Bullying takes many forms and many different reasons so it is essential that discussing bullying with kids is a conversations parents, carers and teachers should have with the children in their care. A great way to approach the subject is with books, children love stories and books help to get across reasons for bullying, why it is wrong and what to do about in ways the reader can understand. One such book is Overcoming Bullying – Ayman’s Tale by Lotta Kasse.
The author, Lotta Kasse, is a black Muslim woman who has experience of the challenges of being different and facing bullying. She has written a simple, yet powerful story about the challenges faced by a young girl starting a new school who is treated very differently by the other school children.
Overcoming Bullying – Ayman’s Tale is the story about a young girl originally from Senegal in West Africa (a country that is about 2885 miles away from the UK). She is a kind, smart, and curious girl with big dreams and a big heart, just like a lot of children around the world. She was looking forward to starting a new school and making lots of new friends. But things didn’t start off as well as she imagined as she is ignored, treated differently and the other kids were generally mean to her, all because she was seen as different from the others with her unfamiliar name and different clothing. This is a form of bullying and it made Ayman very sad.
But Ayman is a very resilient young girl and by speaking to her teacher and her taking onboard her parents advice she learns to embrace her own uniqueness to just be herself and the bullies soon begin to appreciate her for who she is.
Overall, this is a simple story that children from all backgrounds will be able to relate to and take positive messages from. It is a story that promotes diversity, embracing uniqueness and just being yourself.
Bullying is a subject that needs to be tackled early, teaching children the value of accepting others for who they are, and despite any differences, we are all the same with our own unique qualities. And this is an excellent book to explore how treating others differently because of skin colour, religion, beliefs, language, names, clothing or anything other reason that makes someone different from you is never okay and is hurtful.
As well as looking at bullying through being mean it also takes a good look at never being afraid to be yourself and embracing what you enjoy and what you are good at even if you are worried what others will think.
Overcoming Bullying – Ayman’s Tale is a story around bullying and overcoming it. But it is also a story of being yourself, treating others how you want to be treated, being kind to each other and never letting the opinions of others define who we are or what we can accomplish, especially at a young age. The author, Lotta Kasse, says it much better that I can “At the end of the day, no matter how we look or where we come from, we are all capable of greatness”. It is a story that promotes diversity, empathy and understanding in a child-friendly easy to read way and large text.
Accompanying the text are some excellent illustrations to help tell the story.
I think that this is an excellent book for children, parents, carers and teachers to start a discussion around the very important subject of bullying and its many forms as well as accepting yourself and others for who they are, being resilient, self-belief and self-confidence.
If you need more advice about bullying and what to do if you are experiencing bullying, whether as an adult or a child, please visit www.nationalbullyinghelpline.co.uk.
RRP: £5.99 (Paperback) / £3.99 (Kindle)
Available to buy from Amazon here.