Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ella Mae: The Courageous Cheerleader

In Ella Mae: The Courageous Cheerleader, Ella Mae is bullied by some of the other cheerleaders in her school. Rather than striking back at them – being mean in return – she chooses to turn the other cheek and repay hurt with kindness. Before long things turn around at her school and the kids no longer think it’s cool to be mean. They even elect her queen for the day at her school.

Author Stephanie Cameron uses Galatians 6:9 as the reference for the story. She also includes a list of three discussion questions at the end of the book (each with its own Bible reference), as well as a suggested prayer and another list of scriptures that can be used for references to the story.

The illustrations are cartoon-like, but they are colorful and work well with the text.

What I Like: Bullying is, unfortunately, something many kids have to face on a daily basis. It’s good to have stories that related to the subject. I also like that the text is based on a true story. And, I like the numerous Bible references used for the text and the study questions.

What I Dislike: The story is written in rhyme, and as you probably know, I am generally not a fan of rhyming text. This is because it is very difficult to write in rhyme and to do it well. Unfortunately, although most of the text does actually rhyme, the rhyme is often forced, making the sentences sound unnatural and throwing off they rhythm of the text.

Also, although the story is about bullying, the reason for the bullying is never mentioned. Why is Ella being bullied?

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: It’s tough to say what the age group is because the story is about cheerleaders. You usually don’t have cheerleaders in elementary school, but the text is written for that age group. So, I’d  have to say ages 8-12 would be appropriate.

Publisher Info: Tate Publishing, 2012; ISBN: 9781628546002; Paperback, $8.99.

Buy the hardcover edition now at Amazon $18.99!

Special Info: A link to an audio download for the story is included with the book.

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