I Am Jack by Susanne Gervay
Review by Kim Higginson
My nine-year-old son and I loved this chapter book for 8–12 year-olds. I think we also fell a little in love with Jack’s family in the book, especially Jack’s sweet relationship with his Nanna.
Author Gervay notes she wrote this book after her son was bullied at school, with his permission. He said "write it, Mum. For other kids who get bullied, for kids who bully, for parents and teachers and everyone – so it doesn’t happen". On top of her qualification as a mum, Susanne Gervay is also a specialist in child growth and development, educator and author.
Through the story we developed a real empathy for Jack as he tries to hold everything together when he is being bullied, as he doesn’t want to burden his solo mum. When the situation eventually unfolds, he learns he doesn’t need to do it all on his own as family, friends and teachers rally around him.
Another three titles have been added to the I Am Jake series and it has been endorsed by Room to Read, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, Life Education Australia and other anti-bullying organisations and programs. You can read about how it has been incorporated, including an international play, on Gervay’s Say No to Bullying pages.
Reviewed by Kim Higginson, Mental Health Foundation Information Management Specialist