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Zach learns how to be an upstander and finds his courage using his stand-up-to-bullying STAR.

Zach Stands Up

illustrated by Darren McKee

When Zach sees his friend Sonya being bullied at school, he doesn’t know what to do or how to be an upstander. The kids who are being mean are popular—it’s scary to think about getting involved. After talking with his brother and remembering what his teacher taught the class about bullying prevention, Zach creates a tool for being an upstander called the stand-up-to-bullying STAR
  • Speak up by talking to the people being bullied
  • Take off by helping them leave the area 
  • Ask questions about how they are feeling and actively listen to the answers
  • Report what happened to an adult as soon as you can 
The next day when Zach stands up for Sonya, he realizes it feels great to be an upstander. A short note is included to help teachers, parents, counselors, and other adults reinforce the book’s messages and help kids learn how to be an upstander.

Download a printable copy of the Stand Up to Bullying STAR at
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Hardcover $12.99 82934 Hardcover 82934 $12.99

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ISBN: 978-1-63198-293-4
Reading Level: Grade 2
Interest Level: Ages 5–8
Guided Reading Level: K
Lexile Measure: 540L
Illustrated: color illust.
Trim Size: 8.25" x 8.25"
Page Count: 36
Praise for Zach Stands Up:

“The Stand Up to Bullying STAR is a super tool for kids—Zach still rules!”—Dr. Michele Borba, parenting and bullying-prevention expert, author of End Peer Cruelty, Build Empathy and Unselfie

“Very highly recommended.”—Children’s Bookwatch 

Strategies for Kids Responding to Bullying

It’s not easy to admit it, but when I was younger, I bullied another kid in my parochial grade school while out on the playground.

I remember that Bobby’s clothes were wrinkled and often too small. He was awkward playing sports and was in the lowest reading and math groups. I also remember that he came from a large family, and there were rumors that his father was an alcoholic, or perhaps something even worse. Looking back now as a therapist, it is clear that Bobby’s family system had some kind of dysfunction—perhaps trauma, poverty, or addiction—and perhaps Bobby had an undiagnosed learning disability. Whatever was going on back then, I thought I was better than him. After all, I was in higher math and reading groups, I was a good athlete and a popular kid, and my parents were willingly involved in my school. Writing these words makes me cringe with guilt and embarrassment, but as far as I saw, Bobby was an easy mark.

Continue reading on the Free Spirit Blog.

Download the teacher’s guide and a worksheet from the book.

  • Common Core State Standards


  • ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success

    MS.1, MS.2, MS.3
    BS.LS.1, BS.LS.9
    BS.SMS.1, BS.SMS.2, BS.SMS.7, BS.SMS.9
    BS.SS.1, BS.SS.2, BS.SS.3, BS.SS.4, BS.SS.5, BS.SS.6, BS.SS.7, BS.SS.8, BS.SS.9

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A Teacher's Guide to the Zach Rules Series
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I Don’t Want to Be Nice!
Cliques, Phonies & Other Baloney Revised & Updated Edition
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