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Bullying Under Attack: True Stories Written by Teen Victims, Bullies & Bystanders

Bullying Under Attack: True Stories Written by Teen Victims, Bullies & Bystanders

4.7 7
by Stephanie Meyer, John Meyer, Emily Sperber, Heather Alexander

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WORDS ARE POWERFUL- they can inflict damage and they can heal. In this anthology of first-person accounts written by teenagers for both their peers and adults, words transform pain into hope and the possibility for change.

Bullying Under Attack is an eye-opening anthology of all three players in the bullying cycle. These conversational essays on life as the


WORDS ARE POWERFUL- they can inflict damage and they can heal. In this anthology of first-person accounts written by teenagers for both their peers and adults, words transform pain into hope and the possibility for change.

Bullying Under Attack is an eye-opening anthology of all three players in the bullying cycle. These conversational essays on life as the bullied, the bully, and the bystander provide insight and inspiration for change. Rather than offer a cumbersome psychological breakdown, this graceful and hard-hitting book places the reader firmly in the shoes of all involved.

The stories written by The Bullied explain the subtleties and agony of harassment, helping readers understand that there is more to unkind words and behavior than "just joking around." Although many of these teens have suffered through harassment by their peers, their essays are both empowering and inspiring. By exploring the essays by The Bullies, readers will discover that the bullies are often times incorrectly labled as bad kids, but many are simply trying to fit in, despite their own insecurities and fears. While these bullies may still have their own seemingly insurmountable obstacles at home, they share their experiences and insights hoping to manage and reforming other bullies. The section voiced by The Bystander shares tales of those who have regrettably watched and those who have stepped up to help others. Here, readers will find the inspiration to speak out rather than just standing by while others are emotionally harmed.

Whether due to race, weight, or jealousy, there are a myriad of reasons WHY. Included in this startling compendium of personal stories that convey the complexity and nuances of what it means to be bullied, are stories of regret, promises, and encouragement that will help readers find solace during their teen years and show them how—as adults—their words and actions can provide strength and reassurance to others experiencing all aspects of bullying. Ultimately, they will learn to find their voices in order to break the cycle for good.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A useful and insightful text for victims and carers alike, to deal with a long underestimated problem. Should be stocked in all school libraries."

Patty Dohle

"This book is a much-needed anthology. There are not a lot of books out there written by teens, for teens, about bullying—especially including the perspective of the bully and the bystander. I would recommend this book to really any teen that I know, whether they suffer from bullying or not. I would also recommend this book to anyone who works with teens for a living, such as youth pastors, high school teachers, therapists, etc. Overall, I am glad that I read it."

April Thorwardson, Social Worker

"Bullying Under Attack should be required reading in schools everywhere. This should be the book discussed in English class, read during assemblies, carried in every backpack, and available on library shelves. This is an excellent book with the power to influence its readers and maybe, just maybe erase some of the hatred from this world."

—Nicole Mooney

"I really wish a book like this had have been available when I was going through my years of torment. But I am happy that it is available now...I would highly recommend this book to everyone."

—Sarah Quick, Stay-at-home Mom

"A timely and powerful book. I ordered copies for the library and hope that they will reach readers that can benefit from its message."

—Laura Rancani, Librarian

"Certainly, this is the most important young adult and children's book I've read in my entire life."

—Devorah Bennu, Blogger for the Guardian

"This book is a must read for everyone, and is one that is currently being added to the library collection."

