WORDS ARE POWERFUL- they can inflict damage and they can heal. In this anthology of first-person accounts written by teenagers for both their peers and adults, words transform pain into hope and the possibility for change.
Bullying Under Attack is an eye-opening anthology of all three players in the bullying cycle. These conversational essays on life as the bullied, the bully, and the bystander provide insight and inspiration for change. Rather than offer a cumbersome psychological breakdown, this graceful and hard-hitting book places the reader firmly in the shoes of all involved.
The stories written by The Bullied explain the subtleties and agony of harassment, helping readers understand that there is more to unkind words and behavior than “just joking around.” Although many of these teens have suffered through harassment by their peers, their essays are both empowering and inspiring. By exploring the essays by The Bullies, readers will discover that the bullies are often times incorrectly labled as bad kids, but many are simply trying to fit in, despite their own insecurities and fears. While these bullies may still have their own seemingly insurmountable obstacles at home, they share their experiences and insights hoping to manage and reforming other bullies. The section voiced by The Bystander shares tales of those who have regrettably watched and those who have stepped up to help others. Here, readers will find the inspiration to speak out rather than just standing by while others are emotionally harmed.
Whether due to race, weight, or jealousy, there are a myriad of reasons WHY. Included in this startling compendium of personal stories that convey the complexity and nuances of what it means to be bullied, are stories of regret, promises, and encouragement that will help readers find solace during their teen years and show them how—as adults—their words and actions can provide strength and reassurance to others experiencing all aspects of bullying. Ultimately, they will learn to find their voices in order to break the cycle for good.
I got this book as an ARC via Netgalley.
Expected publication date: September 3, 2013
I was reluctant to read this book. I saw it on a preview for Netgalley and decided that I, however, should read this book. I guess that’s mainly because of research for a book I’m writing right now. But the foreword was what really persuaded me that, book or no book, I had to read this.
I grew up in a small, private elementary school for gifted kids. Then I went on to the twenty-one person middle school that branched off the elementary school. In a school like that, you grow up with the people in your grade. And for a lot of us in my grade, we developed the mentality from early on that our friends’s problems were our problems and if you were going to be a bully to our friends, you had a lot more coming. It was like family, honestly, and due to our tight relations, there was never really bullying. There was more of catfights, friends breaking up and getting back together, that sort of thing.
So I never really witnessed or experienced bullying the way the rest of the world sees it. But I know it’s a problem, and in the end of the story the main character witnesses the effects of cyberbullying on the girl she tried so hard to protect.
Now, I’m more of an action/adventure writer than a contemporary writer. And I’m decent, but far from great, at writing heartbreaking scenes. I knew I was only scratching the surface of bullying, and that led to the review you see before you today. I simply didn’t know enough to get the reactions, emotions and understanding I wanted from the audience.
It’s hard because I like to protect people, or I like to believe that I do. And when I’m stuck in the crossfire between a bully and their victim, it’s often the question of “why?” Why do you hate this person so much? But the bully never really knows. Or they don’t want to say. They just hate that person, every single bit of them. And I don’t know why. I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out why. Or, when they think I’m just a meddler, they try to bully me as well, and take into advantage the fact that I’m a minority. And though I pretend like what they say doesn’t hurt, it lingers. And those are the bullies that are some of the most dangerous. Because what they say doesn’t just hurt, it sticks. For a long time.
This book was really important and vital to me. I was extremely grateful for it, and I hope that many others read this and recognize the importance of stopping bullying, if they haven’t yet. Even if you do realize it, you–like me–may want more information, the human quality in the world of bullying.
I loved the format of this compilation of stories and can’t wait to see what it’ll look like when it all comes together on print. These stories sincerely touched me. I love this book and can’t wait to get more copies for my old middle school. 4.5 stars.
pg count for the paperback: 264
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