Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dear Bully Book Giveaway


In 4th grade my daughter watched a fellow classmate endure constant bullying--and it traumatized her. She didn't want to tell anyone because she worried the group of girls would turn against her too. When I stepped in to help, the school handled the problem in the worst way possible. The teacher never responded to me, but asked the principal to call both my daughter and the victim into her office. My daughter had no idea why she was in the principal's office. And the victim, a boy, had to tell the principal what had happened in front of my daughter. Talk about humiliating! 

Despite efforts to end bullying, it's still a huge problem for so many kids. That's why I'm pleased there's a new anthology addressing this issue: Dear Bully

Please leave a comment to win a copy.

THOUGHTS ON DEAR BULLY

WHY THEY DID IT
Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones formed the group YAAAB (Young Adult Authors Against Bullying) in April 2010 when they both coincidentally blogged about the Phoebe Prince case on the same day. Megan reached out to Carrie expressing her frustration with this case and the fact that bullying that seemed to be growing at a ridiculously fast rate. As a Massachusetts resident and having already spoken about bullying in schools, Megan was horrified after hearing about the bullying that took place in the Phoebe Prince case. While writing her books, SISTERS OF MISERY and THE LOST SISTER, she had to dig deep to make “mean girls as evil as she possibly could. When she heard about all the bullying and bullycide stories in the news, she felt like the bullies had jumped off the pages of her book and into real life. She was also disheartened by the numerous times she’d done book signings and would say to readers, “I hope you never meet girls as mean as the ones in my book.” Shockingly, they almost always said, “We already have.” Carrie Jones was also moved to do something, as she was the target of bullying as a young child due to a speech impediment. Together, they felt that they owed it to teen readers to discourage bullying -- to make it "uncool." Megan Kelley Hall started by creating a Facebook page that kicked off an entire "movement" to end bullying.  This was the day that Megan, Carrie and other authors decided to use their platform as Young Adult authors to actually facilitate change and to be a voice for those kids who cannot speak out or are too afraid to be heard.

HOW IT HAPPENED
Right away, a large number of authors jumped on board of this cause -- wanting to be involved in any way possible. The Facebook group jumped from 5 to 1500 members in one weekend and is now closing in on nearly 5,000 members. Carrie and Megan were thrilled when HarperTeen offered to put all of the stories into an anthology. The thought of having 70 authors – well-known, highly successful writers – sharing their personal bullying stories with their fans was something beyond what they had ever hoped for.

The stories in DEAR BULLY come from all angles: from the point of view of the victim, the mother, the friend, the sibling, the classmate – even a few from the actual bully. Some of the stories are light-hearted, while others are raw and emotional.  All of them drive home the point that bullying is something that almost everyone has experienced. And while that is a sad fact, they want to prove that it's not a rite of passage. It doesn't make you stronger, wiser, or better. But it is something that can be overcome, something that can be changed, something that is relatable, and something that one should never be ashamed of. Through these stories, the authors want to show that they understand what teens are going through today. It is important to encourage bystanders to speak up and make bullying unacceptable. Parents and adults must get involved. Bullying is something that people no longer have to endure--at least, not by themselves. 

Though quite a lofty mission, the goal of DEAR BULLY is to help just one person get through a difficult time, and hopefully make bullying a thing of the past.
Don't forget to join the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dearbully, visit the website at www.dearbully.com, or follow DEAR BULLY on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dearbully

IN THE NEWS:
“FIGHT BACK WITH WORDS. Better Homes & Gardens recommends DEAR BULLY: Remind youngsters heading back to school that getting picked on is tough—but that words can also heal as much as they can hurt, as one anthology proves.”  Better Homes & Gardens

“This anthology of personal essays provides empathetic and heartfelt stories from each corner of the schoolyard: the bullied, the bystander and the bully himself are all represented. Their words will be a welcome palliative or a wise pre-emptive defense against the trials of adolescent social dynamics.”           --New York Times

“Two of them, both authors of novels for young adults (Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones), have drawn on the power of the written word to focus attention on the problem and offer solace to the bullied.” – --The Boston Globe

“You’ll love it if… You know someone (or are someone) who’s ever been involved in any type of bullying incident. There’s something in it for everyone, on all sides of the spectrum. You’ll love it even more if you can find a story that inspires you to help someone else.” – Seventeen.com

“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.” – Booklist

“Powerful…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.” School Library Journal

“Bottom line is this anthology is a terrific tool for the counselor who can customize the entries to the needs of the victimized student.”  -- Harriet Klausner 

Leave a comment to win your own copy of Dear Bully
Giveaway ends on Tuesday, September 20, 2011

6 comments:

  1. It's is a difficult situation!
    My brother suffered it when he was in high school! =x


    Loved the ideia!Everyone needs to read!
    hugs Sydney!

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  2. Thanks, Niii. I think we all know someone who has suffered bullying!

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  3. Sounds like a fantastic read to me :)

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  4. I would love to read this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  5. Pleas enter me!

    ashtreygonesmokeya@yahoo.com

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  6. Comments via Facebook Feed:

    Maryanne wrote: "I'd really like to win this. I'm a high school teacher of kids with emotional disabilities. I see a lot of bullying both of my students and by my students. I think this book could be a useful tool for me."


    Rick wrote: "I don't need to win the book, but I wanted to mention a good bullying story from high school. It was between classes. I was heading from one building to another, when I saw it. One kid suddenly started pounding on another kid. Didn't know the reason, but it was clear that it was not a mutual activity. The other kid clearly did not want to fight, and was getting the worst of it. But suddenly, here comes this other student. A huge linebacker for the football team. He just walks up to the bully, grabs him by the collar, and hauls him to the principal's office. No arguing, no hesitation, he just knew something was wrong and he fixed it. It's inspiring when kids assume the role of defenders rather than abusers. I haven't read the book, so I don't know the nature of the storiies, but I would love to see a companion book where alll the stories were about those inspiring kids who step up and do something when they see wrong being done, who stand up to the bullies. I am sure there are a few stories like that in this book, but a whole book of stories like this might inspire other kids to become defenders too."

    Rick wrote: "A similar story. I was a delegate to Boys' State. One of our events was a visit and speech by the Girls' State governor. During her presentation there was a lot of catcalling and generally rude and offensive behavior. The next day we sat through the campaign speeches from candidates for Boys State office. A friend of mine, running for Boys' Nation, set aside his speech and used his time to severely chastise the delegates for their behavior. He laid into the group hard. He got a standing ovation and won in a landslide. (The abusers had been a minority.) Several of us signed a letter apologizng for the treatment she had been put through. The following year I happened to be in a college class with that Girl's State governor. She remembered my name from the letter and told me how grateful she was for that letter. My only regret is that we should have done something to stop the abuse while it was happening. But I was extremely proud of my friend."

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