—Sara Thompson, Librarian

"For almost a quarter of a century, Teen Ink has been encouraging young people to write and then has published those pieces. These heartfelt essays and poems explore the issues faced by teenagers today. I applaud their efforts because they not only help young people deal with their own lives but also encourage the budding authors of the next generation."
—Anita Silvey, creator of Children's Book-a-Day Almanac
VOYA, February 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 6) - C.J. Bott
Eighty teens shared their stories about the pain of being bullied, the guilt of witnessing and staying silent, the shame of realizing how they hurt so many for selfish reasons. Their stories make for a powerful and intense book that cannot possibly be read in one sitting. These stories speak what truly needs to be heard. Here are some of the teen contributors’ words: “The bullying didn’t happen because I was being singled out, and that’s the most damaging part about it. I was interchangeable with all the other invisible kids.” “Desperate to find a way to deal with the bullying, I decided to become a bully myself.” “ . . . as I picked up my papers, I saw that someone had written on them in big, red letters, ‘If you come to school tomorrow, I will go to your house and kill you.’ ‘I will choke you in your sleep.’” “It is the subtle form of bullying that empowers people to commit hate crimes.” And it goes on, in many powerful statements that readers need to read, and all people need to hear. Along with these stories, the book includes a forward by John Halligan whose son Ryan committed suicide because of harassment; a preface by Lee Hirsch, the writer and director of the film Bully; an introduction by the founders of Teen Ink and Teenink.com, Stephanie H. Meyer and John Meyer; bullying resources; and information on each of the story contributors. Reviewer: C.J. Bott; Ages 12 to 18.

Product Details

Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Slip 'n Slide
Autumn Bornholdt

All I could think for weeks was, How many people have seen the picture? How many have saved it to their desktops?

My story begins on a muggy day in August. My friends and I set up a Slip 'n Slide in my neighbor's backyard. After my turn down the slide, I was pulled into a group photo with two friends. Later, the picture was posted on Facebook. On that carefree summer day, I never imagined one picture could cause so much pain.

A few weeks later, at a gathering after the first football game of the year, my friends and I were reliving summer memories. Not surprisingly, the Slip 'n Slide day came up.

One of my friends asked me, 'You've seen the picture, right?'
I didn't understand the look on her face, but I knew what picture she was talking about, so I laughed and told her I had seen it.
'See, you guys? I told you she'd think it was funny!' another friend piped up.

Suddenly a queasy feeling surged in the pit of my stomach. Maybe I didn't know what they were talking about after all.

'Can I go onto Facebook quickly?' I asked a friend. I logged on and started clicking through pictures from that day. Finally, I found the one in question. Only then did I understand what the big deal was. Apparently, all the slipping and sliding had taken a toll on my swimsuit; it had definitely slipped out of place.

Heat rushed to my cheeks as I messaged the girl who originally uploaded the photo, asking her to remove it, which she did. But the damage had been done. The picture had been online for two weeks.

Before I knew it my eyes were overflowing with tears. I blindly rushed upstairs and locked myself in a bedroom. I called the only two people I knew who could make me feel better. They managed to calm me down a little, but I was still mortified. These girls who were supposed to be my friends had failed to tell me that I was exposed in the picture. Even worse, they had laughed about it behind my back. Unfortunately, that was only the start of a chain of awful events.

A few days later, a small misunderstanding happened between the girl I thought was my best friend and me. Later, when I logged onto Facebook, I found my wall filled with nasty comments from almost every one of our mutual friends. Even girls who had no knowledge of the details of the misunderstanding were taking part. Horrified, I clicked 'Report Abuse' on every insulting post.

The next day at school, I tried to hold my head high as the girls walked by me and muttered 'slut' and 'whore' under their breath. I tried to talk to the creator of the drama and resolve our differences, but she didn't want to make up.

Those girls told me that I was worthless and that even before the fight they'd had sleepovers solely for the purpose of making fun of me and that picture. I was at a loss for what to do. One night I slept over at the house of the only friend I had left. The next morning I woke up to dozens of text messages from kids in other towns who the girls from my school had rallied against me.

Finally, after weeks and weeks of relentless torment, I cracked. I remember it distinctly: I was at an eye appointment, waiting for the doctor. My mom was there, playing on her phone. My own phone buzzed with a notification—yet another post on my Facebook wall.

This one was no worse than the others, but I was so drained
emotionally that I broke down in tears. Of course, at that point my mom got involved, which meant that the other girls' parents were notified. I wasn't happy that all the adults got entangled in the mess, but ultimately it was the only thing that stopped the cyberbullying.

