Sadly, I think we need books about bullying now more than ever, and since October is National Anti-Bullying Month, it's a good time to talk about it. It used to be just name calling, maybe getting pushed around on the playground or at school, but now there is cyber bullying and a lot of the bullies seem to be girls.
I love the movie Mean Girls because it shows both how ridiculous (and often insecure) a lot of the bullies really are, but also how alluring being part of the "in" crowd can be--even when doing so goes against the values that seemed so clear before the inner circle beckoned. I have a young daughter, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a kernel of anxiety in the back of my mind about throwing her into the fray of school where the mean girls live. Funny that it's never occurred to me she could be one...
It's hard, it's depressing, and it's scary, but bullying is a fact of life for today's kids, and there are, thankfully, some good books on the subject--both for kids and parents. Here are some of the ones I really like, and I hope you'll share any that you like. After the list you'll find a brief word from Patricia Palacco, the author of Bully (a great book for kids), about why she wrote it.
- Odd Girl Out
- Bully: An Action Plan for Teachers, Parents, and Communities to Combat the Bullying Crisis
- The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander
- My Secret Bully
- Confessions of a Former Bully
- Letters to a Bullied Girl
- Dear Bully
- Eighth Grade Bites
- Stand Up for Yourself and Your Friends
Patricia Palacco on why she wrote Bully:
As a child I had great difficulty learning. I was often the
object of ridicule, name calling and teasing. I'll never forget how that felt.
I am now a children's author and illustrator of over 85 books. I visit over 300
schools a year.
Bullying these days has taken on a new more soul destroying
dimension among some students. They now use their cell phones, computers and
lap tops to launch school-wide campaigns against innocent individuals. These
devices are used as instruments of torture and torment.
It is for this reason that I wrote and illustrated my new
book BULLY. My hope is that parents will read this book with their children and
discuss what may be happening at their own school. I feel that we all need, as
parents, to be more vigilant as to what our children are using these devices to
accomplish. No matter how different anyone is, they have value and deserve to
be treated with respect"¦not ridicule.