Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Are You a Cool Kid? What Makes You One? Check out Cool Kids Wear Glasses by Teddy O'Malley...

Kayla sat in a semi-circle with Yumi, Nia, and Allison. A few other kids who were deemed “uncool” by Mandy joined the circle as well. “Today, we hereby form the Cool Kids Club.

We'll be real and true cool kids,” Kayla explained. “We'll stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves. We won't back down to bullies. We'll celebrate our differences.”

 “Here here!” the other kids shouted. Kayla, who was almost as well known for art as she was for standing up for the innocent, handed each kid a badge made of construction paper.”

“Cool Kids Club, Member Alex,” Alex read. “I like it.”

 “What's the meaning of this?” Mandy demanded as she walked toward Kayla. “I formed a club. It's called the Cool Kids Club. You don't have to be cool by Mandy-Standards to be a member . You just have to help others and stand up for those who are bullied.”

“You can't just decide who is cool and who isn't. That's my job!” Mandy protested. 

“We're not. We're just called the Cool Kids Club. You can't stop us from using the title.” Kayla smiled. 

Mandy ran back to her girls. She wasn't sure what to do now. Kayla Littlebe kept making her look bad. If anyone was a bully, it was Kayla Littlebe, that's for sure.

Cool Kids Wear Glasses

By Teddy O'Malley

Author-Illustrator O'Malley hits hard into an issue that confronts most children--if they are the least bit different... Of course, being different means that you are different from the bully that claims you are, right?

Sometimes a child, in this case Mandy, might not really know that they have turned into a bully. A child might have some basic leadership skills that has resulted in her having friends that seem to automatically follow and accept what she says. Sometimes that is based upon their beauty, or that they wear the right clothes... Once Mandy was deemed a leader, she proclaimed herself the coolest kids in school. The problem was that she immediately started placing herself as the model upon which "cool kids" were accepted to be her friends.

“Write that down, Tasha,” Mandy ordered.
 “Kayla Littlebe is not cool.”
 Tasha quickly scribbled ,
“Kayla Littlebe = out” in her journal.

“Pshaw, cool kids have to be this tall.” Mandy held her hands up way above Allison's head. Allison broke into tears and ran away crying.

Kayla walked up to Mandy. “Do you know what you're doing?”

...“Yes, I'm deciding who is in and who is out,” Mandy explained. 

“Do you even know what the word cool means, Mandy? You're not friendly and nice to others. You're not cool at all. You're making fun of people who are different. Someday, you'll be different too. Then somebody will make fun of you for it. You'll be the one in tears.”

“As if,” said Mandy. “Oh , by the way, Kayla, you're officially not cool.”

 “I would never want to be your definition of cool,” Kayla said and walked away..."

Kayla was  somewhat of an activist--if Mandy didn't change, she would counter her actions with her own. She formed a "Cool Kids Club" for everybody that Mandy had declared uncool! Hey, a very cool idea in my opinion! Kayla was also a leader, but that came because she was always nice and tried to help people. And she even tried to help Mandy, but Mandy just wouldn't listen... 

But...was it too late... According to her own rules, Mandy was about to become "uncool!"

The illustrations in the book are line drawings, colored, which I thought matched the story line, since Kayla was into art as well. You will meet most of the main characters in pictures throughout the 62-page book. The writing is of particular interest since the author has matched the style of talking to age-appropriate children who will probably be reading the book themselves!

O'Malley has actually slid in a great lesson, while providing a great story that most children will immediately relate to for one thing or another... Mandy quite easily decided what made a child "cool," including height, whether they wore glasses, and other simply silly things that hurt when you're the brunt of being declared uncool! By simply being Kayla, as she was, the story comes full circle with everybody, including me, quite satisfied!

Better check it out and find out who the really cool kids are! Highly recommended...


Teddy O' Malley was born in in Saint Louis, Missouri. She has traveled all over the United States and enjoys learning about new things and other cultures. She has enjoyed studying Spanish, German, and now Italian as well. She dreams of visiting a foreign country. Teddy O'Malley has also worked as a nurse assistant, aiding the disabled and the elderly.

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