The Recess Queen
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The Recess Queen

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  935 ratings  ·  182 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...more
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...more
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...more
Anna Summers
The book, Recess Queen, is about a playground bully nicknamed Mean Jean. Everyone is afraid of Mean Jean because she bullies them around. The new girl, Katie Sue, invites Mean Jean to jump rope with her. Jean and Katie Sue become friends, and Jean is no longer the playground bully. The colorful, lively illustrations are action packed and give the reader a great image of the playground happenings. I love the fact that all it took for Mean Jean to stop being a bully was for someone to ask her to p...more
This book is about a mean student who bullies her classmates on the playground.
“Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung. Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked.” One day, the class gets a new student named Katie Sue. Katie sue played on the playground before Mean Jean. Mean Jean was upset that Katie Sue dared to go against her wishes and tried to bully Katie Sue. By the end, Mean Jean stopped her bullying and became friends with her classmates. I would use this book to teach students against bullying...more
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This book would be great to instruct on bullies in the classroom. I liked the way it handled the issue without labeling the children.
Erykah Harris
This book teaches about bullying and where it gets you, NOWHERE!! This girl named Mean Jean was the so called recess queen. No one could jump, kick, or bounce until she did. She controlled the recess playground until the new girl, Katie Sue, came. The new girl didn't care what Jean had to say. She wanted to play and that's all she cared about. When Jean came and tried to intimidate her, it didn't work; instead, Kaitie invited Jean to play with her. Jean decided to and ever since then, everyone w...more
Jun 23, 2014 Andre added it
Mean jean was a very mean kid. when it came to recess, she ran the whole playground. Other kids couldn't do anything unless she did it first. The next day a new student came to class name Katie Sue.
she was a tiny kid. but when the recess bell ranged, she out. And she played before mean jean did. Mean jean was full of anger and told her to stop. But Katie said other wise and kept playing. Jean got more mad a Katie. But katie did jump rope by her self and told jean to jump with her. A voice told...more
Daer Hewett
"The Recess Queen" was a good story about a girl who thought she was the queen of recess. She bullied the kids, they couldn't until she played with all the equipment. Until the tiny new girl came. When it was recess she ran out before everyone even mean jean. Jean went up to her and told her nobody played before she did,then the little girl sasses her and walked away bouncing the ball. She wanted Jean to play with her but jean didnt want to. She kept asking then Jean finally said yes. So then on...more
Maite Marquina
This book talked about a little girl named Jean, who would bully her classmates during recess.They called her the "Recess Queen". Everyone would do as she says because they were scared of her, she was mean. Nobody swung, kicked, or bounced until Mean Jean swung, kicked, or bounced. If kids ever crossed her she'd push them or smoosh them. Until a new girl named Katie Sue came to her school. She wasn't scared of Jean at all. No one ever asked Jean to play with them until Katie did. After that day...more
nice book!
Samantha Brumbaugh
Summary: Oh, would that all bullying problems could be solved so easily! Mean Jean is the reigning Recess Queen, pushing and smooshing, hammering and slammering the other kids whenever they cross her. And then one day a puny new girl shows up on the playground and catches Mean Jean completely off-guard. Not only is little Katie Sue not the least bit intimidated by the bully, she actually asks her to jump rope with her. In no time flat, Jean and Katie Sue are best buddies, and the playground is s...more
(NS) Laura Jackson
I listened to this story on c.d. This is a wonderful story about Mean Jean the Recess Queen. All of the kids at school know that Mean Jean is the Queen at Recess and that if you cross her path, you will be “kicked, slammered or hammered”. Nobody dares to come close to Jean during recess. But one day, Katie Sue, the new student, shows up and is not threatened by Mean Jean. This throws Mean Jean completely off guard. Katie Sue tries to be nice to Mean Jean and even asks her to jump rope with her d...more
(NS) Lisa
Mean Jean the Recess Queen is the playground bully. All of the school children are afraid of Mean Jean and no one wants to play or be around her. That is, until the new girl comes to school. Katie Sue is a small girl with a big smile and lots of courage. When the recess bell rings, Katie unknowingly does all of the things that Mean Jean does not allow her friends to do. Mean Jean is very upset by this and she attempts to set the record straight. Unaware of Mean Jean's demeanor, Katie Sue pulls o...more
Baylee Washburn
In this story, the size of the illustrations and specific words in the text seemed to be important in reflecting authority or volume. This story tells of Mean Jean the Recess Queen. She is the bully of the playground. The illustrations in this story depict Jean as much bigger than the other kids. This detail in size seems to reflect the authority that Jean holds over the other students because she is the meanest bully. Toward the end of the story when Jean finds a friend and is no longer the bul...more
Title: The Recess Queen

