A great book for encouraging reflection about the use of social media.
Summary from the publisher:
Nerdy Birdy and his best friend, Vulture, are very different. Nerdy Birdy loves video games, but Vulture finds them BORING. Vulture loves snacking on dead things, but Nerdy Birdy finds that GROSS. Luckily, you don’t have to agree on everything to still be friends.
One day, Nerdy Birdy joins Tweetster, and the friend requests start flying in. Vulture watches as Nerdy Birdy gets swept up in his new friendships, but when she finally gets angry, Nerdy Birdy knows just what to do to make things right.
Nerdy Birdy Tweets was written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Matt Davies. It was published in 2017 by Roaring Brook Press.
“This is Nerdy Birdy. Nerdy Birdy loves playing video games.
This is Vulture. Vulture thinks video games are boring.”
My Thoughts as a Writer:
The author sets up an interesting contrast right from the beginning, since the two main characters are so different. I really enjoyed all the humor in this story, both from the text and the illustrations. The message about social media in this story is pretty obvious, but it doesn’t take away from the humor of the story.
My Thoughts as a Teacher:
This book explains bullying on social media in a way that younger primary students can understand. It’s a good choice for generating discussion about the use of social media and how it can affect friendships for children in the primary grades and even younger junior students. I liked the way the ending showed Nerdy Birdy apologizing and admitting to his friend that he'd treated her badly.
This book also provides a chance to think about internet privacy and how social media or video games can become all consuming. I think this would be most appropriate for children in grades 2, 3 and even 4, though younger children may also relate the concepts to their observations about older siblings or parents using their devices.
Ages: 4 - 8
Grades: 1 - 3
Themes: social media, friendship, privacy
Conduct a survey about how much time you and your friends or family spend using their devices. Is there anything you could do differently?
Plan a "no screen time" day or evening. Create a poster showing other things people can do that doesn't involve a device.