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I Belong


Review: Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories

Title: Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories

Editors: Megan Kelley Hall & Carrie Jones

GenreYA Anthology

SeriesN/A

Publication DateSeptember 6, 2011

Format: Paperback, 369 Pages

ISBN-10: 006206097X (Harper Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062060976 (Harper Teen)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

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.

Quick & Dirty: This is a heart wrenching eye opening anthology about bullying.  70 authors tell their real life experiences with bullies and how it affected them.

Opening Sentence: I know bullying.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Bullying is a huge problem in our society today with so many of our young people being victims of it. Dear Bully is filled with real life experiences of 70 different authors.  It tells about what they had to endure as children, and how they made it through.  It also tells of some that were bullies themselves and the regret they now have from causing others so much pain.  There are consequences for every action we take and every word we speak, don’t let those consequences hurt you or others.

This was a heart wrenching book to read.  Some of the author’s stories brought me to tears when I learned of the torment they had to go through as children.  Some of them also gave me hope that in some ways their terrible experiences made them stronger in the end and helped them to endure the tough times in life.  Others were full of regrets for the pain that they caused to their victims.  Some talk of survival and what they had to do just to make it through the day.  Then there were the ones that spoke of their friends whether they pressured them into bullying others, or how they were their saviors.  Some of the authors speak about the insight bullying gave them as kids and how they use it in their lives now, and the inspiration it gives their writing.  It also covers the reasons why children become bullies and the sad journey that makes them turn to hurting others.  Finally, there are the stories that tell of hope and that it will get better in the end if you can just live through the moment.

Reading all of these authors’ stories has really opened my eyes.  Growing up, I don’t really remember ever getting made fun of or getting called bad names.  I am sure that there are times that it happened, but it obliviously never really affected me like it would others.  As a kid, I was a little on the shy side so I stuck to my little group of friends, but I was taught to respect others even if they were different than me.  I realize that bullying is a part of our society and that it will never fully go away, but it can be greatly improved if people would just pay attention.  If you are a parent make sure your children feel comfortable enough to come to you if they have a problem.  Also, be open minded enough that if someone else comes to you about a problem with your child you will listen and try to understand.  If you are a teacher or a school administrator take notice of your surroundings and pay attention to what is going on.  Don’t let your students be the victims of bullies.  Last but not least, if you are just a normal person and you see someone being bullied, don’t be afraid to stand up and say something.

This was a very educational read for me that was both sad and inspirational.  I wish that we didn’t have this problem in the world today and that everyone could be accepting, but that’s not reality.  That being said, it doesn’t mean that something can’t be done, because we are a growing ever changing race and we can always improve.  We should love and respect one another and not let our own hurt and hate turn us into a bully. I would highly recommend this anthology to anyone that has ever had a problem with a bully, whether you are having a problem now or have scars from the past.  This can help you see how others dealt with their own personal bullies and it will give you hope that things will get better.

Notable Scene:

From 2009 surveys we find:

More than seventy-five percent of our students are subjected to harassment by a bully or cyberbully and experience physical, psychological, and/or emotional abuse.

More than twenty percent of our kids admit to being a bully or participating in bullylike activities.

On a daily average 160,000 children miss school because they fear they will be bullied if they attend classes.

On a monthly average 282,000 students are physically attacked by a bully.

Every seven minutes a child is bullied on a school playground with more than eighty-five percent of those instances occurring without any intervention.

FTC Advisory: Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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