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Book details
  • SubGenre:Social Themes / Bullying
  • Age Range (years):13 and up
  • Language:English
  • Pages:110
  • eBook ISBN:9781618423122


by Karen Mueller Coombs

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Ten-year-old violist Rocky Ryan just can't win. Every day, he's bullied by Tink O’Brien. He must find a way to end the torment without hurting his musician's hands, stand up for himself—as his father expects—and honor his personal goal to be a pacifist. Finally, after many failed attempts, Rocky learns there's more than one way to beat a bully.
Every day after school, Tink is waiting at Ambush Corner to use Rocky for a punching bag. He can't tell his parents. His father will order him to stand up for himself and to fight back. His mother, worried that Rocky will break a finger and not be able to play his viola in the upcoming music competition, will forbid him to fight. What neither parent knows is that Rocky thinks fighting is stupid and that he has decided to become a pacifist, a secret Rocky is keeping even from his best friend, Mario, who might not approve of Rocky's wish to be peaceable. Rocky tries all sorts of plans to end the bullying without success, even recruiting his older sister, who steps in only to make the situation worse. Eventually, however, Rocky's music teacher helps him understand Tink's behavior, which gives Rocky a new idea to try, one that might end the daily bullying, gain his father's approval, and still allow him to be a pacifist. Links to resources about bullying and a Discussion Guide are included.
About the author
Karen Mueller Coombs is the author of fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults. Born in Wisconsin and raised in Northern Alberta, Karen is a former elementary school teacher now living in Southern California, where she ice curls and plays golf when she isn’t reading and writing. Karen’s honors include a National Council for the Social Studies Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children, Public Library Association Top Title for New Adult Readers, International Reading Association Children’s Choice Selection, and Utah State Institute of Fine Arts awards. For more information about Karen, go to her website at www.karencoombs.com.