“Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You” – a children’s book about bullying, by Christina Engela (illustrations by Amanda M. Lyons).
Many kids today face bullying from their peers. Day after day we see tragic news of children who face bullying, where children die, commit suicide, or are seriously injured, either physically or psychologically. Sadly, the biggest lie schools can tell is ‘bullying is not tolerated here’, because as long as the underlying causes of bullying are not addressed, bullying will occur to some degree.
Bullying takes place based on perceived differences. Typically this is due to perceived differences in race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, or even due to these differences being perceived in people the victims are associated with, such as their parents.
The very worst thing a parent or teacher or other care-giver can do, is to ignore bullying, to ignore the plight of a child being bullied, or trivialize or even blame a child for the bullying actions of others.
In a world where bullying and intolerance of diversity is becoming increasingly a problem, it’s important to teach children – and adults – compassion for others. Often, children who bully, can grow up to be bullies in adult life as well.
Isn’t it true that people – even adults – attack that which they fear – and fear that which they do not understand?
This book was written to inspire kids (and the adults who read it with kids) who are bullied for being different without focusing too strongly on the bullying angle. Rather, the story works to explain differences and diversity with child-like simplicity.
Christina Engela is an author and long-time human rights activist with experience in dealing with various types of bullying.
This delightful children’s book is available in paperback and ebook (epub) format.