Elem. – Pony Girls (Set 2) Series Fiction

Mullarkey, Lisa. Pony Girls (Set 2). Abdo Publishing, 2020. 978-1-532-13646-7. $20.95 ea. $83.80 set of 4. Grades 2-5.

Charlie. 978-1-532-13646-7.
Gracie. 978-1-532 13647-4.
Paisley. 978-1-532-13648-1.
Zoey. 978-1-532-13649-8.

Charlie loves being a camper at Storm Cliff Stables, but some things just make her belly swishy swashy. She wants to be able to go on a full trail ride and jump the vaults, but she just can’t seem to do it without her belly causing troubles and her heart going thump, thump, thump. Thankfully her friends, Aunt Jane, her mom, and Dr. Bell have helped her with different strategies to keep her nerves away. She will become a full Warrior and be able to achieve her goals, if she keeps visualizing them and doing her very best!

THOUGHTS: The ability in this book to discuss anxiety issues and panic attacks is absolutely phenomenal. The coping strategies listed in here are great strategies that readers can use to help keep nerves at bay and help reduce anxiety. A great choice for a young reader who is interested in horses or animals and may be dealing with their own fears and anxieties.

Realistic Fiction         Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

The Survival Guide to Bullying – MS & HS


Mayrock, Aija. The Survival Guide to Bullying, Written by a Teen. New York: Scholastic, 2015. 153 p. 978-0-545-86066-6 Grades 5-12.

Mayrock, now nineteen years old, endured bullying during middle and high school. The reasons aren’t clear, just that she was chosen to be “it.” In fact, she was told by a classmate, “It’s not personal. It’s just you.” Out of the confusion and fear and pain, when she emerged, she realized she had to write a book. Her creativity flourishing (she wrote a sceenplay (about bullying) the day of the deadline and won the Santa Barbara International Film Festival), she decided to use words to help those still struggling with bullying. She opens each chapter with a “roem”, her own term for a rap poem. The guide offers short assessments for readers to define their bullying and “six stepping stones to the real you” including: embrace your creativity, believe what you really believe, and become the real you in school. She repeatedly tells readers to talk with parents and teachers, even offering verbal and written scripts for how to approach the matter. One chapter covers tactics for smartly maneuvering difficult school scenarios (hallways, lunchroom, locker room, classroom); another chapter takes on cyberbullying with several good insights, the best—and toughest—being “go dark,” that is, take a short or long-term break from social media. The book does lack insight on how one’s faith might prove helpful or how to build a legal case against bullies, but these are not Mayrock’s emphases. She simply wants to provide a book of hope to those in the “dark tunnel.” And at this, she succeeds. The book ends with a list of online resources.  THOUGHTS: The slim size of this volume and the inviting interior make this a non-threatening way for teens to combat bullying by changing their views of themselves. Combine with Words Wound: How to Delete Cyberbullying and Make Kindness Go Viral (2015) for greater online insight, Hey, Back Off! Tips for Stopping Teen Harassment (2011), Paige Rawl’s Positive: Surviving My Bullies, Finding Hope, and Living to Change the World and Rosen’s I Have Been Cyberbullied, Now What? (2016). Recommended for grades 5-12. Discussion Guide is available via Titlewave entry.

302.34 Bullying      Melissa Scott, Shenango High School