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The Recess Queen

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  1,342 ratings  ·  228 reviews
A fresh & original twist on the common issue of bullying. Kids will relate, & parents & teachers will appreciate the story's deft handling of conflict resolution (which happens w/o adult intervention)

Mean Jean was Recess Queen
and nobody said any different.
Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung.
Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked.
Nobody bounced until Mean Jean boun
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by Scholastic Press (first published January 1st 2002)
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NS- Sarah
I simply love this story about Mean Jean the Recess Queen! There is a bully and her name is Mean Jean. It is known by all kids that when on the playground, "Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung. Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked. Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced." But there world is forever changed when a new students arrives by the name of Katie Sue. Katie Sue isn't aware of these unspoken rules so she starts kicking, bouncing, swinging and playing on the playground. When Mean Jean threa ...more
(NS) Panagiota Angelos
The Recess Queen is a story about a bully named Mean Jean that terrorizes kids on the playground. When it comes to recess time, nobody messes with Mean Jean. “Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung. Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked.” But things change when a new student arrives named Katie Sue. When the recess bell rings, Katie Sue does as she pleases. She didn’t know about Mean Jean and “her rules.” When Mean Jean confronts Katie Sue, she does something none of the other kids have done before…s ...more
NSAndrew Liebergen
The Recess Queen is an interesting story about a bully and a small new kid. This is a great book for discussions on teasing and bullying. A topic much needed in schools today. The students have an opportunity to discuss what really defines a bully. I also think that a teacher could use the book to discuss Mean Jean’s feelings and why she acts the way she does. I think this book demonstrates a great lesson in positive attitude and not judging a book by its cover.
On another note, I cannot describ
Tom Bochnak
This is a shocking book only because it handles bullying in a new, unique way. I imagine there are A LOT of books about bullies in picture books, and there's a good reason for that. However, they usually just fall flat on their face with their message. This book approaches the issue in a unique way because Katie Sue stood up to her bully with kindness instead of violence.

The book would also be easy to read for beginning readers because there's a lot of repetition. The onomatopoeias might be har
Friendship is the true meaning behind this story. The social context in this story revolves around a little girl named Jean that is the big bully at the school. No one dares stand up to her, especially on the playground - that is until a new student comes to school. Usually Mean Jean is the first to do everything during recess. Unaware of "Mean Jean" and her ways, the new girl Ruth Sue comes to school and breaks all of her rules. Mean Jean is ready to fight Ruth Sue, but after marching up to her ...more
Jaclyn Giordano
The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill and Laura Hulisk-Beith is a picture book intended for readers in preschool through grade three. I gave it three stars. “Mean Jean always got her way. Until one day…” Mean Jean was queen of the elementary school yard, always bossing kids around, never one with any friends. The new girl in school, quiet Katie Sue, gets the best of Mean Jean, as Katie Sue is the first, the best, the new one in charge on the playground. Mean Jean reacts to Katie Sue’s invitation t ...more
this book is to show you that sometimes poeple can change and some poeple can not.this book is about a kid that is the recess queen and she does not let anyone kick untill she kicks. she does not let kids swing untill she swings. everything changed untill a new girl came to her school .this girl did not know the queens rules. when she heared the bell ring she ran like lightnig. she was faster then the recess queen. the rcess queen ran after her to tell her about the rules and when the recess que ...more
Reading Level: K-3rd grade
Mean Jean, the recess queen is the playground bully at school. Told in fun rhyming poetic form, "she'd push em and smoosh em, lollapaloosh em," it looks at the reason she bullies and one new girl's actions that change that. I loved the illustrations - so fun and a perfect complement to the fun text. It takes the issue of bullying and presents a possible solution for young children in a really fun way! You could use this in the classroom and create your own rhyming class
Lisa Suchy
“The Recess Queen” is about a Mean Jean, a little girl who is a bully on the playground. She bosses people around and yells at the other kids. Then one day, a new student came to school named Katie Sue. Went recess came, Katie Sue played and played, not knowing the recess queen Mean Jean didn’t let others play before she did. Mean Jean yelled at Katie Sue for playing before she said it was time to play. Then, Katie Sue does the unexpected and asks Mean Jean to play with her! Will the bossy Mean ...more
Michael Torres
The Recess Queen is a great book to read to kids, when you want to get a certain message across to them. In the beginning we are introduced to Mean Jean the Recess Queen and how she handles things on the playground. She isn't the nicest person, and she is very bossy, as well as rude. All of the kids are scared of her and I think that was a great way to establish the antagonist of the story. The antagonist is usually the bad guy and in this story that is exactly who Mean Jean is. Although, we are ...more
Leyla Shill
"The Recess Queen", by Alexis O’Neill, is a book about a girl named Jean who was a bully on the playground. She was mean and bossy and everyone did what she said, until one day a new student, Katie Sue, arrived. Being a new student, Katie Sue did not know that she was not suppose to play until Mean Jean said it was ok, and eventually would change recess forever.

