Howard B. Wigglebottom dreads going to school because of the horrible Snorton twins. They are mean to him and steal his lunch. So every day, he thinks about the best way to try to avoid their bullying, but nothing seems to work. All week, Howard hears a voice in his head telling him, “Be brave, be bold, a teacher must be told.” He doesn’t want to do this, because he’s afraid he’ll be called a tattletale and get in even more trouble. But one day Howard sees the Snortons being mean to each other, and finally realizes he needs to speak up.
When kids are being bullied, they often feel like there is nothing they can do. They believe the bullies who warn them not to tell anyone, and that they deserve to be treated poorly because of some weakness in themselves. Howard’s actions in simply trying to avoid the Snortons are very believable and real. But these attempts seldom work, and it’s only by speaking up that Howard can finally have peace in his life.
Howard B. Wiggletom Learns About Bullies is a great story for kids to learn how best to deal with bullies, and why trying to cope on their own simply won’t work. In addition to the story itself, there is a special section with guidelines for kids to refer back to if they’re dealing with a bully in their own lives. There are also some helpful suggestions for teachers to encourage kids to let them know about bullying.
Reviewer: Alice Berger