Stomp Out Bullying

“Stomp Out Bullying” is a campaign whose initiative is to stop bullying and cyber-bullying. I first heard about this on author Heather Brewer’s blog, and I thought the idea was worthy of a blog posting. Most everyone has been affected by bullying at some point in their lives. It has been 10 years since my high school days, but I can still remember in vivid detail some of the things that my friends and I witnessed and experienced. Many of the graphic images that are described in these novels are very true to life. This imagery might be hard to stomach, but I hope that the included titles will help inspire you and your students to take a stand against bullying. Please wear blue today (October 3rd), in order to support the anti-bullying message.

Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen. 2011.

Danny’s small size makes him a target for the hormone-driven football team more often than not. Unfortunately the bullying gets even worse when gruesome revenge is taken upon one of his gymnast teammates. Luckily Danny finds a comrade in Kurt, the new fullback who stutters and has a scarred face. As you can imagine, Kurt and Danny have quite the fight ahead of them in order to survive.

Shine by Lauren Myracle. 2011.

Cat’s best friend, Patrick is found tied to a gas pump (at the convenience store he works at) and beaten unconscious. A gas pump is duct-taped inside his mouth, and some choice words are illegible on his chest in blood. The police believe it was a random hate crime, but Cat knows better. In order to help Patrick, Cat needs to face her own demons and uncover some dark secrets about the town she thought she once knew.

Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones. 2011.

An amazing compilation of talent from YA authors in response to the huge impact that bullying has on teens. These authors have dealt with bullying as observers, victims, and perpetrators and have decided to share their deeply personal stories with you. My favorite entry is from Vladimir Tod author, Heather Brewer (aka Auntie Heather) and here is a snippet from her particular admission:

“Bullying is a horrible thing. It sticks with you forever. It poisons you. But only if you let it. See, there’s a secret that no one ever tells you when they’re filling your head that this “will build character” or just completely go away when you’re an adult. You have the power to decide what hurts you and what doesn’t, what sticks with you, and what you use as fuel to pull yourself out of the muck. You can make the needed change in your life and give yourself happiness and joy, despite what the bullies have tried to instill in you. You can succeed at anything, at everything. But you can’t let them see you cry. Instead, when they want to see those tears, when they’re doing everything possible to break you down, I want you to smile and remember that they’re just picking on you because they wish they were just like you, but they don’t have the guts. Remember that, minion, because everyone deserves a happy ending.”

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