When Elise transferred to her new school, GreenAge Academy, she thought her world had come to an end. Then she is bullied. OMG! Surely, this is the end. Will she ever fit in? Luckily she is rescued by Andrea, who soon became her BFF. Despite their fears, Andrea and her three other friends protect Elise from the bullies.
Then Elise teams up with her new friends to help stop bullying in their school. They become the ZEANN Gang. With the help of the teachers, they take on the school bullies, the 2TOFS, headed by a secret top bully no pupil would name. Will they succeed at this huge challenge or will they be beaten by the 2TOFs?.
Excerpt from the BookThe next day after the ‘pushing’ incident, Andrea wanted them to meet Elise, but before she could do so, Zoe rushed forward pointing at Elise.
“You stepped on my foot yesterday and you didn’t say sorry”.
Andrea stepped in “wait wait wait! Elise said she tried to say sorry, but you pushed her and she became scared”
Elise was scared of Zoe. She stepped back and stood behind Andrea.
Nnena joined them. “Zoe, why are you always angry?”
“I am not always angry” Zoe shot back.
Nnadi, Nnena’s twin brother added, “You are always shouting too”
Andrea quickly stepped in. “Ok guys. Break it up! Let’s forget about it. Elise is new and she is my friend. So can we all be friends?”
"Ok," said Zoe. She did not want her friends complaining about her anymore. She knew they were right.
“What school did you come from?” Zoe asked Elise, trying to be friendly.
Elise was still scared of Zoe. Therefore, she whispered her answer behind Andrea.
“She said St Gregory’s in New Zealand”. Repeated Andrea. That was how Andrea unconsciously became Elise’s mouthpiece. She protected her, spoke up for her when she is too shy or scared to speak up.
“Can’t she speak?” Asked Zoe in surprise.
Nnena understood what was going on. “I think she’s shy and scared of you,” she told Zoe.
Zoe did not want Elise to be scared of her so she smiled and said “Hello Elise”.
Nnena was hungry as usual. “Let’s get our toast. We can play with Elise later” She loved her food, although hard to believe because she was so slim.
“Let’s go,” agreed Nnadi. He always agreed with his sister and usually does what she does. He also likes to hang
around her but only until his best friend Nathan showed up. Zoe went with them.
Andrea turned to Elise. “Can you speak louder so everyone can hear you?”
“I try to but when I am scared l can’t speak loud.”
“Don’t be scared. They are all my friends and they are nice”.
"I like Nnena," said Elise.
“Nnena is nice, but she tells me off sometimes. I don’t like it when she does," complained, Andrea.
“Why does she do that?” asked Elise.
“She said I am loud. She said I am always excited. I am NOT” said Andrea emphatically.
“I don’t think you are loud” smiled Elise in agreement. Although she has only known Andrea for a few days, she thought she was amazing.
Some important messages and ideas for tackling bullying are cleverly interwoven in the stories. A 'must-read' for children AND adults.
The multiple ways of bullying have to be recognized as such and ask for an effective response from bullied victims - and their parents. This book teaches exactly that.
It reads almost like a anti bullying manual without compromising a good story and the writing technique. Description of characters and events is vivid and captivating.
Extracts of this book had been read out at my daughter's school on occasion of anti-bullying week!
Highly recommended for children, parents - and schools.
I bought the ZEANN Gang for my 9-year-old daughter. I decided to have a quick read through only to find myself engrossed in the unfolding story of school life and how these amazing kids dealt with bullies. The narrative is so real and explicit that one wonders why bullying is still on going in Schools today, and how adults can be so blind as to what their children are capable of.
Every child and parent should read the ZEANN Gang as it brings to focus what constitutes bullying. I would not have believed that such appalling acts of meanness can emanate from our children. However, the ZEANN Gang triumphed over the bullies, but it is the methodology and the result that shows the depth of the writer, in the narrative. I do recommend this book to every parent and child. Both will learn so much.
Each chapter is an intriguing description of each character, scene & plot. An easy to read book that is very age appropriate. It deals with all the emotions a child in primary & secondary school will experience. Children want to enjoy their time at school, make friends & wonderful memories. This book tackles all that.
Although this book target’s a younger audience, my16 year old daughter read the book and her assessment was “It is very light and easy to read. All children (including teenagers) would enjoy reading The ZEANN gang because bullying has no age limit”.
I highly recommend this book. I will look out for more books by the author - Franca Lawrence.