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3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  493 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
Patricia Polacco takes on cliques and online bullying

Lyla finds a great friend in Jamie on her first day of school, but when Lyla makes the cheerleading squad and a clique of popular girls invites her to join them, Jamie is left behind. Lyla knows bullying when she sees it, though, and when she sees the girls viciously teasing classmates on Facebook, including Jamie, she i
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Bully by Patricia PolaccoHow to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri SmithPressing On by Roni StonemanI Love Lucy by Jess OppenheimerThe Christmas Wish by Alexandra Lanc
Books read in December 2012
1st out of 19 books — 3 voters
Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée RussellTales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renée RussellTales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess by Rachel Renée RussellDouble Dork Diaries by Rachel Renée RussellTales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All by Rachel Renée Russell
7th grade
107th out of 148 books — 76 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 925)
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Lisa Vegan
Oct 02, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Patricia Polacco fans; for discussing cyber-bullying and bullying in general
It was ready at the library today. I picked it up today. I read it today. Now I’ll have to wait year for her next book. I’ve been caught up for a while with all Polacco’s books so I’ve been waiting book to book. This was a worthwhile one to wait for.

I think this story does an admirable job of addressing the subject of cyber-bullying, in this case among some sixth graders.

I realize that this book and several other books by this author-illustrator could (almost) go on my san-francisco shelf. I ac
Kelly Ketcham
Raise your hand if you can tell us what cyber bullying means. Who has seen or experienced cyber bullying? What if you finally became a member of the popular crowd but then realized you didn't agree with the choices they were making. This is what happens to Lyla in "Bully" by Patricia Polacco. Lyla is left with a choice and must make some difficult decisions in her sixth grade year to do the right thing. However, every choice has a consequence...

Opening Moves-
-Tell the meaning of a key word
Dec 24, 2014 Nathan rated it it was amazing
I've been looking forward to this book since I heard about it. And after I heard the news of Amanda Todd's suicide, I was interested in it even more. This is a topic which needs to be talked about with young kids. So a book for Elementary students about cyber bullying? What a great idea - bring it on!
This book delivered. It is simple in plot and words, perfect for older kids in Elementary school. The plot was great and easily followed. The illustrations are good as well; although not my favorite
Valerie Barnhart
Feb 13, 2015 Valerie Barnhart rated it it was amazing
Shelves: k-2-books
As sixth graders, how does it feel to be a new student at a school? Did you know some people from elementary school? The friends you had in elementary, are they still your friends in middle school? Why or why not?

How would you feel if you didn't know anyone at middle school? Perhaps you moved from the other side of town or another city, how would you feel as a new student at our middle school? As we gain new friends, do we change? Do we keep the old friends from before?

What character traits are
May 20, 2014 Genee121 rated it it was amazing
I'm a new and now forever fan of Patricia Polacco. Her book, Bully truly touched my heart. Immediately after I sat the book down, my 15 year old daughter picked it up, and read it immediately. Once she finished reading it, we conversed on the subject of bullying and how the school she attends practices and enforces anti-bullying. This book is a must read for teachers, students, and parents alike because it focuses on some of the effects that bullying can have on people.

Lyla Dean and her family
Sue Seligman
Oct 15, 2013 Sue Seligman rated it it was amazing
When I heard that Patricia Polacco wrote a book called Bully, I thought it was going to be a YA chapter book, but I was wrong. It is a children's book with Polacco's signature illustrations and concerns a 6th grade girl's experience with cyber bullying. Lyla has moved to a new school near the Golden Gate Bridge, and immediately becomes friendly with a cheerful boy named Jamie. She soon becomes aware that the school is inhabited by the usual cliques of middle school: the athletes, the nerds, the ...more
When Lyla Dean's family moves to the San Francisco area, she is relieved to make friends with another new student, Jamie Aldrich. But their friendship is threatened when she is invited to join popular girls Gage, Kenyon and Maeve at their table. Although Lyla knows it's wrong, she says nothing when the girls leave cruel comments on other students' Facebook pages. As she watches her younger brother and Jamie become victimized by the school bullies, she decides to stand up to Gage on Jamie's behal ...more
Oct 10, 2013 Jackie rated it really liked it
A powerful look at cyber-bullying, school, and middle-school students. Jamie and Lyla are new to the school and become friends in the spirit of new-kid friendship. They have a lot in common, but as Lyla starts to excel at all activities in school, cheer-leading, grades, and service, Jamie is left behind somewhat. They are still friends, but....