©2013. Stephanie H. Meyer and John Meyer. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Bullying Under Attack: True Stories Written by Teen Victims, Bullies and Bystanders. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

Meet the Author

Stephanie H. Meyer, with her husband John Meyer, are the founders of the nonprofit Young Authors Foundation, which publishes Teen Ink, the national monthly magazine that has showcased the work of more than 65,000 teens since 1989. Stephanie, editor of the book and magazine, holds master's degrees in education and social work. John, with an M.B.A, is the publisher of Teen Ink magazine. All royalties from Teen Ink books are donated to the Young Authors Foundation to fund further reading, writing, and educational opportunities for teenagers.

John Meyer was publisher of two successful business magazines before creating Teen Ink - a national monthly print magazine written for teens by teens. He and his wife Stephanie have two children. To learn more visit www.TeenInk.com.

Emily Sperber is an editor for Teen Ink magazine.

Heather Alexander is an editor for Teen Ink magazine.

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Bullying Under Attack: True Stories Written by Teen Victims, Bullies & Bystanders 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Cinberry More than 1 year ago
This book contains powerful letters, stories, poems and artistic renderings from those who are bullied, those who bully and those who helplessly stand by. It is a book that every middle and high school student, teacher and parent, should be required to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow. What an incredibly heart-wrenching book. Bullying Under Attack not only addresses the issue of bullying from the perspective of those receiving the abuse, but also those doing it. In addition, the bystanders who did and did not have the courage to help or chose to add to the problem by joining in the "fun" share their stories as well. One of the most interesting things about the book is that it pretty much has something for everyone. It's not delivered in lecture form, as many non-fiction books about bullying are; you get to read the true stories of those who have lived it. This book has a high language content rating, but it is due to many victims mentioning the names they were called. Don't, however, think this is a depressing book. While it is difficult to get through at times, it's also enlightening and empowering. The incredibly brave teenagers who share their stories are amazing and this will be a life-changing read for many. I highly recommend this top-notch book to everyone ages 14+.
MyParaHangover More than 1 year ago
Every book has it’s purpose.  Whether it’s to entertain, distract, teach, or serve as drink coaster.  Sometimes it’s not until you’re halfway through a book that you realize what purpose the book you’re holding will serve.  It was in the “Foreward” section of the Bullying Under Attack, contributed by John Halligan, that I realized the true purpose of this non-fiction book. First, let me share with you a little about this book.  Being the mother of a high-functioning autistic child, I know he’s got a tough road ahead of him.  I’ve worked in an elementary school lunchroom and I work often in the children’s room at our library.  I’ve seen how cruel young children can be without even knowing they are doing it.  My son is no exception and I hope to educate him to treat everyone how he himself would want to be treated.  I just imagine what life for my son will be like when he gets older. And that brings me to why this book is so unique.  It contains stories not just from the side of the person being bullied.  It also contains stories and perspectives told by those watching on the sidelines and from the bullies themselves. In the Introduction of the book, the editor(s) explains how this book came to be.  In brief, there was a contest held by Nicholas Kristof, a columnist at the New York Times.  He had written an article about bullying and then ran a national contest, looking for submissions from teens about their experiences with bullying.  Together with Teen Ink (a magazine and website completely devoted to teen writing, art, and forums) they compiled the best works to put into a book. This anthology is organized brilliantly.  There are eight chapters, each dealing with one aspect of bullying, whether it’s surviving bullying, cyber bullying, or diversity.  It’s all organized well.  Within those chapters, there are multiple works ranging from essays, poems, and even works of art and photography (truly amazing!).  Each of these individual works could be written from the point of view of the victim, the bystander, or the bully themself.  Some are written in the moment. Some are looking back in time. I was just blown away by the voices I read in these pieces.  Both heart breaking and inspirational. Not to leave it just at that, this anthology ends with a great summary written by Dr. Ramani Durvasula.  In it, she summarizes the state of bullying today and ways (or clues) that parents/families/teachers can seek to identify early problems in a child’s life. There’s also a fabulous section with tons of links for online resources for help with bullying. Not to be too obvious but to bring it all back around to the purpose of this book…  it’s certainly not to be the drink coaster under a can of soda.  