Boys and girls talk about their bullying experiences.
Middle school can be a difficult time for kids, especially those who become the targets of bullies. Girls often join cliques and practice the art of victimizing their peers. Boys seek out the weak and vulnerable to harass in the classroom, hallway or locker room. And technology ups the ante with online meanness, where cruelty can be anonymous and difficult to trace. In this lively presentation, victims of bullying tell their own stories, each account accompanied by a full-page color photograph of the narrator. Jean, burned as an infant, is taunted because of his appearance; Jaevon has seizures and is hit, spit upon and called "seizure boy" and "mental"; Emily, the new girl, tries to join a clique but is ever the outsider. Each of the 13 middle schoolers here experienced bullying and learned to deal with it. Advice from Dorothy Espelage, an expert on adolescent bullying, is offered on each page, and the volume concludes with "Tips on Dealing with Bullies." Given the topic, it's an upbeat approach offering realistic and down-to-earth advice, though the picture-book look may limit its reach. (Nonfiction. 8-12)
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