Confessions from the Principal’s Chair
Confessions from the Principal’s Chair . Anna Myers; Walker & Company, 2006.
Grade Level: 6-8
ISBN & Cost: HB: 0802795609 $16.99
Blanket Permission to Reproduce Book Jackets:
Preferred wording: “Used by permission of the publisher.”
Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Robin was a follower. When she followed her group and participated in a cruel prank, her mother had had enough. Moving them to Oklahoma was the worst punishment for Robin or so she thought. On her first day at her new school, Robin is mistaken for a substitute principal (interesting?) and finds out that bullying happens even in Prairie Dog Town, OK.
When Robin (Bird), part of a group called the Six Pack in her Denver middle school, participates in a cruel prank against a classmate, her mother has had enough of her bullying behavior. Within twenty-four hours, she pulls up stakes and moves Robin, a.k.a. Bird, to Prairie Dog Town, Oklahoma. Robin feels that this is the worse punishment her hippie artist mother could evoke. She decides to undermine any chance of fitting in by insisting on dressing in a conservative business suit for her first day at the small middle school in town. This outfit accidentally lands her the job of principal. Who is Robin to correct the mistake when a prank like this will really get revenge on her mom? Fun but a little unbelievable. This book could be read aloud to be used as a jump start for conversation about bullying.
Themes: Bullying, Schools, Friendship, Mothers and Daughters, Oklahoma
Author information: www.annamyers.info
Discussion Questions: (Standard 3; Benchmark 3)
- Robin and her friends faked a letter about someone bringing a gun to school. What kind of punishment should the girls have gotten?
- Robin is mistaken for an adult. How realistic is this in today???s society? Think of a mature fourteen year old you know. Would they be able to pull off this kind of prank? Why do you think it happened in Prairie Dog Town, OK?
- The books main focus is on the harm of bullying. What kinds of bullying do you see happening in your school? Have you been bullied or have you been the one bullying others?
- The book has a spinoff of the Oprah Show. What other types of problems in schools do you think would make a good theme for an Oprah show?
- Have the counselor visit the classroom and discuss bullying with the students. Have the students do a survey on bullying in the school and present it to the faculty in the form of a chart (include types of bullying and the number of students being bullying by type). (Standard 9: Benchmark 1; Standard 4: Benchmark 2)
- Have the students plan a school-wide activity for their school like the water balloon fight. (Standard 9: Benchmark 2)
- Have a dress like a professional teacher day. Have the students vote to see which student could pass for one of the teachers. ( Standard 4: Benchmark 2)
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