Author: Trudi Ludwig
Classification: fiction with realistic story
Themes: social skills, friendship, feelings
What’s it about?
This story is about two boys who are good friends, Jack and Charlie. Jack thinks Charlie is cool but he does notice that Charlie has a way of blaming other people for what he does wrong…or simply gets away with. Jack isn’t confident enough to say anything – even though he thinks it is wrong – until he sees another friend is one of Charlie’s victims. Jack has to decide what he will do…
I like that the characters are able to be related to by students. My grade 2/3 class really got into this book as they could all relate to knowing someone like Charlie. Another benefit of reading this book is being able to pause the reading to have a discussion with the class about what they think Charlie should do. Another element both the students and I liked were the illustrations by Maurie Manning – they told the story as well as the words did which really helped my low literacy students.
The story does take a bit to get through but this downside can be negated by including short activities to keep the students interested.
This is a really good book to use with students about what’s right and wrong, as well as getting them to think about how their actions affect other people and what to do if they make a poor choice. An important book in any social skills program.