This is a raw, realistic story told by an unnamed protagonist who feels different from everyone else, like she doesn’t quite fit in. Bullied by another girl at school, our narrator provides a terse script of the related facts. With spare illustrations and graphic novel-style panels, the images convey the emotional impact of all aspects of the story.


"This title is not a cure-all, but it offers a starting point for an important talk in either a family or a classroom setting. "

- Booklist

"An innovative question-and-answer dialogue format and the subtle use of color to convey emotions impart a positive message perfect for children, teens, and families dealing with bullying who just might need a new way of looking that is hopeful, heartfelt, and honest. "

- Foreword Reviews

What Happens Next is the type of picture book that comes along every now and then and stops you in your tracks. I was really impressed with the whole package – the unique telling of the story, as well as the design of the book. .. A truly multi-levelled story that will resonate with anyone who has been bullied, belittled or felt like an outsider. ”

- Maria Martella

"What Happens Next is nothing short of a brilliant, must have book for all kids. "

- Read. Learn. Repeat.

"What Happens Next provides a great opportunity to support children’s social and emotional development. Discussion of topics in the book allows teachers to support their students in learning to identify and respond to bullying, as well as build empathy skills and understand how others feel. "

- Vicky Timmermanis, PhD

"The way the story is told makes it really accessible to older kids and younger kids. .. The ending is true and not neatly 'tied up with a bow'. Like real life. "

- Sara Spencer

"It's a powerful starting point for discussions of emotions, empathy, and how we relate to others. An impressively exceptional picture book for young children. "

- The Midwest Book Review

"Immediate and arresting. "

- Kirkus

"Hughes’s suggestion that reaching out to bullies can be more effective than standing up to them is a brave and big-hearted one. "

- Publishers Weekly

"What Happens Next is a powerful book and can be used to help young readers discuss their own hard-to-talk-about situations. "

- Quill & Quire

"A powerful reminder to children that even if we seem completely different, we have enormous commonalities that bind us. "

- School Library Journal

"What Happens Next is about empathy and courage and giving power to children and finding commonalities. The ending is not pat, but, instead, encourages healthy conversation for all ages about dealing with bullies. "

- Barrie Summy

“This book’s perfect, emotionally healthy message is expressed with enough precision that it might help a real child to be brave too; or, it might guide a parent’s successful intervention. I hope so. I’d encourage librarians to give their patrons the opportunity of reading this important book. "

- Helen Wilding Cook

“A simple, straightforward account of the way bullying takes place and an approach that puts the power in the children's hands. I think it will be a popular book and one that will give rise to lots of discussion.”

- Leslie Buffam, Bookseller