Bruno the Bald Headed Bully
by Lemelle Frazier
Trafford Publishing

"Just to look at him struck fear in everyone's eyes."

Big, bad Bruno strikes fear wherever he goes. Nearly twice the size of fellow students, he has a shiny, bald head, and sports a large "B" initial belt buckle. This menacing youth steals lunches, acts mean, and intentionally intimidates. When a flicker of magic unleashed by another classmate literally shrinks Bruno down to size, the tables are suddenly turned. Ultimately this bully realizes there is little joy in getting picked on.

Lemelle Frazier has written a short story with a powerful message about bullying. While the moral is certainly relevant to a range of age groups, the large print, short length (less than 150 words of narrative), and element of sorcery, suggest the book's intention for a young audience. As the characters appear to be of junior high or high school age, perhaps the choice is indicative of younger children looking to the actions of upper classmates. This is also a tale about the differences that can set an individual apart. Beyond his wielded scare tactics, Bruno seems a teen ostracized by his size and appearance.

Dameon Runnels contributes clear and solid illustrations. Highlighted as an urban tale, the work features a multi-cultural student body, chain link fencing, and tall, off-kilter, brick buildings. All seem designed in suggestion of a concrete cityscape. Still, the storyline is reflective of a nationwide concern, evident in both country and metropolitan environments. As an educator, former foster parent, and father of two sons, chances are that Frazier's extensive experience working with children, has afforded him the opportunity to witness the problem of bullying. With his consideration of learning as a life-long process, through Bruno The Bald Headed Bully, the author imparts an important lesson. This book should serve well as a valuable and insightful teaching tool for use in a school, library, or home setting.

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