Committee for Children Blog

Book Review: My Secret Bully

by Trudy Ludwig
Reading Level: Grades 1–4

The narrator of My Secret Bully, Monica, doesn’t waste any time. On the very first page, she reveals that she has a secret bully named Katie. And the next sentence sums up the crux of relational aggression, or emotional bullying: “A lot of people would be surprised to know this because they think she’s my…… Read More


Book Review: Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen and Howard B. Wigglebottom Listens to His Heart

by Howard Binkow
Reading level: Preschool–Grade 2

Howard B. Wigglebottom is aptly named, in more ways than one. Not only is he too wiggly to listen to friends and teachers, he is also an awesome dancer. Over the course of two picture books by Howard Binkow, readers learn how this spirited bunny learns to be a good listener and to follow his heart and be proud of who he…… Read More


Violence Prevention Activities

Upper elementary and middle school violence-prevention activities (adapted from the Second Step and Steps to Respect programs)

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Book Review: Flying Solo

by Ralph Fletcher
Reading level: Grades 5–8

What happens in a sixth-grade classroom when kids rule? When the regular, beloved teacher is absent, and the sub doesn’t show up? The students have several choices. They could go straight to the principal’s office to report the situation. They could take the Lord of the Flies route and go wild until they are caught. As one of the…… Read More


Book Review: Say Something

by Peggy Moss
Reading level: Kindergarten–Grade 4

The narrator in Say Something is astute and empathic toward the kids in her school who are teased. She watches and wonders about them, picking up on body language that tells her they are sad. She would never make fun of someone the way her schoolmates do. Instead, she feels sorry for them, crosses to the other side of the hall, and…… Read More


Program Sustainability Activities

>Elementary and middle school activities to help foster program sustainment (adapted from the Second Step and Steps to Respect programs)

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Are Schools Safer Ten Years After the Columbine Shootings?

April 20, 2009

SEATTLE—This week marks the tenth anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings. Have all the reports, studies, and extra security measures made our schools safer? Have we learned anything?

“Yes and no,” answers Joan Cole Duffell, executive director of Committee for Children, a Seattle-based nonprofit that experienced a “huge surge” of interest after the shootings and…… Read More


Book Review: Viva La Paris

by Esmé Raji Codell
Reading level: Grades 4–6

When you’re a fifth-grade girl, it’s tricky enough to try to solve the problem of your eighth-grade brother being bullied by another fifth-grade girl. But when Paris McCray begins learning about the big-time bullying that went on during World War II, her brain and heart switch to overload, and all she can do is bury herself deeper and…… Read More


Book Review: The Freedom Writers Diary

by Erin Gruwell
Reading level: Adult

This book is a compilation of diary entries from 150 high school students in Long Beach, California, who call themselves the Freedom Writers. Their English teacher, Erin Gruwell, discovers that her at-risk students have never heard of the Holocaust. She decides to teach a curriculum of tolerance using books such as Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and…… Read More


Book Review: Yang the Third and Her Impossible Family

by Lensey Namioka
Reading Level: Grades 3–4

The Story

Yingmei (Yang the Third) and her family recently moved to Seattle,
Washington, from China. As she tries to fit in, Yingmei changes he
name to Mary, keeps a journal of the American words she wants to
learn, eats sandwiches made with peanut butter and jelly instead of
bean sprouts, and frets that the rest of her family isn't…… Read More