Using a fictional setting, the author of Nobody! shows how bullying can rob a child's life of happiness and contentment. When Kyle bullies Thomas and makes ugly remarks about his hobbies and abilities, Thomas has trouble concentrating on anything except the way Kyle makes him feel. Because the bullying is always on his mind, Thomas can't even enjoy the things he is good at. But when Thomas decides that he is happy with the ways he is different (since differences are what make us all individuals), he reacts to Kyle's taunts in a way that takes the power out of them. It also helps that friends and classmates also tell Kyle that they like the glasses Thomas wears or the kite he makes, showing Kyle that they don't appreciate his behavior.
The situations in the story are very realistic. It seems that bullies are very good at finding those times when an adult is not watching to do their teasing. As Thomas says, "I wish some people would look a little closer." And often the bullied child has frustration and anger that he or she takes out on others, just as Thomas yells at his family to leave him alone. There are often bystanders - and how they choose to act can make a difference. If they simply stay silent, or say that they didn't see what happened, the problem will just continue. Thomas has figured out that the other kids just don't want Kyle to be mad at them, it's not that they agree with Kyle or approve of what he's doing, they are afraid of being his next target.
The activities at the end of the book are very helpful for parents and teachers who would like to use the story with their own children or students. There are discussion questions, tips on finding someone to talk to if you are having a similar problem, and tips for helping fell good about yourself.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. You may visit the author's website for information about this and her other books.