Missing Marvin by Sue deGennaro

Marvin didn’t budge from his bed. He was hoping the problem would disappear if he hid away long enough. But it didn’t disappear.

Bullying takes place in many forms and sometimes the bully might not realise how much damage they are doing especially if they think they are just having ‘fun’

Missing Marvin explores this type of bullying – one which may seem harmless , but really it is terribly harmful.

Marvin works with his friends at Baggage Handlers United and every day they play jokes on him. At first Marvin doesn’t mind but when they become more often and more hurtful, he doesn’t come back to work.

His friends at first have no idea why he isn’t at work anymore but slowly and surely they realise – jokes just aren’t the same when there is no one to play them on AND jokes are pretty bad when you it’s on you.

Missing Marvin
Luckily Marvin musters up the courage to return to work and speak to his friends about how he is feeling. And luckily his friends listen to him and change their ways.

Missing Marving by Sue deGennaro is an excellent book to read to children of any age as it helps them to see that playing jokes on someone can be very harmful. Children can also see that being able to have courage to not let these things get you down is important.

We need to build resilience in our children for the times when parents and teachers can’t intervene . We need to teach them to move away from those bullies, talk to them or someone who can make them stop.

Bullying is a much more complex issue these days with so much of it happening online but by reading stories like these we can start to empower our children.

If children are aware of how harmful jokes can be and learn to be aware of other people’s feelings while they are young then perhaps the online bullying may never occur.

So what else can you do with this book?

  • Talk about bullying and the different ways it happens in your school.
  • Draw pictures and write words about how you feel when you have bullied someone or been bullied.
  • Explore pathways to take if you need to stop bullying happening in your school. Explore the school policy as part of this exercise.


  • What sort of jokes were played on Marvin and how did each one effect him?
  • Why has this book been written with animals instead of people?
  • There is a lot of blue in the illustrations – do you think this might mean anything?
  • Look at the pictures on Marvin’s wall – what do they represent?


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