Happy Book Birthday: WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY Plus Giveaway

Bookstores have closed their doors! And libraries are shut down! But never fear, parents, teachers, boys and girls…writers are still writing great stories and publishers are still getting them printed! Many bookstores are taking online orders and shipping for FREE or are enabling customers to do curbside pickup!

So today we are honored to sing a HUGE HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to a brand-new Middle Grade novel from one of my favorite kidlit authors, Darlene Beck Jacobson.



Written by Darlene Beck Jacobson

Pubished by Creston Books

Here’s a fabulous review from Kirkus that will give you all an idea of what the book is about and why it is such an important book, especially in these times.

With his father missing in action in Vietnam, 11-year-old Jack faces a long, lonely summer at his grandparents’ home. While the enthusiasm for life his younger sister, Katy, displays does much to lift his spirits, it’s the companionship of his new friend, Jill, that makes all the difference. But she’s dealing with major problems of her own. The tale is related in free verse, short lines and spare prose cascading narrowly down the pages, conveying a powerful message of bully management: ‘Bullies need our permission to / rule over us.’ This realization is enhanced by insight Jack’s own dad provides through a boyhood diary, suggesting that even bullies might need friendship. Although it’s set in the 1960s, the story reflects timeless issues that will resonate with modern readers. A fresh, inspiring exploration of a daunting issue.“―Kirkus Reviews

WOW! Here’s another book I’ll need to snag for my 11-year old grandson – with #shelteringathome the word of the day, our kids need books like this to engage, entertain, educate…and inspire them!

I’m grateful to authors who write books like this…and Darlene is sharing even more with us. She’s giving away a copy of WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY. Plus, here are a few words from her:

Darlene: Since birthdays are traditionally celebrated with cake, I thought I’d share one of the poems from the book aptly titled CAKE:

cake for Darlene wishes book


A five-layer cake with pink frosting and

five candles sits in front of Katy

while she closes her eyes and makes a wish.

A quiet, silent one that Fred will never hear.


Katy huffs



as we all cheer and the flames go out.


As pieces of cake get passed around,

I remember Katy’s first birthday,

how all of us,






blew out pretend candles, laughing, trying

to get a

one-year-old to blow air,

to blow out her own candle.


She stared at us, like we were the

best entertainment, then

she grabbed a chunk of cake in her chubby fist,

smushing it into her mouth,



I think that was when

I knew I’d love my sister


This is terrific, Darlene…we are getting a sneak peek at a bit of the book!

Remember dear friends, let’s support our favorite books:

  • Buy their book – many indie bookstores are shipping for free or are doing curbsite pickup.
  • Write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or B&N.
  • Ask your library to purchase the book…some libraries have online patron request portals…and even if libraries are closed right now, their online presence remains on and you can get your request in for whenever they are ordering books.
  • Tell your friends about the book.
  • Take a photo of your child reading the book and post on social media.

And leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY. Most of us have had at least one experience with a bully…can you share yours?

Please stay safe…be kind…embrace this #shelterathome as much as possible.


30 thoughts on “Happy Book Birthday: WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY Plus Giveaway

  1. I can definitely relate to a bully who pushed me and called me a racist name in a informal basketball game during recess. I love the Cake peek. It says so much in few words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A BULLY named Sheila lived around the corner from my house. She called me names and said nasty things. One day I finally got fed up with her remarks and she pushed me when we were waiting in line to go into school. She wanted to fight and I punched her in the head. I didn’t hurt her much because I had my hat in my hand , but it felt good to me. I never fought with anyone else in my life and never forgot how she bullied me all the time until I fought back. It was 1964.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kathy. I think you and I had the same bully in our neighborhood. I glad you stood up to her…I did too. That was the end of the bullying for me. Thanks for sharing and for stopping by Vivian’s awesome blog.


    • Thanks so much for commenting Becky. If you get a copy, let me know and I will visit your students via Skype to do a book talk. Not just this school year, anytime! I hope this book becomes part of classroom discussions on bullying.


  3. I used to get bullied all the time because of my overbite and weight. But, braces fixed the overbite and in adulthood, exercise and better nutrition has helped the weight issue. My own daughters have suffered from this too and I think all kids need to know safe adults in their lives to turn to.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow this book is a must-have, I can tell. I love the idea and design and the birthday cake poem. I hope I win but i also want to support it with my $. Though my book-budget has had to be cut slim right now—I know I’m not the only one. Trying to hold out hope. And it sounds like this is a good book for a hopeful but burdened heart.

    As for bullies, I had one who was also my friend. A complicated relationship. As these things often are. This is the better kind of bully though, the kind where the pain shows under her edges so it’s easier to love her. I wrote a poem about her called “song for our bully.” Too long to post here but it’s our story. It got published in an online journal years ago so you can just google it and my name if you want to read it.

    Anyway, I want this awesome book! Congratulations Darlene!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can relate to this book. When I was in grade 7, in 1977, a girl from class was making fun of a girl with special needs. I was the volunteer lunch monitor for the special needs class. One day, the special needs girl went to the washroom and I accompanied her. The mean girl came in and called the special needs girl names. I was usually a quiet kid but when I heard what she was saying. I screamed at the top of my lungs, “don’t say that, that’s not very nice” The mean girl was of course rattled because she did not expect this coming from a ‘quiet girl’.
    Years later, someone approached me and said she was the mean girl and that she was sorry.


    • Lily, that’s exactly the kind of thing talked about in the book…one way to stand up to a bully. Bullies…your bully in particular…do not like attracting attention so someone else will witness what they say or do. GOOD FOR YOU for having the courage to stand up for your friend who didn’t have a voice to stand up for herself. Thanks so much for sharing your story!.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations! Bullies are such a huge issue, and all readers need strategies for dealing with them. I had bullies pick on me (I developed early…) and also my brother. I finally realized I had to defend myself, and my brother. Once I stood up to them, they stopped. And sadly, I had to stay alert to avoid other attacks. So I appreciate all advice for dealing with bullies!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Vivian and Darlene! Congratulations, Darlene! Thankfully I don’t remember any case of someone bullying me. Maybe I just blocked them out of my mind. I love stories that take place in the 60’s – the era I was a kid.


  8. Growing up with second-hand everything, I was bullied A LOT. I’m a Vietnam vet so the era is always an important one for me. Congratulations, Darlene. Your story is an important one!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not sure if my comment went through so here goes again. : ) Growing up with second-hand everything, I got bullied A LOT! I’m a Vietnam era vet so stories in this time period appeal to me. Congratulations, Darlene! Your story is an important one! Thank you for sharing this book with us, Vivian. xo


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