A follow-up title to Jodee Blanco’s previous book, Please Stop Laughing at Me…, this book contains personal stories by high school and college students who were bullied and what they did about it. It’s a very hopeful book, even though the tales can make you feel quite uncomfortable (especially if you might see a glimmer of you anywhere). My only (trite) comment about the book is that the vernacular used by the kids writing will soon (and, in some cases, has already) go out of style and sound funny. I understand that the author most likely wanted these written in the kids’ own words so that there would be a ring of authenticity, though I hope that doesn’t take away from the powerful stories. My guess is that this book will appeal more to parents than kids.
What I appreciated the most from the book is that Ms. Blanco insists upon including the bully in these discussions. Because if you don’t know why someone bullies, it is hard to get them to stop. And while the bullied child doesn’t care why it is happening but just wants it to end, it can break the cycle so that two lives are bettered, not just one. I don’t understand why adults tell kids to ignore the bully; they wouldn’t ignore other problems, so why this one? It makes it sound like the kid is somehow at fault. But, most importantly, she says, when your child is being bullied and is telling you about it, you need to listen. You can’t project your own experiences on your child or brush them off. Listen.
Bullied Kids Speak Out by Jodee Blanco was published January 16, 2015 by Adams Media. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to the Publisher and the Author.
Genre: Young Adult Non-Fiction
Ages: 11 and up
COYER Scavenger Hunt #27: Read a non-fiction book that is not an autobiography. (2 points)