Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bubba and Giganto Tackles Bullying in Schools

Bubba and Giganot: Odds Agains them by Lea Schizas gives teachers an excellent opportunity to highlight the problems of bullying and to do some creative teaching. Here are some of my suggestions:
  1. Read the book and discuss how Bubba and Giganto respond to the threat of the bullies.
  2. Do role playing having children take the parts of the different characters.
  3. Have the students rewrite the ending.
  4. Discuss why the bullies need to torment others.
There are just a few suggestions. I'm sure you can do better. I think you can see from the following excerpt how the book lends itself to use in the classroom.


Chapter One

Ever wonder if parents really listen to you? Try adding, “and the alien

scooped me up and see their reaction. If they turn around and look in a weird way,

they paid attention. My parents just say, “Uh-huh, that’s nice, dear.

But I’ve gone off topic here. My story has nothing to do with parents but

everything to do with accepting a challenge.

Starting at a new school and meeting friends is hard, really hard. Factor in that my

parents decided to name me Bubba - not Bobby, not Brendan, but Bubba - and anyone

can understand why I hate going to any school. This would be my fourth nightmare in a

brand new setting.


Getting off the bus, I bumped right into this huge student. Couldn’t avoid it. The

kid, who must have been over 200 pounds, hogged the whole sidewalk. His oversized

blue T-shirt looked more like a tent. Well, call me silly, but I turned to the circus freak

and told him, “Move out of my way.” Almost in slow motion, he started to wobble out of

my path.

As I tried to pass, he yanked me back by my collar. My gut told me I may have

made the biggest mistake of my life.

Putting on my ‘tough guy’ face (the gnarly grin and uplifted eyebrow),

I looked him squarely in the eyes. “What’s up?” I asked, while my legs screamed RUN.

Anticipating a nasty hit on my body, I squeezed my eyes shut.

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to block your way.”

Unsure if my ears heard right, I opened one eye and checked where his pudgy

hands were. Although the tone of his voice sounded angelic in my head (with both

eyes shut), I may have mistaken sarcasm for sincerity. To my astonishment, his hand

waited for me to shake it in greeting. The other hand held on to his brown leather school

bag. It reminded me of what a spy carrying Top Secret documents would use.

My name’s David Montana,” he said, clasping my hand in a tight grip and

shaking it. His ‘tent’ wobbled with every shake, rattle, and roll he did with my hand. A

childish grin spread across his cherub features.

H-hey. I’m B -” No way would I tell him my name in front of everyone

circled around us expecting the first fight of the school year. “Nice to meet

you.” My racing heart resumed its normal beat. I’m not normally the queasy and

frightened type of a guy. I’m usually smarter in the sense I pick fights with guys my own

size. So knowing my body would continue its healthy state, I let out a very inconspicuous


Besides, I felt lower than a deflated punching bag for thinking him a circus freak.

Everyone dispersed once the warning bell rang, obviously disappointed I didn’t

get my teeth knocked out. My newfound friend and I entered the ugly, red brick building,

similar to all my other schools. I wonder if it’s like a secret school code to keep schools

as monotone as possible in order to have students remain nice and quiet … well, bored is

more like it.

I looked around and felt like puking. The walls, lockers, doors, ceilings -

everything was clean, not a mural anywhere, made me a bit nervous since every other

school had those artistic imprints. Those schools allowed their students to decorate the

walls with paintings and feel at home. So, I wondered if I had just stepped into boot

camp or what, because it was blaringly obvious to me the kids here either had no artistic

qualities or the school’s administration felt they shouldn’t decorate the walls. Great!

Could this day get any worse?

Yes. I couldn’t help but feel as though I walked in a dank tunnel. Then it hit me as

I looked around. There were no windows. The only sunlight streamed from the corridor

windows. I stopped for a second and peeked inside a classroom. No windows. Yikes.

Even the Titanic had more windows.

Yio, David.” I ran to catch up with him. “What’s up with the lack of windows?”

Oh, you’ll get used to it. We really don’t notice. Students are less distracted.”

Yeah, but how will we know when we’re nearing an iceberg?”

He looked at me as though I was off my rocker.

Never mind.” I didn’t feel the need to explain my weird sense of humor to him.

David and I hit it off. Six foot plus David, and five ten and a hundred-sixty-five

pound me shared every single class. Luck knew I would need David somewhere down

the line.

And, boy, was Luck ever right.

Bubba and Giganto: Odds Against Them is available from:

4RV Publishing LLC

PO Box 6482

Edmond, OK 73083-6482


ISBN: 978-0-9797513-6-3


Available at:



4RV Publishing


Barnes & Noble


The Reading Warehouse



  1. Hi Nancy and Lea...great suggestions to use the book in the classroom. I just re-read Chapter 1..I never tire of it. It's a shame even after all the talk about anti-bullying it still occurs. I truly believe it starts from home. Keep up the great work!

    Warm regards,

  2. I agree with Donna, it's sad that bullying still exists. We need more books like Bubba and Giganto to bring this type of behavior into the light.


  3. Thank you, ladies, for the nice words. Now let's unite and see what we can do about this situation. First thing...begin the teaching at home.

  4. I', glad you ladies like my suggestions for classroom use. I agree teaching needs to be done at home, but it also must be done in the schools. In one of my incarnations, I taught elementary school. It was fascinating to see how many children were different at home than at school. Both venues need to tell children that bullying is wrong and show them ways to cope with it.


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