"The Recess Queen" is a very lighthearted book that gives the message of the importance of friendship. This book is perfect for childre
Sarah DeWalt
"The Recess Queen" is a story filled with fun imaginative words telling a story of a girl who wouldn't let the other kids at school have fun at recess. Her name was Jean, but everyone called her mean jean the recess queen. Every day she pushed kids over took the balls they were playing with took their swings and so on. Until one day when Katie Sue showed up. Katie Sue was the girl who changed mean Jean simply by being her friend and changed the fun of recess for everyone.
This story is full of f
In The Recess Queen, Jean is the queen of the playground during recess time. All the school child are afraid of Jean, as to where they gave her the nick name "Mean Jean." Mean Jean controls all the rules on the playground. Everyday the children would wait for Mean Jean before they did anything, until the new girl comes to school.

The illustrator uses colors to explain the emotions and feelings of the story. For example, Jean had dark hair representing the "evil" character in the book. The new g
In the story, The Recess Queen, it focuses on a girl frequently referred to as Mean Jean. She is queen of the playground at recess time during school. If kids ever crossed her, she would surely put them in their place. The story shows a common theme of bullying. The kids were always too scared of Mean Jean to stick up for themselves.

Another little girl soon enters the story. Her name is Katie Sue. She is the new girl at school and does not know the rules to obey Mean Jean. The teeny, tiny Katie
Lauren Gallaspy
The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill tells the story of Mean Jean a playground bully who wouldn't allow any of the other kids on the playground to play until Mean Jean got to play first. Everyday the children would let Mean Jean get her way never questioning her actions until one day a new kid Katie Sue comes to the playground and changes everything. Mean Jean no longer went first Katie Sue was going to play whenever she wanted to and for the first time ever Mean Jean was finally asked if she want ...more
Tori Serrano
The Recess Queen is about a little girl named Jean who considered herself “Queen” of the playground. Everyone on the playground followed her rules, which were they were not allowed to do anything until she did. She tend to bully all the kids on the playground until everyone knew that she had to be the first to do everything. A new little girl came along and changed Jeans rules. This is a great book to teach kids about playing with others and introducing them to the concept of bullying. The messa ...more
The Recess Queen is a story of children during recess time and the evolution of the enemy turning into a hero. This book is a great example of how the antagonist in a story can turn into the protagonist. At the same time, this book is not overly didactic and is intriguing for an audience of all ages. The illustrations and variation of text style and size adds voice to the characters and makes the book not only fun to read but to look at. The text and illustrations in the book can create many dif ...more
Alicia Beaumier
I loved loved loved this book. When mean jean recess queen is introduced the illustrations match her "Power" perfectly. The other kids reactions when she was around were so appropriate. This book had such a great message and I feel like the writer really appropriately captured the typical "bully". Then they have a nice twist. Katie sue comes in and tried to becomes friends with mean jean. Mean jean was not accepting of her friendship at first. But after a while she finally started to play with K ...more
Cassandra Collins
The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill is about a elementary student named Mean Jean. Mean Jean frightens the other children so that they will not play until she plays. Then comes a little girl named Katie Sue. Katie Sue doesn't listen to Mean Jean's rules and plays anyway. Mean Jean is angered by this until Katie Sue asks her to play together. From then on Mean Jean got along with the other kids.

