School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 9 Up-This is a powerful addition to the growing collection of materials that deal with this pervasive issue. Young adult and children's authors have stepped up and shared their own experiences. The stories, poems, letters, and comics are as different as they are alike; feelings of powerlessness, lack of support, and the sheer invisibility that they felt are themes that run throughout the selections, and yet each one is unique and moving. Many contributors talk about how writing became an escape from their pain and provided fuel for their creativity. Loners and misfits, popular kids, artsy types, you name it, they are here in these pages. Some are still raw from their experiences, many tell how they have moved on, and most writers assure readers that life does get better, that there is always something to look forward to. 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. As educators, parents, physicians, politicians, and children themselves struggle to address the issue of bullying in schools, in cyberspace, on playgrounds, or wherever, the power of real people telling real happenings about real issues is a valuable tool to wield. With some profanity and frank mentions of drinking, drugs, etc., this anthology is best for high school collections, though many of the individual stories would be excellent for middle schoolers.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This well-meaning anthology sprang from a Facebook page created by YA novelists Hall and Jones in response to the bullying and subsequent suicide of 15-year-old Massachusetts student Phoebe Prince in January 2010. Hoping to connect with teens suffering from abuse, 70 writers, including Alyson Noel, Carrie Ryan, Jon Scieszka, Mo Willems, and Lisa Yee, share short stories, poems, and essays that look at bullying from every angle. Heather Brewer recounts her pain at repeated jeers she received about family tragedies that ought to have inspired sympathy. R.L. Stine reveals how being a "funny guy" got him into trouble with bullies (but also out of it). Multiple authors express regret over failing to act while someone else was bullied; ineffectual guidance from adults ("just ignore it") is another refrain. It's not necessary (or perhaps even healthy) to read the entire anthology-there's a sameness to the stories that actually diminishes their power-to understand how widespread a problem bullying is. A companion Web site (www.dearbully.com) offers additional author submissions and resources. A portion of the book's proceeds will benefit a national antibullying organization. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
In brief, true stories about bullying victims, perpetrators, and bystanders, 70 children's authors look back at what was often the hell of growing up, especially in junior high. In addition to the painful accounts of victims are stories about perpetrators that describe with candid honesty the rush of behaving badly. Many entries detail the guilt of the bystander who did nothing ( I watched. . . . I was quiet ). Jon Sczieska feels guilty about having been part of th. no-think group brai. in fifth grade, and coeditor Jones writes in free verse about being bullied for her speech defect before she grew up to lead a successful adult life. For many, I wish I had . . . sums up their messages of regret. A few stories have a heavy-handed tone, but readers probably won't mind. 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.--Rochman, Haze. Copyright 2010 Booklist