When a new boy in his second grade class tries to get the other students to play a game that involves saying the meanest things possible to one another, Little Bill shows him a better way to make friends.
Sooner or later, most children - on the street, the playground, or at school - meet other children who are deliberately mean. When this happens, there are several options for a child who is being picked on. Too often, the picked-on child's immediate response is either to fight back or to attempt a protective retreat. Retreating is preferable since fighting back will certainly escalate the conflict and may result in injury to both children. Not the best solution!
This story presents a sensible alternative course of action. With guidance from his parents, Little Bill learns to cope with a hostile child by controlling his own reactions . At school, he manipulates the confrontation without stooping to being "mean" himself. Heeding his father's advice he gains the upper hand by saying "So?" to the angry boy's taunts. When Little Bill simply refuses to participate, the nasty name-calling falls flat. His strategy succeeds! Finding that his tactics aren't working, the deflated "mean" kid retreats in embarrassment.
Outside, I held out my hand and Michael gave me a high five.