I truly believe this book should be available in every library, whether it’s a school library or public library.  To have a book like this that a teen can go to, open up, and read stories written by fellow teens, IN THEIR OWN WORDS, I believe is a huge comfort to those kids wondering what to do when they are dealing with a bully in their life.  They could show the book to their parents.  They could use the online resources in the back.  As the bystander, they could just hand it to a victim.  The uses are endless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this as an ARC from Netgalley and would actually give it 4.5 stars based on B&N ratings. As a parent, I was very excited to read this book. It is a compilation of stories written by, as the title suggests, teen victims, bullies and bystanders. Though a majority of the stories are from the victims. I liked how it is broken down by themes for each chapter, and the focus on topics such as homosexuality and race and ethnic relations. I liked how all of the stories are based on personal experiences of teens and it was refreshing to understand what goes on in the minds of teens as they learn to navigate bullying. As an educator I was excited to read something that spoke from the words of those experiencing bullying, but I wanted more. I know there are books out there on bullying from an academic perspective and this book was not intended to fall in that vein, which I appreciate. What I wanted more of were stories from the bullies themselves. Why they bullied, how to help them prevent bullying, insight on bringing about social change. While there were a few stories of bullies, I thought their voice was underrepresented. Having more of the bully's voice would have tipped it to a 5 star. This is a book that I would recommend all parents read, as well as teens and tweens, sooner than later. And I appreciate the list of resources as well as the biographies of the contributors. Perhaps there will be a second edition? That includes more stories from the bullies and bystanders? Not that the victim's stories aren't powerful or important, because they are, but I was hoping to understand how to prevent bullying from even happening, or once it is happening, what proves successful in stopping the bullying? These types of questions still linger...though we get a glimpse as to why some bullies bully. Which I also appreciate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BertEdens More than 1 year ago
Via NetGalley, I received a copy of this book from HCI Books for the purposes of reading and reviewing it. Although it was provided to me at no cost, I am under no obligation to provide a positive review. As a martial arts instructor to children and youths, bullying is very much on the forefront of my areas of interest. Not just how to protect yourself from and handle bullies in a non-violent manner, but also how to prevent our youngsters from becoming bullies in the first place. This book is an outstanding collection of prose and poetry written by teens. As the cover states, the stories are told by victims, former bullies and even bystanders. Not all of them are happy endings, but all of them are a message a hope. The victims may not have reached of point of power where the bullying is non-existent or doesn’t bother them anymore, but sometimes a glimpse of hope is all it takes. I was also pleased to see a couple stories from bystanders who readily admit they did nothing to stop a bullying situation. But by acknowledging it, they are putting themselves on notice to not let it happen again, which is still a positive step. The editors have included an extensive collection of books, websites, organizations and resources to help. Can’t put enough weight on how those resources might be able to help someone someday. My favorite excerpt had to the the following, which encapsulates all you need to know, regardless of which side of the bullying coin you fall: “Define yourself. Be yourself. Love yourself.”  – Elana Burack Yeah. Exactly. Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Bullying is a deep-rooted and complex problem that has saturated the halls of our learning institutions like venom. It isn't new, but it is finally being addressed as a true problem, as opposed to being a "nuisance problem" and part of growing up. Bullying Under Attack is the a compilation of the "success" or "survivors'" stories of teens living through the torment and pain. My deepest congratulations to these survivors, I know what they went through and how difficult it is to come out the other side, reasonably intact. My biggest concern is that it took the loss of someone close to bring this book together and give these kids a chance to purge their demons, voice their thoughts, which they have done concisely and with obvious emotional investment. Well Done! Bullying Under Attack is beyond eye-opening, beyond painful to read. It never should have been necessary. PERIOD. That said, this book should become part of the school required reading, followed by discussion and the opportunity for bystanders, victims and the bullies to put pen to paper as an assignment, the results cut be a revelation for many! I received this ARC edition in exchange for my honest review from NetGalley and HCI Books.