POWman: Unleash the Hero Within by Dave Tabain and Nadia Worland
Ill. by Shane Ogilvie. POWman book 1. Harbour Publishing, 2018, ISBN
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Subjects: Bullying, Resilience. Dave POW Tabain is a motivational speaker and fitness challenge master who has made it his mission to help people become their best selves. He has used his personal experiences to develop a three-step plan to combat bullying.
Stu is the new kid at school, he's quiet and finds it hard to make friends. When Dave and his mate Bray observe Johno and his crew bullying Stu, at first, they stand by and do nothing. Dave feels ashamed of his lack of action as his parents taught him how to deal with bullies. At recess, Stu is surrounded by the bullies and they push him around. Pics, memes and a video of this are quickly posted and shared online.
Instead of concentrating on his Maths, Dave writes down his POW plan for helping Stu. Level 1 focuses on POW - the power of words to build up instead of bring down. Dave's dad's advice is key: 'what you think about yourself is way more important that what other people think about you.' Dave adds all the awesome things he's noticed about his mate: his guitar playing at assembly and he's won the regional writing comp. Dave's Level 2 is POW - Passion over worry, how to get past the tough times and tell a teacher or adult if you need help. His plan continues with Level 3 POW - Play Our Way work together, look out for each other and don't let the bully's crew single you out. Stu doesn't want anything to do with Dave and his plan at first, however they test it out at the afternoon basketball game with surprising results.
Shane Ogilvie's close-up cartoons add humour and insight to POW MAN's inspirational plan. Dave Tabain's easy to read graphic novel gives students recognisable scenarios and relatable situations they can discuss. The book gives structured actions for combatting bullying. POWman: Unleash the Hero Within is an excellent resource for classes across the Lower and Middle Primary grades to use as part of their Health and Wellbeing programs.