Author: Alexis O’Neill

Recommended Ages or grades: Preschool - 8

Mean Jean was the Recess Queen. No one played until Mean Jean did. No one swung, no one hit bounced the ball or kicked, or hopped until Mean Jean did. No kid ever crossed Mean Jean for fear that she would hammer ‘em, slammer ‘em, lollapaloosh ‘em, kitz and kajammer ‘em. One day, a new arrives in school by the name of Katie. And even though she may be tiny, she was not afraid of Mean Jean. When the recess bell r...more
Grade/Interest Level: Primary (K-2nd grade)
Reading Level: Lexile Level-450L
Genre: Picture book, Realistic Fiction
Main Characters: Mean Jean, Katie Sue
Setting: School playground
POV: Third Person

In this story, the readers are introduced to a character named Mean Jean. She declares herself the recess queen and bullies the other students and is the first to use any toys, playground equipment, etc. All of the other students are afraid of Mean Jean and she always got her way until there was a new stud...more
Shannon Plapp
The Recess Queen, written by Alexis O’Neill and illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith, is a beautiful realistic-fiction trade book with a powerful message. It is a story about a school bully named Mean Jean and the transformation she undertakes after meeting new student, Katie Sue.

Alexis O’Neill is a talented writer that understands how to play with language and repetition to create a masterpiece that is both fun to read and listen to. The repetitive nature of the book provides natural opportunitie...more
Johanna Robles
The Recess Queen is very interesting. A girl that was so mean tuned out to be a good girl. Jean is the mean girl she is the boss of the playground. Until a new girl came along, Katie Sue she was a small tiny girl but when it comes to the playground she is crazy. Jean told her nobody does anything before her, but Katie wasn't afraid she kept on playing. Katie had a new and amazing jump rope and Jean liked it and she though a different way Katie had changed her.
Liliana Piedra
The Recess Queen, by Alexis O'Neil, is a good children's book for kids to read. The story talks about a little girl who was really mean and one day became really nice after making a new friend. Jean believed that she was the recess queen and she wanted everyone to do what ever she wanted, but all of that changed when she met Katie Sue.
This is a really good book for kids around 1st-3rd grade. It shows kids that it is better to be nice and have fun.
The Recess Queen rules the playground by bullying kids. She must do everything first and the other kids obey and try to stay out of her way. One day a new girl who does not know she should listen to the Queen came and did whatever she wanted. She made the Queen made, but did something different that changed the entire playground.

This book is for lower elementary school. The writing creates a wonderful pace and you move quickly as the kids run through the playground. The story is fun enough to c...more
Erika Graves
Mean Jean the Recess Queen doesn't allow anyone to play until after she plays. All of the kids obey Jean to avoid her wrath. One day a new student, Katie Sue, come and plays outside before Jean. Even after being yelled at by Jean, Katie sue continues playing. Jean is stunned when Katie Sue asks Jean to jump rope with her. Katie Sue and Jean become friends and play outside together everyday. From then on, al the kids are able to play without worrying about what Jean might do. This is a cute book...more
Jul 01, 2014 Ashlyn added it
this book is very interesting to me because its about bullying and mean jean wouldn't stop until some one stood up to her so I think this book can really help kids that are getting bullied because it really shows some one can actually stand up to bullies in schools and no one has to be scared of anybody stand up for your self and never back down because things will never be solved.
Summary: A young girl bullies everyone at school during recess and does not let them do anything until she does it. She beats children up and always gets her way. Until one day, a new girl comes to school and teaches Jean that everyone can play together.

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Genre: Picture Book

Uses: Guided Reading, Independent Reading, Read-Aloud, Shared Reading

Social Issues: Children will learn the negative effects of bullying and one way to deal with it. Katie Sue takes Jean by surprise and...more
This is such a good book to use for addressing bullying that I've used it with fourth graders and sixth graders. It is a great catalyst for beginning what can quickly become a very powerful discussion about bullies and character. It opens the door for students to share experiences, concerns and insight as you try to establish a caring community in your classroom.
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