This books carries a great message to younger kids. Bullying is in issue present in elementary school, a
Alex Valenzuela
The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neil is a cute story about a playground bully and the quirky little redhead who changes things up. Mean Jean, as everyone calls her, is the self-proclaimed Recess Queen. Nobody swings, kicks, or bounces until Mean Jean does and that’s just the way it goes. One day a new kid, oblivious to the playground monarchy that’s been set up, arrives on the scene. Redheaded Katie Sue arrives with her crazy braids and big glasses and swings, kicks, and bounces all before Mean Jea ...more
Alicia Rotter
The Recess Queen is all about a playground bully who meets her match when a new girl comes to school.
The fast paced and silliness in the book draws in the young audience and keeps them on their toes. Mean is the recess queen, and is feared by all of the children. This can be something that children can easily relate to, because majority have all met that one person you just know not to mess with. I know I had that one person in grade school I was absolutely terrified of. The book gives this sit
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Dennis Graham
#1 The Recess Queen is a story about a young girl who is the playground bully until another girl comes along and challenges her authority. This character ultimately evokes the recess queens way of thinking, aiding her to see the joy in having fun rather than taking pleasure in bullying others. This story uses the stereotypical images in a clever way to get the point across. The recess queen had black hair. Usually, dark colors in children's stories symbolize “the bad guy” while brighter colors s ...more
Lauren Carlson
The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill is a great children’s book about bullying and friendship. It takes place in an elementary school playground where Mean Jean rules the playground. None of the little kids can play before Mean Jean plays. Every kid is afraid of her and lets her boss them around until one day everything changes. Katie Sue is the new girl in town, she may be one of the smallest kids in the school but she does not stand for any bullying. That day when playground time came around Kat ...more
Brooke Leone
The Recess Queen written by Alexis O'Neill is a great book for young children. Mean Jean is known as the Recess Queen. She is charge at recess, no one kicks before she kicks, no one jumps before she jumps, everyone does a mean Jean does. One day a little red head named Katie Sue shows up to school. As the new girl she didn't know Mean Jean was in charge so she "kicked before Mean Jean kicked" which did not go well with Mean Jean. Then Katie Sue asked Mean Jean to play with her. Eventually Jean p ...more
Brooke Wagner
In The Recess Queen a story is told of a bully who runs he playground. Mean Jean does everything before anyone else can, and no one even tries to disagree. Mean Jean makes the rules. That is, until Katie Sue comes to school. Katie Sue turns the whole situation on its head, simply by not knowing that Katie Sue is the "queen". The change that Katie Sue creates goes beyond simply breaking Mean Jean's rules. The end is truly inspiring.

Alexis O'Neill wrote The Recess Queen in such a way that it is sc
Hannah Julsrud
Mean Jean ran the whole class with her black ponytail and mischievous smile, and recess was her favorite. She really was the queen of recess, and whatever she said went, no questions asked. If someone didn't want to play by Mean Jean's rules, they were simply squashed. The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill is a fun story about a quirky little girl who pays no mind to Mean Jean's ridiculous recess rules, confusing and infuriating her. Little Katie Sue, a quirky little redhead, joins the class and si ...more
Kevin Rosendale
Recess Queen is story that every kid would enjoy. The illustrations along with the words make this story a complete hit with kids. The words in the story are not all real words but the author doe this to give kids a chance to hear some fun rhyming words. With words like "hammered 'em, slammered 'em, kitz and kajammered 'em" it gives the teacher a chance to give the book some life by reading these in a fun way. The story has a twist that not many see coming. In this story the Recess Queen Mean Je ...more
Marissa Horton
In the book, The Recess Queen, mean Jean the recess queen rules recess and the other kids do not dare "swing until mean Jean swings, or kicks until mean Jean kicks...". If anyone messes with mean Jean she yells at them, "just who do you think you're talking to?". Mean Jean is the bully who makes the rules and expects everyone to follow. Until one day little Katie Sue, the new girl, comes along and changes recess forever.

In this book, the author and illustrator collaborate well together. The col
Nicole Fiene
The first thing I noticed when reading The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill was the text. Not only are the words energetic and fun for kids of all ages, but the way they are written is like the author wants you to read them like a song or a poem. When reading the text, the words flow so smoothly together that you barely realize how quickly you are moving through the story. Throughout the book the author also uses repetition of words and phrases. The reader can see a lot of the same fun words and p ...more
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