Coloroso, Barbara 1948(?)-
Coloroso, Barbara 1948(?)-
Born c. 1948; married; children: three.
Office—Kids Are Worth It!, Inc., P.O. Box 621108, Littleton, CO 80162. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer, public speaker, and consultant. Educational consultant for school districts, the medical and business community, the criminal justice system, and other educational associations. Has worked as a classroom teacher, a laboratory school instructor, and a university instructor. Former Franciscan nun.
Media for Kids, Love Publishing (Denver, CO), 1982.
Parenting through Crisis: Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief, and Change, HarperCollins Publishers (New York, NY), 2000.
The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School: How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence, HarperResource (New York, NY), 2003.
Extraordinary Evil: A Short Walk to Genocide, Nation Books (New York, NY), 2007, published as Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide, Penguin Canada (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2007.
Just Because It's Not Wrong Doesn't Make It Right: Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically, Penguin Global (New York, NY), 2008.
Author of foreword to Who's in Charge Anyway? How Parents Can Teach Children to Do, by Kathy Lynn, Whitecap Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003; and Now I Know Why Tigers Eat Their Young: Surviving a New Generation of Teenagers, 3rd edition, by Peter Marshall, Whitecap Books (Toronto, Ontario Canada), 2007.
A former Franciscan nun who has lectured around the world on parenting, teaching, positive school climate, nonviolent conflict resolution, and grieving, Barbara Coloroso has also written several books on these and other topics. The author gained wide recognition for her Kids Are Worth It! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline, first published in 1994, with a revised edition published in 2002. The book focuses on the necessity of treating kids with dignity and respect, which, according to Coloroso, gives children a sense of power and enhances their ability to make good decisions. To illustrate her points, she describes everyday situations, from sibling rivalry to teenage rebellion. She also offers practical advice for parenting strong-willed, rebellious children. In a review of the first edition, Booklist contributor Denise Perry Donavin commented that Kids Are Worth It! contains "plenty of good ideas."
The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School: How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence draws on Coloroso's decades of work with troubled youth and her experience with conflict resolution and reconciliatory justice. "It is clearly written with compelling accounts of bullying throughout," reported Barry McNamara on the Riverwood Center Web site, adding: "It is reader friendly and is geared toward a general population of parents." Coloroso offers an outline of the characteristic triad of bullying: the bully, the bullied, and the bystanders, who include peers, siblings, and adults who do not act to defuse the situation. The author delineates what bullying is and is not, how to determine if a child is being bullied, and how to protect a child from being bullied. She also discusses why bullying will not go away without the proper school programs. "This is an extremely helpful book that both parents and teachers can use to deal with bullying," according to a Publishers Weekly contributor.
Coloroso changes her focus to a worldwide dilemma in Extraordinary Evil: A Short Walk to Genocide, published in Canada as Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide. "Writing about genocide seems like a remarkable change in direction for an author renowned for her books on parenting, but Barbara Coloroso says her previous work and expertise gave her unique insight into the politically fraught topic," wrote Michelle Villett in Quill & Quire.
Extraordinary Evil is based partly on the author's fifteen years of research and extensive travel, including spending time in Armenia and Rwanda, where genocide has taken place. The author deconstructs the causes and consequences of genocide and its effects not only on the local people but on the entire world. She also discusses the conditions necessary to eliminate genocide. In an interview with Norm Goldman on BookPleasures.com, the author related that she wrote the book "as an educator, parent, and former nun," adding: "All three of these influence and color this text. I work[ed] in Rwanda with orphans from the 1994 genocide. I began the work shortly after I finished writing The Bully, the Bullied, and the By-stander. Asked to speak at the University of Rwanda on that book, I agreed with the understanding that I would demonstrate that it was a short walk from bullying to hate crimes to genocide. It is not a giant leap." "This book provides entry into a vital dialogue," asserted a Publishers Weekly contributor.
In her 2008 book, Just Because It's Not Wrong Doesn't Make It Right: Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically, Coloroso focuses on nurturing a child's ethical life from preschool through adolescence. Using examples from everyday situations at home, school, social settings, and the world, she defines and illustrates instances of compassion, loving, sympathy, and empathy. "Ethics is as much caught as it is taught, and we should have a sense in our homes and communities that you shouldn't treat others with disdain," the author told Marc Horton in an interview on Canada.com.
