Posts filed under ‘1’

Bibliotherapy: Books About Bullying

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.  Each day, more than 160,000 students in the U.S. stay home from school from fear of being bullied (PACER’s Bullying Awareness and Prevention Facts).

Bullying affects not only the bully and the bullied, but also witnesses, who often feel helpless and fearful that they might become the next target.  Bullying can take many forms.  It isn’t just the stereotypical larger child picking on a smaller one, it can be more covert; spreading rumors about or excluding someone in person, on the phone or over the internet.

The PACER National Bullying Prevention Center defines an act as bullying when:

  • The behavior hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally.
  • It is intentional, meaning the act is done willfully, knowingly and with deliberation.
  • The targets have difficulty stopping the behavior directed at them and struggle to defend themselves.

More than 55 percent of bullying stops when a peer intervenes, so it is very critical that we as parents, caregivers and educators give children the tools they need to effectively handle bullying situations.

The library is a great place to get started.  Let us help you find the books, videos, and websites that will speak to your child and help them further strengthen their knowledge and resiliency.

Books offer a safe gateway into the world of difficult topics and bullying is no exception.  Children can identify with and learn from characters dealing with bullying situations, whether or not they have been in a bullying situation themselves.  Reading a story about a bully provides a springboard for discussion–“what would you do if this happened to your friend?” ” What do you think this character should do, who can they talk to?”  Talking about these issues and allowing children to work through a solution is a valuable tool in the fight against bullying.  A story about a bully allows a child to see the problem as an observer rather than a participant, which can make it easier for them to think about the problem and understand a solution.

This Bully Book List provides several titles that may be a good fit for your child. Another option is to give us a call or come in to your local branch to speak to a Youth Services Librarian about your family’s specific needs.  We are always happy to help!

Videos: Our collection has many children’s videos available on this topic: Children’s Videos About Bullying.

Another option would be to type “bully” into our Access Video On-Demand search bar to see several options for streaming videos that can be watched instantly through your computer/device.

Websites are a great place to find the latest information and resources available to combat bullying.  Learn about bullying facts, nationwide initiatives, and available resources for children, caregivers and educators from the sites below:

  • PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center: “Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center unites, engages and educates communities nationwide to address bullying through creative, relevant and interactive resources. PACER’s bullying prevention resources are designed to benefit all students, including students with disabilities.”
  • Provides information from various government agencies on what bullying is, what cyberbullying is, who is at risk, and how you can prevent and respond to bullying.
  • PACER Center’s Kids Against Bullying: Interactive site designed for kids where they can share stories, play games and learn more about bullying.
  • U.S. Dept. of Education: Offers resources as well as a rcently written article in their “Homeroom” blog entitled, “5 Ways to Help Your Child Prevent Bullying this School Year.”
  • The Trevor Project: “The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.”
  • Cyberbullying Research Center: “The Cyberbullying Research Center is dedicated to providing up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents.”
  • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: “The National Child Traumatic Stress Network was established to improve access to care, treatment, and services for traumatized children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events.”  This site includes an excellent list of resources for children, parents and educators on bullying.

For more information about these and other FREE resources available @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit


October 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15-October 15 and the library has prepared a number of resources, contests and programs for this cultural celebration.  So whether you want to dance away the afternoon at a Flamenco concert or learn how to make a piñata, the library is the place to be for Hispanic Heritage month!

The Florida Department of Education has put together an Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 Recommended Reading List which includes suggestions for young children, teens and even adults.  The links below contain children’s books from these lists available from our library:

And be sure to check out the library’s Hispanic Heritage page for detailed information about contests for children, teens and adults. Students in grades K-5 are invited to design a bookmark celebrating “Our Hispanic Heritage.”  Information about last year’s winners, including a link to our Facebook album of last year’s winning entries can be viewed here.

Find a wealth of information about National Hispanic Heritage Month, including audio/visual exhibitions, images and presentations by visiting this dedicated site hosted by the Library of Congress.

For more information about these and other FREE resources available @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit

September 1, 2012 at 12:00 am

Accurate Portrayals of Native Americans in Children’s Literature

Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers has chosen Saltypie; a Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light, by Tim Tingle, as its 2012 Children’s Literature Honor Book.  For twenty years, this organization has promoted the work of Native American and Indigenous writers and strives to ensure that their voices are heard throughout the world.

Saltypie chronicles a fifty-year span of history of author, Tim Tingle’s family, part of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. This story delves into several significant topics for children: American Indian history, American history, resilience, and family bonding.  The story is told from the author’s point of view as a child and relates both the challenges and successes that have been faced by his family members, particularly his grandmother. 

This story, and others like it are very important when it comes to disspelling stereotypes for children. President John F. Kennedy wrote in his introduction for The American Heritage Book of Indians,

“For a subject worked and reworked so often in novels, motion pictures, and television, American Indians remain probably the least understood and most misunderstood Americans of us all.” 

Books can function as both windows and mirrors–sometimes they allow the reader to peer into and gain better understanding of the different life of someone else, and other times, they reflect back familiar elements with which the reader can identify. Multicultural literature helps increase self esteem for children of minority backgrounds by allowing them to explore and understand their own culture and by showing them that they are not alone. At the same time, it promotes intercultural understanding and appreciation from those who are not of that culture.

Ask yourself, how would your child describe an Indian?  If words like teepee, war paint, feathered headdress, and moccasins come to mind, you’re going to want to explore this list of Native American Literature for Children.  These books, all available from our library catalog are either written by Native American and Indigenous writers, or are written in a way that accurately portrays the lifestyles and cultures of the people they are about.

Several other resources for locating and evaluating Native American literature for children and young adults can be found below:

  • Oyate
    Publisher and reviewer of books about Native Americans, particularly those aimed at schoolchildren.  “Oyate is a Native organization working to see that our lives and histories are portrayed honestly, and so that all people will know our stories belong to us.”
  • American Indians in Children’s Literature
    “Established in 2006, American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society.”
  • American Indian Library Association
    “The American Indian Library Association, an affiliate of the American Library Association, is a membership action group that addresses the library-related needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives.”
  • Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers
    Wordcraft’s works to ensure that “the voices of Native American and Indigenous writers and storytellers – past, present, and future – are heard throughout the world.”

For more information about these and other FREE resources available @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit

August 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Earth Day Birthday!

Hip!  Hip!  Hooray!  It’s Earth’s birthday! 

Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 in San Francisco as a way to bring awareness to the environment that we live in and how to take care of it.  It is now celebrated in over 100 countries around the world and is the largest celebrated environmental awareness holiday.  There are so many activities and fun projects that can be done to partake in this special holiday.  You could read a book about Earth, do a recycled craft, plant a tree, or pick up the trash in your neighborhood. 

For more projects, crafts,  and fun games for kids, check out these websites.



April 20, 2010 at 2:01 pm