When you are black, or a geek, or poor, or Muslim, or transgender — or anything "different" from the norm, you are a target for bullying. From Kindergarten through high school, the average stude
When you are black, or a geek, or poor, or Muslim, or transgender — or anything "different" from the norm, you are a target for bullying. From Kindergarten through high school, the average student will hear about 150,000 putdowns of himself and others. How many will stand up?
Modeling the text of the poem, First They Came, about the abuses enacted by the Nazis on a variety of groups including the Jewish people — and about the many who did nothing to protect the innocent — author Lucy Falcone has written, I Didn't Stand Up. This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of a bystander who doesn't stand up for the innocent targets of school bullies simply because he views them as different from himself.
First they went after Jamal. But I'm not black — so I didn't stand up for him.
Then they went after Aisha. But I'm not Muslim — so I didn't stand up for her.
When things turn around and the bystander becomes the target, who will stand up for him? The book is a lesson in compassion and courage to defy bullying whenever and wherever you see it.
View Biographical note
LM Falcone was a serious couch potato growing up and loved watching television. She moved to Los Angeles and wrote for such television series as 'The Littlest Hobo', 'The New Monkees', and Nickelodeon's hugely popular 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?'. She also started a production company, Northwind Productions, and produced a situation comedy pilot titled 'Choir Practice' starring Susan Anton and Elaina Reed Hall.
After 10 years in LA, Lucy returned to Canada and turned her hand to writing middle-grade supernatural thrillers. She also created a comedic, early-reader kid-detective series The Ghost and Max Monroe.
I Didn't Stand Up is her first published picture book, inspired by the poem First They Came. . . by Martin Niemoller.
Visit Lucy's web site at www.lmfalcone.com
Children's illustratorJacqueline Hudon grew up in the tiny village of Zenon Park, Saskatchewan, but now lives in Calgary. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Today's Parent and Skipping Stones.
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"The text is minimal but says so much about how little it takes for a bully to select a victim and for bystanders to do nothing. Lucy Falcone wallops the reader with the intensity of each situation, seemingly innocuous but always devastating to the victim. The weighting is in Jacqueline Hudon's illustrations, depicting large-eyed victims of bullies who harm with words and actions."
— CanLit for LittleCanadians
"I Didn't Stand Up is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Social Issues picture book collections for young readers ages 6-9."
— Midwest Book Review
"This book about bullying. It's a call to recognize ourselves in all people and use the power of collective action to make a change. Beautifully illustrated, all kids will see themselves and arbitrary cruelty of bullying.""
— Read. Learn. Repeat.
"Based on the well-known poem First They Came, this is an excellent lesson for young kids to start working out. During the book we see that the group of kids that do stand up for the person being teased grows as they each experience it. After the story, there is some great information included about bullying in schools."
— Kiss the Book blog
"Beautifully illustrated, kids will see themselves as well as the arbitrary cruelty of bullying."
— City Parent
"I Didn't Stand Up is a simple, yet powerful, picture book about bullying. Covered in this modern telling is a wide range of typical excuses bullies might use to justify their actions, whether that is skin colour, clothing choice, country of birth, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, physical disability, gender identification, and more. The book ends with a promise that, even if the reader is bullied, he or she is not alone. There is a well-written author's note at the end that provides more information on the original poem, along with facts about, and suggestions for curtailing, bullying. The illustrations are detailed drawings with sparse, yet effective, use of colour. Facial expressions on the characters are outstanding, conveying much emotional angst. While mild violence is depicted, it is not offensive.
— CM Magazine
"I would recommend this powerful book be in every library imaginable: school, public, and personal."
— Resource Links
"Lucy Falcone's I Didn't Stand Up is inspired by Martin Niemoller's iconic poem, "First They Came for Socialists," and delivers the same warning about staying silent. The setting for this beautifully illustrated picture book is the schoolyard, as the protagonist watches one after another of their classmates become a victim of bullying. Unlike the chilling ending in Niemoller's poem, however, I Didn't Stand Up ends with the powerful image of the bullied children, filling the page with vibrant color as they stand together against the bullies. The volume offers hope by showing just how easy it can be to stop the vicious cycle of exclusion."
— The Children's Book Review
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Winner of the 2019 ETFO (Elementary Teachers of Ontario) Children's Literature Award
A 2019 Moonbeam Children's Book Award Winner, Silver in the Picture Book - All Ages Category
On Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year list [2020 edition]