According to Coloroso, children need more than just to know good principles and the meaning of laws. As she noted in an interview with Mark Blevis on the Electric Sky Web site: "I distinguish between ethics and ethic. Ethics is the study of our way of being in the world. What I want is for children to have a very strong ethic and that is our way of being in the world that is rooted in deep caring, not in rules, not in dogma, not in commandments or laws." Coloroso explains that ethical behavior comes just as much from the heart as the mind. In the process of discussing ethical guidance for children, she also delves into what she considers to be the three prime negatives of an unethical life: hoarding, harming, and hating. "The depth of the information in the book cannot be absorbed in a quick read," noted Jeannette Timmerman in CM magazine. "Rather, this is a book to read, ponder, reread, and return to once the process of deep caring is put into action." Resource Links contributor Gail Lennon concluded that the author "offers parents and schools solid, practical advice about raising children to be caring individuals."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, June 1, 1994, Denise Perry Donavin, review of Kids Are Worth It! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline, p. 1746.
Books in Canada, summer, 2007, Peter McKenna, review of Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide, p. 12.
Canadian Book Review Annual, 2003, Michael Ungar, review of The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander: From Pre-School to High School: How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence, p. 393; 2005, Michael Ungar, review of Just Because It's Not Wrong Doesn't Make It Right: From Toddlers to Teens, Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically, p. 376.
Canadian Journal of Public Health, March-April, 2004, Amanda Huddleston, review of The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander, p. 155.
CM, April 14, 2006, Jeannette Timmerman, review of Just Because It's Not Wrong Doesn't Make It Right.
Education Today, spring, 1998, Cynthia Andrew, review of Kids Are Worth It!, pp. 8-10; spring, 2003, review of Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander, pp. 12-13.
Gifted Child Today, fall, 2004, "Dealing with Bullies," p. 8.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2007, review of Extraordinary Evil.
Library Journal, May 15, 1990, Michael Hedges, "Winning at Parenting … without Beating Your Kid," review of Kids Are Worth It!, p. 110; October 1, 2001, review of Parenting through Crisis: Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief, and Change, p. 70.
Newsweek, February 3, 2003, Julie Scelfo, "Family: Facing Bullies," p. 64.
Publishers Weekly, July 10, 1995, review of Kids Are Worth It!, p. 55; December 16, 2002, review of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander, p. 62; June 11, 2007, review of Extraordinary Evil, p. 49.
Quill & Quire (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), July, 1994, review of Kids Are Worth It!, p. 52; November, 2006, Michelle Villett, "Coloroso Changes the Subject," profile of Barbara Coloroso.
Resource Links, April, 2006, Gail Lennon, review of Just Because It's Not Wrong Doesn't Make It Right, p. 59.
Saturday Night, December, 1994, review of Kids Are Worth It!, p. 123.
Today's Parent, May, 2006, Sandra E. Martin, review of Just Because It's Not Wrong Doesn't Make It Right, p. 26.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), December 22, 2002, review of Kids Are Worth It!, p. 6; February 23, 2003, review of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander, p. 6.
BookPleasures.com,http://www.bookpleasures.com/ (February 15, 2008), Norm Goldman, "A Conversation with Barbara Coloroso, Author of Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide … and Why It Matters."
Canada.com,http://www.canada.com/ (February 21, 2006), Marc Horton, "Barbara Coloroso Has a Simple Message," interview with Barbara Coloroso.
Electric Sky,http://www.electricsky.net/ (February 15, 2008), Mark Blevis, "Transcript of ‘Portrait—Barbara Coloroso,’" interview with Barbara Coloroso.
Kids Are Worth It Web site,http://kidsareworthit.com (February 15, 2008).
Montreal Mirror,http://www.montrealmirror.com/ (February 15, 2008), Juliet Waters, "Schoolyard Strife," interview with Barbara Coloroso.
Riverwood Center Web site,http://riverwoodcenter.org/ (January 24, 2005), Barry McNamara, review of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander.
Thinking Peace,http://www.thinkingpeace.com/ (February 15, 2008), review of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander.