitled, “Exploring the Meaning of School Bullying Among Parents of Victimized Children.”
During her undergraduate internship in 2002-2003 at Salisbury Middle School in Wicomico County, Dr. Peyton and her team developed and facilitated a mentoring program, providing one-on-one conflict resolution and mediating skills to students who were identified by the program coordinator with ongoing needs of behavioral issues. One of the key/primary areas Dr. Peyton and the other mentors focused on was educating and addressing bullying issues with bullies and victims. And in her graduate program, Dr. Peyton also facilitated a school bullying focus group in 2005 at Maryvale Elementary School in Montgomery County, to teach participants about bullying behaviors and how to avoid bullying others. She also attended several bullying workshops to learn about the latest studies while working with the students. Her passion on this topic followed her even as she served as a member on the Committee on Hate/Violence at Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, in 2013. There she developed a brochure for students and parents for the annual bullying symposium and, provided rich knowledge and skills on this topic throughout the year.
Today, the company has expanded its services to target workplace bullying as well. With the experiences of others and Dr. Peyton’s personal experience with adult bullying in the workplace (which caused her to resign from her employer in 2016), she believes attention, guidance, and solutions are also critical in this area. Dr. Peyton holds a Ph.D. in Human and Social Services with a concentration in Social Policy Analysis & Planning. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Sociology and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Dr. Peyton is committed to using her knowledge and skills to influence positive change among students and adults.