Now, Lyla has caught the eye of the most popular girls at school and they take her under their wings. When the group starts a cyber-bullying campaign aga
Marguarite Markley
A nice addition to Patricia Polacco's wealth of stories about real life situations. I think the bully's punishment should have been more severe, but realistically speaking, it is probably more of an accurate depiction of what would have happened to the bully. I think it is important to note, however, that the popular kids are not always the ones who do the bullying. Sometimes bullies can be loners who pick on other loners simply for something to do. I would read this to introduce the topic of bu ...more
Melissa Rosas
Nov 14, 2015 Melissa Rosas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
"Bully" is a book about just that, bullying. It tells the story of Lyla Dean and how she is a new kid at a school in California. She becomes friends with another student, Jaime, who was a tech genius. They quickly became good friends. Jaime informed Lyla that she would be the only person at school who didn't have a cell phone and laptop and that she needed to convince her parents to get her those things so that she could fit in and even get her own Facebook page. Lyla excelled at school and caug ...more
Ashlee Christians
1. I want you to think about a time where someone may have hurt your feelings. I want you to think about a time, it could have been you or a friend of yours, that you witnessed them being bullied or someone teasing someone else. Think about the feelings that person must have felt when being treated so unfairly. Does anyone have a time they would like to share with the class? (student responses) Today, I am going to read a story that is about a girl who goes through being bullied. I want you to p ...more
Kari Martycz
Mar 04, 2015 Kari Martycz rated it really liked it
Patricia Polacco's Bully is about a young girl moving to a new school, and dealing with social media, and new friends. The Lyla meets a new friend, Jamie, at her 6th grade school. Lyla isn't familiar with technology and social media, so when she gets onto the Cheerleading team and become friends with the "popular" girls, Jamie and her friendship begins to change. The new set of friends are very mean to people on social media, and try to drag Lyla into the mix. When the state testing is compromis ...more
Lyla is starting a new school. Like any kid she is nervous and very grateful when she meets Jaime, a fellow new student and they become fast friends. She discovers that her new school has the same social divisions her old one did: the jocks, nerds, tough kids and arty ones. There, of course, was also the clique table. The girls who sat there called it the celebrity table. These 3 girls were the schools queen bees and they made sure everyone knew it.

These girls didn't have much use for Lyla until
1. Third grade friends, today we are going to be reading the book Bully, by Patricia Polacco. . Do any of you have predictions about what this book might be about? In this story, a girl named Lyla is accepted into a "popular" group in school. Lyla soon learns that her new friends were bullies. What is a bully? Not only were these friends bullies, but they used Facebook and texting to be cruel to other kids. This is called cyber bullying. It is bullying that doesn't take place face to face, but o ...more
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Polacco, Patricia. Bully. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2012. Print
This review is also on Get Kids to Read:

The subject of bullying in general but online bullying in particular is very important to address with children. Being bullied online can be scary and they need to know how to deal with it. Books like Bully by Patricia Pollacco can make for a good conversation starter with students and children who are experiencing this type of bullying.
In Bully, Lyla is
Tammi Peterman
Opening: Today we are going to continue our discussion of bullying. In the last few books we have read the bullying has been very verbal and face to face but bullying can happen in many different ways. Today we are going to see a whole new form of bullying.

Before we begin reading I am going to read a definition to you from the Merriam Webster dictionary: “the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person (as a student) often done anonymously”. Does anyone know what word I am refer
Sep 09, 2015 Ellie rated it really liked it
I read this to my grade 5/6 students today for eSmart week. What a powerful way to demonstrate not only the effect of cyber bullying but how it can also make you question those people around you that you had originally trusted. My class were fascinated and couldn't believe that something like that could happen. We had a great discussion about why people say things online when it could hurt someone's feelings. They had loads of questions about my own experiences online and what it was like to exp ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Personal response: I enjoyed this book and especially enjoyed the good moral challenges that it presents. It was actually quite relatable to me because being a preteen wasn't that long ago for me and I can remember when I would plead with my parents to get a Facebook and a cellphone. The story is easy to follow and the illustrations support the text very well.

Purposes: Read aloud to 4-6th graders or have them read it on their own time and have them come back and discuss and answer questions with
Brandi M.
Jun 18, 2014 Brandi M. rated it liked it
1. Opening: How many of you use some form of social media? I also use social media to keep in touch with my family and friends. It is important when we are responsible users of social media when online.

