News, Notes & Inside Info from a Children’s Book Author

Archive for the ‘bullying’ Category

New Slide for School Visits

Monday, March 24th, 2014 Posted in Around the Web, School Visits, bullying | No Comments »


Came across this today and thought it would make a good slide for my Middle School presentations. It basically expresses where I come out on all the tips and strategies for so-called "Bully Proofing" a school. It's why these students ...

Fan Mail Wednesday #173: Sally from South Korea Asks About “BYSTANDER”

Friday, January 17th, 2014 Posted in Bystander, Fan Mail, bullying | No Comments »


Here we go, folks. Since this letter essentially consisted of questions, I broke format and inserted my answers directly beneath each question. For your reading pleasure! This is South Korean student reading your book, Bystander. I really enjoyed reading your book. ...

The Difference Between Empathy & Sympathy

Monday, January 13th, 2014 Posted in Bystander, bullying | No Comments »


This video is a surprisingly effective means of demonstrating the power of empathy: what it looks like, what it feels like, what it means to connect. After writing Bystander, visiting schools and speaking with students and educators, trying to think about ...

EINSTEIN: The World Is a Dangerous Place . . .

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 Posted in Bystander, bullying | No Comments »


REPOST: Thoughts On Bullying, Bystanders, and Middle Schoolers

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 Posted in Bystander, Middle School Life, bullying | No Comments »


Note: This was first posted over at The Nerdy Book Club, a great sight for fans of children's books. Recommended. EVERYBODY ELSE IS ALREADY TAKEN “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something ...

Five Days, 14 Presentations, More than 6,000 Students, and a Cowboy Steak

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 Posted in Bystander, School Visits, Uncategorized, bullying | 2 Comments »


On Friday the 20th, I traveled to Wolcott, Connecticut, where I spoke to 650 students, grades 6-8, at Tyrrell Middle School. They had all read Bystander as part of their summer reading program and, I'm sure, as part of their ...

Short, Sweet Review of “BYSTANDER” by The Reading Junky

Friday, July 12th, 2013 Posted in Bystander, bullying | No Comments »


Came across a nice review of Bystander at the Reading Junky, a site written by a woman about to embark on her 36th year of teaching. They give out Purple Hearts for that, don't they? Or just smile stickers? Here's the money quote: Author ...

KINDNESS: My Trip to the 2013 Youth Writing Festival at Calvin College

Thursday, April 25th, 2013 Posted in In the Classroom, School Visits, Uncategorized, bullying | No Comments »


I just returned from a wonderful, two-night trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I was invited (by Gary Schmidt!) to participate in the 2013 Youth Writing Festival at Calvin College. At one point it looked exactly like this: As my Nation of ...

One Reason Why I Titled the Book “Bystander”

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 Posted in Around the Web, Bystander, bullying | 2 Comments »


Fan Mail #166: Lessons Learned, Messages Sent (and a Complaint about The Berenstain Bears)

Sunday, February 24th, 2013 Posted in Bystander, Fan Mail, Uncategorized, bullying | No Comments »


Here's one I had to think about a little bit, then pause, and reconsider, and pause again. Dear Mr.Preller: We are 7th graders at _______ Middle School. We have recently read your book Bystander, and have learned some valuable lessons about ...