NS- Sarah's Reviews > The Recess Queen

The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill
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Nov 15, 09

bookshelves: realistic-fiction, picture-books

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 threatens her and tells her to stop, Katie Sue talks back! It is an adorable story of how a bullying situation is resolved because of one strong-willed, kind youngster. When Katie Sue invites Mean Jean to jump rope with her, she is at first shocked but in the end the two are playing together happily and sharing the jump rope. I will definitely be sharing this story with my students. Unfortunately, I feel that bullying happens in some form more than adults realize and this is such a positive way to begin a conversation about the topic. This book teaches children a valuable lesson about one way to handle a problem with a peer. The saying "kill 'em with kindness" is at the heart of this story.

I also loved the language used by the author, Alexis O'Neill. The rhyme as well as the nonsense words used throughout the book are both so engaging for young readers. Even though Mean Jean is treating others poorly, the author keeps the story light by using language like "... she pushed kids and smooshed kids, lollapalooshed kids, hammered 'em, slammered 'em, kitz and kajammered 'em as she charged after that Katie Sue." I can't wait to read this with my first graders!
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message 1: by Katie Sue (new)

Katie Sue I so need to own this book, because one of the characters has my name!!


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