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Please Stop Laughing at Us.: One Survivor's Extraordinary Quest to Prevent School Bullying Paperback – February 9, 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An entertainment industry publicist before becoming an antibullying crusader, Blanco (Please Stop Laughing at Me) was a victim of bullying from fifth grade through high school. For Blanco, bullying is a broad term-it's not "just the mean things you do, it's all the nice things you never do." For her, even the Columbine shootings were a result of students marginalized by bullying. She offers many stories of tearful children who have been the subject of abuse, and offers her own advice to thwart and/or deal with bullying, but in the end, she doesn't truly persuade readers that her remedies are effective. As an "Adult Survivor of Peer Abuse," her personal experience gives her all the insight she thinks she needs-it's only "clinical experts" who need theories and evidence ("there are clinical experts who might scoff at me for trying to give comfort and guidance"). She retells frequently the story of how she overcame-and forgave-her own bullies at her 20th high school reunion. Her former tormentors just seem to have decided to accept her after 20 years: a happy ending, but hardly a winning strategy for a troubled teen today. Blanco tells readers she has counseled countless students, victims and bullies alike, and while her stories are dramatic, neither the dialogue nor the instant results seem authentic. Readers looking for advice based on concrete fieldwork should turn to Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Blanco bared her soul in her memoir, Please Stop Laughing at Me (2003), delving into the years of abuse she suffered as a teen at the hands of high-school bullies. Here, she chronicles her efforts as a youth advocate and public speaker. After her first book hits the New York Times best-seller list, Blanco finds herself in demand at schools who want to bring her in as a speaker to help them combat bullying. Blanco does more than give moving presentations at the schools she visits; she takes the time to meet with students, teachers, and parents one-on-one to give them advice on their individual situations. In addition to recounting her efforts at the schools she visits, Blanco also reveals the struggles she faces in her personal life: the toll of reliving her painful past, her newfound friendships with her former high-school tormentors, and her burgeoning relationship with a former classmate. Essential reading for teens, parents, and educators, Blanco’s second outing is as engaging as it is eye-opening. --Kristine Huntley
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 443 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books; First Printing edition (February 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933771291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933771298
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,924,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book after hearing the author interviewed on NPR. I was very impressed by the author, who has done noble work and who, in the interview, gave a fascinating analysis of the kind of child who is bullied (the "old soul" who doesn't fit in, the compassionate one, the sensitive one) and spoke eloquently about the kinds of actions the bullied child and his or her parents should take. I assumed that the book would elaborate on these key topics, and I wanted to be able to share these insights with my daughter, whose child fits the author's description of the child vulnerable to bullying. Fortunately I had the book sent to me rather than to my daughter, who would have been truly puzzled about why I had sent it to her. The book turns out to be a hyped-up narrative, in diary form, of the author's response to fame and to the pressures of having written a best-seller. The stories center on her--what it's like to reveal yourself to a high-school audience, what it's like to have damaged kids needing your advice, what it's like to fall in love with a highschool heartthrob and then almost lose him. The book is riddled with her recorded anxieties and sleepless nights and frantic phone calls and moments of elation. There's one mention of the "old soul" characteristic and one brief paragraph about actions that a bullied child and his or parents should take. I admire the author's courage, and I sense that her work is having an impact on attitudes to bullying. The topic is now making its way into prime-time TV drama. But parents with a child being bullied or vulnerable to bullying would be better advised to track down the interview than to buy the book. Too bad.
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Format: Paperback
After writing her bestselling work Please Stop Laughing At Me...: One Woman's Inspirational Story, former publicist Jodee Blanco jotted down a kind of 'post-memoir memoir', an update on her life experiences after that book hit it big. This book follows her life story as she tries to tell people about her experiences in any way she can- speaking to student bodies, teachers, customers at Border's shops, and so on. The title is very apt since this book extends the personal experiences in her previous one more broadly. She comes up with various terms and ideas about bullying that, even as a layman, she pitches to educators and to parents.

For the average reader (without much of a background in the issues), the book appears to be a mixed bag, but an interesting one. It mashes together incoherently very dull slice-of-life moments, frequent 'flashbacks' to the previous book, ideological prognosticating about what the American school system gets wrong, a constant stream-of-consciousness narrative, and horrifying stories about bullied/bullying kids that she meets. It found it extremely hard not to skip ahead all the time, even though I knew that I would probably miss out on a notable insight that Blanco makes.

The lack of an organized, clear writing comes up all the time. For example, Blanco mentions how she sometimes dreads hanging out with the people who used to bully her. She writes how, say, X person was the inspiration for person Y in the last book, but she never spells out what names are fictional and which are not- only dropping opaque references here and there.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Compared to radio interviews and programs about this book and its predecessor, the book was somewhat disappointing. It primarily recounts the author's experiences, with only a chapter or two having any real substance as to how to deal with bullying.
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By Jenny on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book should be required reading for every student in middle school and every parent of every student in middle school. Jodee Blanco is an amazing person who has overcome incredible odds and is working hard to change the world. It's a fast read because you don't want to put it down. Thank you, Jodee!
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Format: Paperback
This is her second book dealing with how she recovered from all the bullying and went to talk at schools around the country to help other kids who were being bullied and help the bullies to stop. Also addressed parents and teachers. Her advice includes telling the bullied kids to stand up for themselves in a nonviolent way, find friends outside of school even if it means going outside of their school district. Parents should not just send kid for counseling but go with them. Parents need to support their kids and let the kids talk about their problems. Try to come up with an action together that will help the situation. This book has a great message and offers practical help to both the bullied kids and their parents and teachers. It tells how the kids who used to pick on her in school are now her friends and she even married the most popular guy in school that all the girls liked which gives much hope to those going through the same thing. Great book!

I recommend this book for all teachers and anyone who is being bullied relentlessly to see there is hope.
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Jodee, you have done it again. Your insight and your inspired words will make a difference in the world.

This problem can be addressed and remedied or at least lightened...but only if it is brought out into the open. So many children suffer with their mental state during their teen/formative years...it's no wonder that the impact of the actions of others can throw them off track so easily.

I am proud to have read this book and will recommend it to my friends with kids moving through the grades. You are making a difference and it is a special gift that you are giving. I am going to make sure these books (1 and 2) are in the local libraries for my side of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex...and supply them to them if they are not.

God Bless you and the lives you have saved...and will continue to save!
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