Weird!: A Story About Dealing with Bullying in Schools Spiral-Bound |

Erin Frankel, Paula Heaphy (Illustrated by)

★★★★☆+ from 101 to 500 ratings

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Colorful, polka-dotted Luisa changes everything about herself to avoid being bullied and learns a valuable lesson in the process.


Luisa is repeatedly teased and called “weird” by her classmate Sam, even though she is simply being herself—laughing with her friends, answering questions in class, greeting her father in Spanish, and wearing her favorite polka-dot boots. Luisa initially reacts to the bullying by withdrawing and hiding her colorful nature. But with the support of her teachers, parents, classmates, and one special friend named Jayla, she is able to reclaim her color and resist Sam’s put-downs.

The Weird! Series
These three books tell the story of an ongoing case of bullying from three third graders’ perspectives. Luisa describes being targeted by bullying in Weird! Jayla shares her experience as a bystander to bullying in Dare! And in Tough!, Sam speaks from the point of view of someone initiating bullying. Kids will easily relate to Luisa, Jayla, and Sam, as each girl has her own unique experience, eventually learning how to face her challenges with the help of friends, peers, and caring adults.

Part of the Bully Free Kids™ line.

Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing
Original Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 48 pages
ISBN-10: 1575424371
Item Weight: 0.4 lbs
Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.1 x 8.0 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 101 to 500 ratings
Three stories told from the perspectives of three different children: one who is bullied (Weird!), a bystander (Dare!), and the bully herself (Tough!). Each title shows readers, through the texts and the expressive ink illustrations, what each child feels. In Weird! Luisa is portrayed as a bubbly and vibrant character wearing her beloved polka-dot boots everywhere she goes. Then she is tormented by Sam, and her uniqueness and confidence become liabilities instead of strengths, and she throws away her boots. It isn’t until a bystander, Jayla, stands up to the bully and returns Luisa’s footwear that the book ends on a positive note with the victim confidence restored. Following the stories, nonfiction sections offer tips from each character’s perspective or suggest simple group activities that model positive behaviors. Each title also has talking points and discussion questions, so readers can go back into the story and discuss what is occurring and how they might be able to change the outcome in a real-world scenario. The books stand alone as separate titles, but they’re much more effective when utilized together to give a complete view of how the main characters are feeling and the outside events that help shape their roles. For example, Sam, the bully, is being taunted at home by an older brother–setting her up to then find someone that she can pick on at school. These will be useful titles particularly for schools, but also for public libraries that see a fair number of requests for character-education titles.
-School Library Journal

Erin Frankel loves telling stories of hope and wonder. She is the author of the Weird Series (Free Spirit, 2012), Remembering Barkley (Albert Whitman & Company, 2020), A Plate of Hope (Random House Studio, 2024), and Mary Oliver, Holding on To Wonder (Calkins Creek, 2025). Erin has an M.A. in English education and is passionate about teaching and writing. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is represented by Susan Cohen at Writers House Literary Agency.

Paula Heaphy is a print and pattern designer in the fashion industry.

She’s an explorer of all artistic mediums from glassblowing to shoemaking, but her biggest love is drawing. She jumped at the chance to illustrate her friend Erin’s story, having been bullied herself as a child. As the character of Luisa came to life on paper, Paula felt her path in life suddenly shift into focus.

She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she hopes to use her creativity to light up the hearts of children for years to come.