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Children's Fiction General

I Didn't Stand Up

by (author) Lucy Falcone

illustrated by Jacqueline Hudon

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
Dec 2018
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2018
    List Price

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When you are black, or a geek, or poor, or Muslim, or transgender — or anything "different" from the norm, you are a target for bullying. From Kindergarten through high school, the average student will hear about 150,000 putdowns of himself and others. How many will stand up?

Modeling the text of the poem, First They Came, about the abuses enacted by the Nazis on a variety of groups including the Jewish people — and about the many who did nothing to protect the innocent — author Lucy Falcone has written, I Didn't Stand Up. This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of a bystander who doesn't stand up for the innocent targets of school bullies simply because he views them as different from himself.

When things turn around and the bystander becomes the target, who will stand up for him? The book is a lesson in compassion and courage to defy bullying whenever and wherever you see it.

About the authors

Lucy Falcone was a serious couch potato growing up. Her love of watching television inspired a dream to become a television and screen writer. Lucy’s first job was writing for CTV’s The Littlest Hobo. After moving to Los Angeles, she wrote for Nickelodeon’s hugely popular series, Are You Afraid of the Dark. Lucy also started a production company, Northwind Productions, and produced a situation comedy pilot titled Choir Practice starring Susan Anton and Elaina Reed Hall.
In 2003 Lucy turned her hand to writing novels. Her middle-grade supernatural thrillers include The Mysterious MummerWalking with the DeadThe DevilThe Banshee and Me, and The Midnight Curse. These four novels have garnered nine nominations, four wins, and two Honour nods. Lucy has also created a comedic, kid-detective series The Ghost and Max Monroe.
Lucy’s debut picture book, I Didn’t Stand Up, (inspired by the poem First They Came… by Martin Niemoller) won the 2019 Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario Children’s Literature Award. The Librarian’s Stories is her second, emotionally resonant picture book.

Lucy Falcone's profile page

Jacqueline Hudon
Children's illustratorJacqueline Hudon grew up in the tiny village of Zenon Park, Saskatchewan, but now lives in Calgary. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Today's Parent and Skipping Stones.

Jacqueline Hudon's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The text is minimal but says so much about how little it takes for a bully to select a victim and for bystanders to do nothing. Lucy Falcone wallops the reader with the intensity of each situation, seemingly innocuous but always devastating to the victim. The weighting is in Jacqueline Hudon's illustrations, depicting large-eyed victims of bullies who harm with words and actions."
CanLit for LittleCanadians

"I Didn't Stand Up is unreservedly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library Social Issues picture book collections for young readers ages 6-9."
Midwest Book Review

"This book about bullying. It's a call to recognize ourselves in all people and use the power of collective action to make a change. Beautifully illustrated, all kids will see themselves and arbitrary cruelty of bullying.""
Read. Learn. Repeat.

"Based on the well-known poem First They Came, this is an excellent lesson for young kids to start working out. During the book we see that the group of kids that do stand up for the person being teased grows as they each experience it. After the story, there is some great information included about bullying in schools."
Kiss the Book blog

"Beautifully illustrated, kids will see themselves as well as the arbitrary cruelty of bullying."
City Parent

"I Didn't Stand Up is a simple, yet powerful, picture book about bullying. Covered in this modern telling is a wide range of typical excuses bullies might use to justify their actions, whether that is skin colour, clothing choice, country of birth, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, physical disability, gender identification, and more. The book ends with a promise that, even if the reader is bullied, he or she is not alone. There is a well-written author's note at the end that provides more information on the original poem, along with facts about, and suggestions for curtailing, bullying. The illustrations are detailed drawings with sparse, yet effective, use of colour. Facial expressions on the characters are outstanding, conveying much emotional angst. While mild violence is depicted, it is not offensive.
CM Magazine

"I would recommend this powerful book be in every library imaginable: school, public, and personal."
Resource Links

"Lucy Falcone's I Didn't Stand Up is inspired by Martin Niemoller's iconic poem, "First They Came for Socialists," and delivers the same warning about staying silent. The setting for this beautifully illustrated picture book is the schoolyard, as the protagonist watches one after another of their classmates become a victim of bullying. Unlike the chilling ending in Niemoller's poem, however, I Didn't Stand Up ends with the powerful image of the bullied children, filling the page with vibrant color as they stand together against the bullies. The volume offers hope by showing just how easy it can be to stop the vicious cycle of exclusion."
The Children's Book Review

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