Friendship and other Weapons by Signe Whitson

Sunday, April 1st, 2012 Book Review by Valerie Jackson

This is an American book written by an American author but it can be used in English schools and in English (UK) situations.

The author immediately introduces the reader to the concept of a training manual to support strong positive friendship groups between girls. She identifies the specific bullying methods used by girls and looks at places where this can be challenged as well as perpetuated. She lists the people who may choose to use the book, from educationalists through to group leaders and parents as well as girls themselves.

The book is a step-by-step curriculum, which takes the user through aspects of potential bullying, how this can be addressed. There are exercises and thought provoking prompts for discussions. There is time for reflection and a follow up on the different tasks and stories.

The book is formulated to follow the girls from age 5 up to 11 years when they begin secondary school. The intention is to arm them with strategies and confidence to become autonomous and not follow the crowd.

I like this book a lot. It gives the adults plenty of ideas for next steps and it even has sample letters to send home so that parents understand and can join in at home.

It is an honest, open method to promote individuality and negate bad, biased attitudes.

Well worth having on the school and youth club book shelves.

Whitson, Signe (2011) Friendship and other Weapons – group activities to help young girls aged 15-11 to cope with bullying

Jessica Kingsley Publishing

ISBN: 9781849058759

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