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What Happens Next
By (author): Susan Hughes Illustrated by: Carey Sookocheff
9781771471657 Hardcover English Juvenile: Age (years) from 4 - 12, Grade (CAN) from K - 5, Grade (US) from K - 5 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Bullying Mar 15, 2018
$19.95 CAD
Active 8.25 x 10.75 x 0.44 in 40 pages Owlkids Books Inc.
A spare and deeply-felt narrative about feeling like an outsider

What Happens Next
is a raw, realistic story told by an unnamed protagonist who feels different from everybody else, like she doesn’t quite fit in. Bullied by a girl at school, our narrator gives a terse script of the related facts (What Her Friends Do: Laugh. What Everyone Else Does: Nothing.) and emotions (How I Feel Sometimes: Bad. Really Bad.).

She takes these hurt feelings home, where Mom listens and offers some ideas. At school the next day, the narrator confronts the bully by spinning her “weirdo” obsession with science into an opportunity to find common ground, and maybe help the bully see the world in a new way.

Spare illustrations in a limited palette of blues and greens convey feeling alone even in the hustle and bustle of a crowded schoolyard. Graphic novel–style panels set a steady pace for the emotional impact of this important story that doesn’t simplify the realities of feeling like an outsider. It’s a powerful starting point for discussions of emotions, empathy, and how we relate to others.

SUSAN HUGHES is the author of over 30 children’s books, including Up! How Families Around the World Carry their Little Ones, Off to Class, and Making Canada Home. She is a freelance editor and story coach. She lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario.

CAREY SOOKOCHEFF is the illustrator of the critically acclaimed Buddy and Earl series, and the author/illustrator of Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems and Wet. She has worked with a wide range of editorial, design and corporate clients. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two kids, and their dog.



What Happens Next is the type of picture book that comes along every now and then and stops you in your tracks. I was really impressed with the whole package – the unique telling of the story, as well as the design of the book... A truly multi-levelled story that will resonate with anyone who has been bullied, belittled or felt like an outsider.” - Maria Martella, Tinlids, Inc.

"What Happens Next provides a great opportunity to support children’s social and emotional development. Discussion of topics in the book allows teachers to support their students in learning to identify and respond to bullying, as well as build empathy skills and understand how others feel." - Vicky Timmermanis, PhD, Toronto District School Board

“A simple, straightforward account of the way bullying takes place and an approach that puts the power in the children's hands. I think it will be a popular book and one that will give rise to lots of discussion.” - Leslie Buffam, Bookseller, Vancouver Kidsbooks

“This book’s perfect, emotionally healthy message is expressed with enough precision that it might help a real child to be brave too; or, it might guide a parent’s successful intervention. I hope so. I’d encourage librarians to give their patrons the opportunity of reading this important book." - Helen Wilding Cook, Library Bound Inc.

"The way the story is told makes it really accessible to older kids and younger kids... The ending is true and not neatly 'tied up with a bow'. Like real life." - Sara Spencer, The York School

"An innovative question-and-answer dialogue format and the subtle use of color to convey emotions impart a positive message perfect for children, teens, and families dealing with bullying who just might need a new way of looking that is hopeful, heartfelt, and honest." - Foreword Reviews

"A powerful reminder to children that even if we seem completely different, we have enormous commonalities that bind us." - School Library Journal

"This title is not a cure-all, but it offers a starting point for an important talk in either a family or a classroom setting." - Booklist

"Immediate and arresting." - Kirkus

"What Happens Next is about empathy and courage and giving power to children and finding commonalities. The ending is not pat, but, instead, encourages healthy conversation for all ages about dealing with bullies." - Barrie Summy

"Hughes’s suggestion that reaching out to bullies can be more effective than standing up to them is a brave and big-hearted one." - Publishers Weekly

"What Happens Next is a powerful book and can be used to help young readers discuss their own hard-to-talk-about situations." - Quill & Quire

"What Happens Next is nothing short of a brilliant, must have book for all kids." - Read. Learn. Repeat.

"It's a powerful starting point for discussions of emotions, empathy, and how we relate to others. An impressively exceptional picture book for young children." - The Midwest Book Review

Also Available

Up! Susan Hughes 9781771471763 $17.95 CAD Apr 15, 2017
Making Canada Home Susan Hughes 9781771472029 $24.95 CAD Nov 15, 2016
Off to Class Susan Hughes 9781926818856 $22.95 CAD Sep 11, 2011
Off to Class Susan Hughes 9781926818863 $14.95 CAD Sep 11, 2011

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