Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Parent & Afterschool Resources

ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.



HomeParent & Afterschool ResourcesPodcast Episodes

Podcast Podcast

Episode 37 — Confessions of a Former Bully


E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

Listen Now

Grades K – 5
Podcast Series Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
See all episodes in this series

iTunes Subscription
Duration 13:12
Original Air Date Published August 01, 2011

Music in this podcast is provided by Freeplay Music.


Book Chat

Expert Chat


Book Chat

book coverJust Kidding
Author: Trudy Ludwig
Illustrator: Adam Gustavson
Publisher: Tricycle Press, 2006


Have you ever known someone who says something really mean and then follows it up with “just kidding”? That is exactly what happens to DJ. His friend Vince often puts him down in front of other people, but when DJ gets upset Vince plays it off like he is just kidding and that DJ can’t take a joke. This story about friendship and standing up for your self will ring true for many kids. Like Trudy’s other books, she offers tangible solutions for standing up for yourself as well as a discussion guide for parents and teachers to use to spark conversation with kids.


book coverSorry!
Author: Trudy Ludwig
Illustrator:Maurie J. Manning
Publisher: Tricycle Press, 2006


Sometimes when you make a mistake the only thing to say is “Sorry!” even though it doesn’t entirely fix the problem. However, when you use an apology to get away with anything you want, you might find yourself in a bit of trouble. And that is what has happened to Jack. Until Jack met Charlie, Jack didn’t have many friends, so he felt lucky when Charlie wanted to be his friend. And to keep Charlie as his friend, Jack found himself in situations that made him uncomfortable—like throwing a water balloon at his unsuspecting neighbor or breaking his friend Leena’s science fair project. Jack begins to realize that saying sorry when you don’t mean it hurts other people and makes you feel rotten inside.


book coverToo Perfect
Author: Trudy Ludwig
Illustrator: Lisa Fields
Publisher: Tricycle Press, 2009


To Maisie, Kayla seems perfect. She makes straight A’s; she’s thin, pretty, and a great athlete; and she has lots of friends. However, when Ms. Kim assigns Maisie and Kayla as partners for a science project, Maisie sees that being perfect isn’t all that it seems. In fact, Kayla seems frustrated and sad when she can’t do things perfectly. When she misses the goal in the soccer game, she blames her friends and fails to see all the good things she did in the game. And when she can’t get the ending right on the science report, she crumples the paper and begins to cry. Maisie tries to understand her friend and begins to realize that no one is perfect and that trying to be perfect is hard to live up to. Trudy creates a compassionate and perceptive character in Maisie and provides afterwords by Dr. Greenspon, a licensed psychologist, and herself that shed more light on the pervasive issue of perfectionism in children. She also offers a discussion guide as well as further resources for reading.


book coverMy Secret Bully
Author: Trudy Ludwig
Illustrator: Abigail Marble
Publisher: Tricycle Press, 2004


Monica’s best friend is also her secret bully. It’s hard to imagine that a friend can also be a bully, but what many kids and parents don’t realize is that bullying takes on more forms than just physical bullying. In this book, Monica an elementary-aged student experiences emotional bullying from her friend Katie. Katie does things like whispers about Monica when she’s near, excludes her from activities, and threatens to not be her friend when Monica does something Katie doesn’t like. Trudy approaches a subject that adults often brush off as “girls being girls” and offers advice and ideas for how to handle situations when your friend may also be your bully.


book coverConfessions of a Former Bully
Author: Trudy Ludwig
Illustrator: Beth Adams
Publisher: Tricycle Press, 2010


Quick fact: Nine out of 10 elementary students have been bullied by a peer. That is a lot of children bullying, which is why this book is so relevant. The book, told in journal format and told from the perspective of a reformed bully, is an informative and interesting text on bullying. In it, kids will learn why kids bully, what to do to empower themselves if someone bullies them, and what to do if they are ever a bystander and see bullying. This is a great book for kids who have questions about bullying and for parents and adults who are looking for a way to approach the subject.

Expert Chat

Trudy Ludwig chats about her newest book, Confessions of a Former Bully. She discusses the different forms of bullying (parents and kids might be surprised at the different ways someone can be bullied) as well as sharing her Totally Awesome Empower Tools that give kids solutions for handling bullying situations in smart and assertive ways.