Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Story by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones

Young Adult: 384 Pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: August 23, 2011
Series: None
Source: Review copy from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon
Website: Dear Bully | Facebook

You are not alone

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.

"Being kind and generous will make you happier than being mean and withholding; that the only thing worth striving for is individuality; and that celebrating people's differences is, paradoxically, the best way to bring people together" - Lauren Oliver

When I first learned about Dear Bully I was thrilled. As someone who was bullied as a child, I know how important this book would have been for me when I was growing up. But I wasn't expecting the impact it would have on me now.

Dear Bully is a collection of personal stories from 70 Young Adult authors. In raw form, the authors share with us what they dealt with, how they overcame and how the bullying made them a part of who they are today.They also share with us what it's like to be a bystander, and what they did or wish they had done.

How does one review a novel based on truth? How do I critique what these authors really went through? I can't. But what I can tell you is what this novel did for me, and what I hope it does for you. Dear Bully taught me that it is okay to embrace the fact that you were bullied. Yes, reliving that time is painful, but you wouldn't be who you are today if you took anything away from your past. Everything that happens to us growing up, crafts us into the people we become. Dear Bully showed me that it is okay to forgive my bully. When you think back to that time of your life, a taste of revenge surges through you. You think about the things you would say to your bully now. You think about all the comebacks you wish you would have said to them then, but it's okay to let go of that. If we see our bully on the street, we can walk by them with our head held high. We may even exchange a smile or a Hello. Instead of fantasizing about what I wish I'd done, I'll fantasize about the day I see them, I'll show them that they didn't tear me down. They built me up.

Dear Bully also taught me to Stand up. Stand up for those that can't stand up for themselves. When we see someone being picked on, being poked fun at...being bullied. Stand behind them, be in their corner. Be their friend. And most importantly Speak up. Tell someone, anyone who will listen. A principal, a teacher, a parent, a friends parent, a neighbour...Anybody. Do not suffer in silence.

Dear Bully is one of those novels that should be read by everyone. There is a great lesson that lies within this book. My hope is that Dear Bully makes it's way into the hands of children and teens that are being bullied or that are bullies. I hope this novel takes up shelves at the school library. And I hope that one day the bullying stops and that the world embraces difference.
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4 comments:

  1. Thanks for spotlighting this book out and the great review! This is such an important topic and I will definitely be purchasing this for my library.

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  2. A most excellent review, thank you. As someone who was also bullied as a child, I sometimes find it hard to recall what I went through even now. I am really looking forward to reading Dear Bully and hoping that more people are willing to let go of the past while also helping those who are bullied in the present. Thank you again. :)

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  3. I need this book in my classroom. I'm the GSA advisor at my HS and this is the kind of book I want in the hands of my students. Thanks for such a personal & honest review.

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  4. What an amazing review! You've definitely brought the title to light. I'll be checking it out in the near future! =)

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