PPBF: Nobody!

Today I'm delighted to feature this thought-provoking newcomer
from our friends at Free Spirit Publishing.

Title: Nobody!
Author: Erin Frankel
Illustrator: Paula Heaphy
Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing
Date: April 28, 2015
Suitable for: ages 5 - 9
Realistic Fiction
Themes: conflict, bullying behaviors, problem solving
Brief synopsis: A boy in Thomas' school is behaving in such a way that it makes Thomas feel like a nobody. With the necessary help and support from family, friends, and trust adults, Thomas finds that he can feel like somebody again.
Opening page: I used to like school. But that was before somebody decided to make my life miserable.

{Excerpt from Nobody! by Erin Frankel and illustrated by Paula Heaphy, copyright © 2015. Used with permission of Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; 800-735-7323www.freespirit.com. All rights reserved.}

Visit the Free Spirit page to download the Leader's Guide.
Read a five-star review at Hall Ways.
Watch the Conscious Discipline clip Bullying Road Signs.
Compare and contrast with these titles that also have 
an anti-bullying theme:

Alley Oops by Janice Levy, Band-AidChicken by Becky Hinton, Billy Bully by Ana Galan, BirdChild by Nan Forler, Carla’sSandwich by Debbie Herman, Don’t Laugh at Me by Steven Seskin, Hey Little Ant by Phillip & Hannah Hoose, JungleBullies by Steven Kroll, Juice Box Bully by Maria Dismondy, MySecret Bully by Trudy Ludwig, One by Kathryn Otoshi, Say Something by Peggy Moss, Simon’sHook by Karen Gedig Burnett, Trouble Talk by Trudy Ludwig, You’reMean, Lily Jean by Frieda Wishinski

Why I like this book: If we don't talk about bullying behaviors or, worse, if we turn a blind eye, then the problem grows and children suffer. Their families suffer. We all suffer. Books like Nobody! help create an awareness of the devastating damage that even just one child's mean thoughts, words and deeds can do to someone's heart, mind and soul. Children deserve to feel safe at school, to like school, to thrive in school, so first and foremost, we must address it.

This 44-page social story is very real.
It approaches a sensitive subject with transparency and grace.
But the text doesn't leave us with a problem;
it offers up plausible solutions like thought-switching.
In the back, there are several pages dedicated to comprehending, processing, analyzing and reflecting. There are also two pages for caregivers to help readers unpack the details and understand the implications.

Use this gem to elevate empathy by stopping on every page to find out what your students would do, using questions like this:

What does Thomas want? How can you tell?
What would you need if you were Thomas?
If you were Patrick or Jay, what would you do differently?
What might it be like to be Kyle, the boy with bullying behaviors?
What would you want/need if you were he?
Have you ever felt like a Nobody?
What did you do?
Have you ever been the child with bullying behaviors?
Who helped you turn those behaviors around?

For more anti-bullying resources, visit
Author Trudy Ludwig's Bullying Basics 
Huffington Post: On Bullying

Thank you, Kid Prez and Soul Pancake, for this reminder:

Check out this book, then go to Susanna's blog
for today's other PPBF picks. 


  1. Love the title and grasp of the feeling a bullied child has, i.e. of feeling a nobody! The younger we can be discussing bullying and teaching empathy, the better. Thanks for highlighting NOBODY today.

    1. The author/illustrator duo do a beautiful job with this first-person narrative! Thanks for stopping by, Joanna.

  2. We nearly did it again. I almost ran my review of "Nobody" today since the book is being released. I love your teacher's perspective on such an important book. I am such a fan of the Weird series, so I was glad to see the author/illustrator wrote one for boys! Such unique books. Love the illustrations. Your suggested activities and questions for kids are really helpful for parents and teachers.

    1. Thank you, Pat. We are in sync with the children's book market, aren't we? I read the book to two of my littles today and they really connected!

  3. Thanks. Great and thorough review. I love the look of the spread you pictured. It would definitely entice my son to read this book. Thanks.

    1. Thank you, Joanne. I was delighted that Free Spirit gave me permission to use that first page graphic so I could draw more readers in.

  4. Wow. Sounds pretty powerful, and the cover is arresting. Great pick.

    1. Thank you, Julie. I agree about the artwork. You used the perfect word; it's arresting all the way through. Appreciate you stopping by.

  5. Looks like a story many children will relate to. But for the record, my son "Kyle" is friends with everyone at school. :)

    1. Yes, unfortunately there will be some children with the name Kyle, so I'll change his name when I read the story to those classes, for sure! Thanks for dropping in.

  6. A great book to use in the classroom and at home. Good to see books like these are still coming out. Love the illustrations.

  7. Excellent choice. More, more, more books need to make their way into homes and schools.

  8. Thank you for another fabulous suggestion, Barbara !

  9. What a tremendous resource for teachers and parents! If only there were no need for it. Thanks for a great selection. Love Free Spirit!


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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