Have Self-Worth, Will Travel: The Recess Queen

Wednesday, March 21, 2007.

The Recess QueenAuthor: Alexis O’Neill (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Laura Huliska-Beith (on JOMB)
Published: 2002 Scholastic Press
ISBN: 0439206375

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

The ability to offhandedly deflate a bully, with neither anamosity nor remorse, is my idea of heaven — and is high on my wishlist for my daughters. This snappily told story of unwavering self-worth and the power of cheerful assertion gives us hope — and lots of laughs.


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March 30, 2007 @ 8:30 pm

[…] 20. YTSL (Famous Last Words: The Ultimate Dictionary of Quotations)21. DeputyHeadmistress (Blue Mystery, a children’s book)22. DeputyHeadmistress (a must-have homeschooling resource)23. Elena ((Mom to Mom, Day to Day)24. Alyssa (Inside the Walls of Troy)25. In The Pages (The Invention of Hugo Cabret)26. Cathy (Wild Days)27. Ruth (The Mission Song)28. Mt Hope Academy (The Catcher in the Rye)29. Isabella (Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky)30. MFS (The writer’s bookshelf, Part I)31. Zandria (Dispatches from the Edge)32. Carmen (Mom to Mom, Day to Day)33. Carrie (Bible)34. Carrie (Eats, Shoots & Leaves)35. Lori (The Descent)36. Lori (Notes from a Small Island)37. Just One More Book! (The Recess Queen)38. Krakovianka (Never Let Me Go) […]

Comment by Maryann Macdonald

April 2, 2007 @ 8:39 am

What an important book! Wouldn’t it be great if we could all do this? Thanks for putting info about this one out there. I will get it for the recess attender in my life.

Comment by Just One More Book!!

April 2, 2007 @ 9:25 am


I agree completely.

Thanks so much for listening and for taking the time to share your thoughts with the rest of us.

I hope your recess-attender loves it.

Comment by Charlene Hubbard

April 23, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

The title was interesting to me, which is why I picked this podcast. I was totally intrigued by Mean Jean the Recess Queen and little Katie Sue. I thought from the title that it would have something to do with bullying, but I was more interested in the life lessons I could share with my students in the character of Katie Sue. As people sometimes do, they allow the status quo to be uninterrupted. Such was the case with playground according to Jean. It was her way or the highway and nobody dared rock the boat. That is until little pint-sized Katie Sue showed up. She was a free thinker and saw no reason to abide by some of the craziness Jean dished out on a daily basis. She didn’t make a big deal of it, she just respectfully did her own thing. That’s all I want for some of my girls, to be free thinkers and NOT to go along with the crowd. Not to try to overthrow the bully and thereby become the new queen bee, but to live your life unapologetically and with purpose. It was a great discussion.

Comment by Sunmer

April 23, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

I am a second grade teacher in Washington, DC I was really interested in this book because we have had a recent episode at my school where students were being bullied into misbehaving. This occurred during lunch and not recess but I am sure my student will connect the two. The students were being bullied into throwing food. We talked about what it means to be a leader and what we can do to show others how strong leaders have to be. Anyone can misbehave when bullied to do so but it takes a special person to stand up for what is right.

Comment by Leslie

April 27, 2007 @ 4:58 pm

I really liked the discussion of this book. Bullying is an important issue to expose all children to because you never know who might be experiencing bullying or be a bully themselves. It is sometimes like a secret life children lead that adults are blind to. A book like “The Recess Queen” really gets to the heart of the matter without making anyone the bad guy or anyone the hero. It is simply a situation that needs to be resolved in order for everyone to be happy. I think this is important because it is easy to cast the roles as completely black and white. In reality it isn’t that simple and bullying is sometimes the result of problems a child is having.

Leslie Jones
Washington DC

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November 17, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

[…] The Recess Queen […]

Comment by Cynthia

July 21, 2008 @ 3:18 pm

We actually use the term “mean Jean” when our 3 1/2 year-old is not acting like a nice person. She gets it! It works. Great story – our daughter loves this book.


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October 8, 2008 @ 1:09 am

[…] The Recess Queen […]

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October 26, 2008 @ 8:35 pm

[…] author Alexis O’Neill and illustrator Laura Huliska-Beith about their first collaboration, The Recess Queen, and their new book, The Worst Best […]

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October 2, 2009 @ 1:01 am

[…] The Recess Queen […]

Comment by Mary Hough

October 10, 2009 @ 8:58 am

I LOVE this website. I just discovered it, when I was looking for information on how to contact Henry Winkler to be a speaker at our school’s Family Literacy Night on November 3rd. I will definitely be handing out copies of your publication, “Raise a Reader”, that evening.
Do you know of any way that I could contact Henry Winkler, or any of the authors you’ve highlighted here? Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
I will also be praying for your health issues.

Comment by Mary Hough

October 10, 2009 @ 9:08 am

I am a reading teacher at a grade 4/5 school in Massachusetts, and I am going to try to secure this book for our Family Literacy Night. What a great way to show children one appropriate way to handle this type of situation!

Comment by Mark

October 11, 2009 @ 7:20 am


We’re thrilled that our website is proving to be a great resource for you. Feel free to share your thoughts about and experiences with children’s books and their creators anywhere on this site.

You’ll find that many authors and illustrators are very accessible nowadays. An increasing number of them are sharing their email addresses online. Follow the links from our site to theirs or *Google* them to find any available contact info and then take a shot at emailing them. You’ll find they appreciate hearing from their fans.


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