Today we are going to read another book called Bully. This book is very different than the book we have already read. The topic of this text is cyber-bullying. Does anyone know what cyber-bullying means?

As we read today, I want you to think about any connections you might have to this story. Remem
Sarah Rourke
Feb 22, 2015 Sarah Rourke rated it it was amazing
Personal Reaction: I like this book a lot because it is a very well written book that kept me interested throughout. This book teaches about bullies and how easy it is to get pulled into becoming a bully. I think this is very important topic for students in the sixth grade, because they are just entering middle school and have probably been bullied themselves and trying to figure out where they belong. Not only does this book teach some life lessons, but keeps kids engaged throughout the story!

Jul 30, 2013 Nicole rated it liked it
I'm curious to find out how this book is received by the children who are the audience. As an adult I think it seems a bit sensationalized. I do like that it ends with a question posed to the reader about how they would respond to such actions.
Laterose North
Mar 06, 2014 Laterose North rated it it was ok
I found this a shallow and inauthentic story about standing up to a school bully. The characters just didn't click with me at all and the plot was the same as Mean Girls, but not funny.
Amanda Sheila
Oct 05, 2014 Amanda Sheila rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-book
Even though this book, personally to me, not really child friendly, it's definitely will if the parents are guiding the child while reading it.

I loved this book. I cried, I laugh and I feel because though I have never been bullied before, I understand how Jamie feels. This book is deep despite the illustrated cover and I suggest all children read it because after reading it they'll understand that bullying is not a good thing to do. Especially when the bullying starts happening in the younger c
Jan 27, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
I know that every time I pick up a book by the wonderful story teller Patricia Polacco that it will be a terrific memory or a lesson to learn, or both. This time, Patricia tells the story of Lyla, new to her school, keeping a low key profile until she sees that the popular girls aren’t so nice, and she pushes them away to return to her old friend, a boy named Jamie. Thing are worse before they better and the story introduces a bully that might be recognized as a cyber-bully on Facebook. Only tw ...more
May 13, 2015 Anna rated it really liked it
Patricia Polacco’s book can relate to many students in schools today. With students getting cell phones, and access to social media this book can help students understand what cyber bullying is. Lyla is not only on the side being bullied, but she, at times, is on the side of bullying others. This book can help teach students the importance of walking away. Lyla does not go straight to adults, but you see how her actions are hurting others and stops. This book can be read to 3rd graders, even tho ...more
Kyle Shook
A classic story with 21st century skills, the text follows Lyla as she goes from new student to one of the populars at her new school. However, her popularity comes with a price. She is now lumped together with the three most popular girls in school (one of whom has recently experienced a catastrophic loss). Lyla, unlike many protagonists in bullying novels, does not participate in bullying and makes her exit before it’s too late. However, social media and vicious rumors sparked by the leader of ...more
TA Children's Lit Profile
The premise of this book reminded me of "Mean Girls" for middle school. I was excited to read it because I love Patricia Polacco and was interested to see how she would take on this big subject. I was slightly disappointed in the level of emotional depth that I found. That being said, the characters are relatable and the book has an important message. I would recommend this book to middle school students (5th-8th), though the themes of dealing with peer pressure and bullying obviously extend out ...more
Julie Sigmund
Mar 07, 2013 Julie Sigmund rated it it was amazing
perfect read to begin a conversation about bullying, especially cyber bullying.
Eric Black
Sep 24, 2014 Eric Black rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Possible spoilers in review.

An important book at a good time. I appreciate Polacco's work and admire her illustrations. The illustrations in Bully carry the story almost as well as the words.

I appreciate the book, with the following caveats.

The age of Lyla and her classmates is beyond the typical age of someone reading picture books (except for myself, I suppose). I think an elementary version is just as important.

I also think more ought to be done with Gage and her situation and how the loss of
Apr 30, 2014 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Patricia Polacco has such an ability to tackle tough subjects and tug at our heartstrings at the same time. I don't know how she does it, but I've come to prepare myself to cry each time I read one of her books. This is an important tale, especially for parents of girls, to read and share with their children.

In this story, she shows how cruel children (especially adolescent girls) can be. She explains the lure of popularity and the difficult choices a child may be forced to make in order to stay
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