As a child of refugees, books were a safe and special place for Susanne Gervay to explore the world and ideas. She wants that for all young people. You'll find her planting mangroves in Kiribati; in Istanbul speaking to thousands of kids about no bullying; in remote indigenous schools bringing literacy to kids; touring with her I Am Jack play, adapted by Monkey Baa Theatre across Australia and the USA. Susanne's acclaimed books are widely endorsed by the Cancer Council NSW, Variety and The Children's Hospital Westmead. She is an ambassador for Room to Read, bringing education to the children of the developing world; a role model for Books in Homes, taking books to disadvantaged and indigenous children in Australia; and a literacy ambassador for many campaigns. Susanne is also Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), promoting the community of writers and illustrators in Australia and internationally. She has been awarded the Lifetime Social Justice Literature Award by the International Literacy Association, an Order of Australia, and was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. www.sgervay.com Author photo by Jessica Higgins
Gr 1-4-This Australian import is about bullying, but it's also about friendship, shifting family structure, and the school experience. George Hamel knows each and every one of Jack's tender spots. He tells Jack that nobody would marry his mum. That his dad left because of him. And after Jack makes a joke about him, George has the whole school chanting "Butt Head" every time Jack walks by. Jack tries to hide. He makes sure he is late to school, hangs out in the library at lunch, and wears his swimsuit under his pants so he will not have to change before gym class. He wants to tell his mother what is going on, but doesn't want to worry her. After all, she is working two shifts just to make ends meet. Most of Jack's friends fade into the distance so as not to be associated with him, but his neighbor Anna ends up telling her folks about the bullying, and soon a plan is set in motion to get Jack some help. Illustrations appear throughout this easy chapter book. While the message comes through clearly, it's lightened by Jack's antics and jokes. A welcome addition to books on the topic such as Andrew Clements's Jake Drake, Bully Buster (S & S, 2001) and Laurie Myer's Surviving Brick Johnson (Clarion, 2000).-Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York City (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.