The TRUEST HEART – help with bullying

The Truest Heart, a book to help children overcome bullying

The Truest Heart is a story to share that helps adults know how to help children who have been bullied.

The Truest Heart is a story to share to overcome bullying, build self esteem and create confidence.  Bullying behavior targets fears–those secret fears that most kids have–that they are not smart enough, or that they don’t look like other kids, or that they are weak.  When an ally can help a child remember their strengths, they make them less vulnerable to the comments and actions of bullying behavior.  This book seeks to model how to:
  • Encourage a child’s natural bravery
  • Build up their heart again so they learn to remain open and unafraid
  • Inspire children to reach out and touch others with their own generosity of spirit.

Highlighted in Kirkus Review of Truest Heart

The Truest Heart was selected as an “Indie Editor’s Choice”  in the October 1st Edition of Kirkus Reviews,  page 138.

“… In her story, Sbarboro offers a practical approach to bullying. Affirmations can help strengthen self-esteem as well as providing a constructive activity rather than merely depending on “don’t bully” messages. And Ze doesn’t have to do anything extraordinary to earn good treatment, as in many kids’ books. The illustrations by Leach (Mommy, Please Don’t Go to Work!, 2018, etc.) depict a diverse classroom, [and]  deftly express emotions.”

“A well-written, useful process for children dealing with bullies.”

Kirkus Reviews


The Bravest Hearts centers its efforts on teaching kids to work together to overcome bullying.

Most often, it is the children who witness bullying behavior.  Children are upset by bullying behavior, and don’t really know what to do about it.  In truth,  telling an adult afterwards is NOT as effective as teaching the children how to help each other as empowered bystanders. 

This story is very different …because we don’t want children to confront the bullying behavior and draw any retribution towards themselves.  Instead, this story focuses social power to make  bullying behavior lose its audience. 

In a math lesson Ze realizes it doesn’t take much to tip a scale in favor of kindness. When Kaisley bullies Jericka, the classmates interrupt the bullying event with warm words about the Jericka’s strengths– until their kindness surrounds her like a shield.

The same compassion allows Jericka to see that Kaisley may be a kindred spirit who, with encouraging words, can change. Sbarboro’s deft depictions of Miss Work’s lessons and the students’ responses to them provide concrete, constructive ideas for creating positive friendships.