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Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories Paperback – September 6, 2011
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Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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"This anthology of personal essays provides empathetic and heartfelt stories from each corner of the schoolyard: the bullied, the bystander and the bully himself are all represented. Their words will be a welcome palliative or a wise pre-emptive defense against the trials of adolescent social dynamics." --New York Times
"Two of them, both authors of novels for young adults (Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones), have drawn on the power of the written word to focus attention on the problem and offer solace to the bullied." - --The Boston Globe
"You'll love it if... You know someone (or are someone) who's ever been involved in any type of bullying incident. There's something in it for everyone, on all sides of the spectrum. You'll love it even more if you can find a story that inspires you to help someone else." - Seventeen.com
"With authority often turning a blind eye and cyber-bullying rampant, this timely collection is an excellent resource, especially for group discussion, and the appended, annotated list of websites and further reading extends its usefulness." - Booklist
"Powerful...All of these stories feel authentic and honest, and readers will find a story or a person to identify with, to look to for comfort or guidance." School Library Journal
From the Back Cover
You are not alone.
Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the “funny guy” into the best defense against the bullies in his class.
Today’s top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now onto the story that really hit home for me and that was Slivers of Purple Paper by Cyn Balog, this story hit me in a deep and thought provoking way, I myself had a similar experience in high school, and getting a note from someone that you changed their life in a significant way is a very powerful thing, and one that has stuck with me my entire life.
Maybe I didn't connect as much as some people because although I was heavier then most in High School I had a lot of friends, and although I do remember a few instances of being called names or being teased, nothing was as horrible as what many people deal with every day. I never wanted to stay home to avoid a bully, and I never had my books knocked out of my hands or was shoved into a locker. I also don't think I was a bully, I really prided myself on being friends with everyone, from the cool kids to the not-so-cool kids. I'm not tooting my own horn, so please don't take it that way, but reading this book opened my eyes to being at fault for not standing up or saying things when a bully was attacking people. I'm sure I may have said something to someone occasionally, but i'm also sure that I was a part of gossip or a rumor about someone that i'm sure I might not have seen as hurtful, but was.
While, I didn't connect to this book as much as I had hoped I would, I still think this book is very important, maybe because it's been 10 years since high school for me, so wounds are not as fresh as they would be if I had read this book when I was younger, but i'm a firm believer that kindness goes a long way, and I truly believe that if everyone could take a moment and think about their actions and hurtful words, this world would be a much kinder and better place.
I think this book will be beneficial to young people experiencing bullying because it will help them to see that bullies are made from the same mould and they can only steal your self-worth if you let them. By recognising bullies for what they truly are they lose their power to hurt. Society as a whole needs to condemn bullying by refusing to look away and by turning the ridicule and humiliation back onto the perpetrators. They will quickly learn that bullying does not pay. School should be a nurturing place where young people feel empowered to take risks and explore different identities, not a place where strict conformity rules and anyone who dares to step out of line or be different is slammed to the ground. It really does say a lot about society that this is the training ground for adulthood, and it's just sad that so many kids have terrible memories of their school years. In this celebrity obsessed culture where looks and designer labels are valued above all else I don't hold out much hope that things will change any time soon, but this is a very good book which explores the issue from all sides. It would be an excellent resource for teachers to use in class.
I selected this book for the YA book club with the high school students at my school. We focused on nonfiction and historical fiction for April, and I thought this would be a great topic/book to discuss.
As I started reading some of the stories (I admit I read the authors I was familiar with first), I realized how poignant these tales would be. Some seemed fictionalized, but certainly believable-- while others were painfully penned from life experiences.
I think it's so important for younger readers to realize they are not alone. Bullying is real, and it is a huge problem. Like one of the authors wrote, it does not end in high school either. I think we often forget that some people never stop bullying others. In fact, one story (by Carrie Ryan) mentions a teacher (!!!) picking on a younger Carrie Ryan's speech. I thought this was especially horrible! As a teacher, I cannot imagine insulting a kid in such a way about something they cannot control. It is like the ultimate evil.
I think Alyson Noel penned it perfectly when she described the bullying she encountered from her peers as a "systematic form of social terrorism that consisted of snide looks, passed notes, and whispered insults". Luckily though, she did not let her horrible experience stop her from ultimately using those experiences to write her novel Art Geeks and Prom Queens. Authors, like R.L. Stine, also used the feelings of terror they experienced from their bullies to recreate the feelings their characters (and readers) experience in their books.
The theme of this novel resonates throughout Dear Bully: Bullying is horrible and the victims are not alone. I never want readers to forget that, because it is too easy to feel outnumbered and small in the midst of such a horrible storm. A huge thank you is owed to the authors that shared their personal stories to help create this anthology.