Hardcover, 32 pages
Expected publication: September 23rd 2014 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Format read: Finished Copy via Publisher
Marlene is the self-appointed queen of the playground, the sidewalk, and the school. She is small but mighty…intimidating! Known for her cruel ways, the little Queen of Mean has kids cowering in fear-until big Freddy stands up to her and says what everyone has been too fearful to say. In Seussian rhyme, actress Jane Lynch, clinical psychologist Lara Embry, and former children's book editor A. E. Mikesell gently and comically depict the undoing of a bully and her efforts to reform. Tricia Tusa's charming illustrations make the story an even more accessible conversation starter for all ages.
In Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean, actress/author Jane Lynch pens a solid tale about Marlene, a young girl who intimidates and bullies her fellow students. But after classmate Freddy stands up to Marlene's mean ways, Marlene begins to learn how to be nice and better-liked by everyone around her.
Parents and educators will appreciate Lynch and psychologist Lara Embry's efforts to explain just how a bully can command a crowd and conversely, how that power can be taken away from them. There is also an underlying emphasis on the importance of standing up to bad behavior, and how leading by example can change a situation for all.
Outside of standing up to bullies, Lynch and Embry also show how a one-time bully is able to learn from their mistakes, and try harder to become nicer. This an important lesson for many kids who bully and are bullied, especially the gentle reminder that it's also possible to occasionally slip up and still remain nice.
The importance of the Lynch and Embry's story is lovingly emphasized by interesting rhymes and energetic drawings by A. E. Mikesell, which will help stay with young readers long after they've finished the book.
Bottom line: This is a short but lovingly penned story that will help readers understand how to stand up to bullies, but also how to make nice with the bullies, after they've broken out of their routine. Educators and parents will definitely be able to use this book to help open up important dialogue and conversation between the younger readers in their lives.
About the author & Illustrator:
JANE LYNCH is an actress, singer, playwright, and author. She can currently be seen in the TV show Glee on FOX for which she is an Emmy and Golden Globe winner for portraying the iconic bully, Sue Sylvester. LARA EMBRY, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and writer. Lara lives in Los Angeles, CA. She previously co-wrote Jane Lynch’s memoir, Happy Accidents (2011). A. E. Mikesell teaches writing in the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Prior to teaching she was an editor of children’s books. She lives in New York City with her family. This is the first picture book for all.