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October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

KING OF THE KOOTIES - eBook JacketStarWalk Kids Media has published a digital edition of the powerful middle grade novel KING OF THE KOOTIES, which is particularly relevant during Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.

In this story, written by Debbie Dadey for children ages 7-10, Donald doesn't even know he's being insulted by Louisa, the class bully, when she names him King of the Kooties - but that's just the beginning of Louisa's war against the new kid. Donald doesn't do a very good job of protecting himself, so it's up to his best friend Nate to teach Donald to defend himself from a bully without resorting to violence.

StarWalk Kids Media Publisher Liz Nealon noted: “It is important for us to add our voice to the chorus of people across the country working to raise awareness of the consequences of bullying. We are proud to publish this book, which empowers children with a strategy of collaboration and non-violence.”

The consequences of bullying are real and widespread, according to the National Bullying Prevention Center:

  • More than 160,000 U.S. students stay home from school each day from fear of being bullied.
  • Bullying directly affects a student’s ability to learn. Students who are bullied find it difficult to concentrate, show a decline in grades, and lose self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth.
  • Students who are bullied report more physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomachaches, and mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, than other students.
  • Bullying affects witnesses as well as targets. Witnesses often report feeling unsafe, helpless, and afraid that they will be the next target.
  • The two keys to creating change are: increasing awareness that bullying has lifelong impact, and giving people the tools they need to respond effectively.
  • Students can be especially effective in bullying intervention. More than 55 percent of bullying situations will stop when a peer intervenes. Student education of how to address bullying for peers is critical, as is the support of adults. 

Amazon customer Marinda Martin wrote of KING OF THE KOOTIES: Bad books on bullying resolve the conflict by having the bully pledge eternal friendship after receiving Algebra (or English or History) lessons from the bullied. There are a lot of bad books about bullying out there. This isn't one of them. Highly recommended to be read aloud with a child on your lap.

Subscribers to the StarWalk Kids Media streaming collection for schools and libraries can also access a Teaching Link educator guide for this book, which includes ideas, questions and activities to extend the learning in this important book. All Teaching Link activities are correlated to appropriate Common Core Standards.

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