I enjoyed, Swallow me, now! by Melissa Gijsbers. It is a children’s chapter book which explores the issue of bullying from a child’s perspective.
Sam returns home to Australia and feels like the ‘odd one out’ at school. She becomes the object of subtle bullying which becomes more overt as time goes by. Sam tries to overcome her difficulties through her own resourcefulness but finds this actually makes the situation worse. Finally things come to a head and there is a good, but not perfect, resolution, which feel realistic and leaves the reader feeling satisfied.
I thought the bullying issue was well handled and Sam responses and reactions to it were very believable. I liked the way the font changed size and there were illustrations scattered throughout. This gave visual interest to the story and broke up the blocks of print.
My only minor query was that Sam’s parents were described as missionaries. This created the expectation of a Christianised solution which wasn’t the case. I think it would have been better if Sam’s parents were described as community aid workers for a secular organization. However this didn’t distract from the story.
Overall, a good read.
Thanks to Melissa for providing a free book for review