Practical, moving, and deeply kind.

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THE SURVIVAL GUIDE TO BULLYING

WRITTEN BY A TEEN

Author Mayrock, a teen who was bullied for many years, offers tips and inspiration to others in her position.

Advice is presented in short, visually appealing chapters. Exercises, lists, drawings, and pull quotes are interleaved with text, and blue, bolded lettering emphasizes key lines. Each chapter opens with a heartfelt "roem"—a term the author has coined for her rap poems—in type that emulates handwriting set on a lined page. Creativity, Mayrock explains, has been one of the most powerful tools in her healing process. Throughout the book, suggestions are helpfully broad-ranging, from nitty-gritty safety tips (if you go to a party, make sure you have a trustworthy ride home) to internal affirmations (bullying is never your fault). One of the most effective chapters invites readers to identify traits bullies target and reframe them as positives; the author describes her own quietness, creativity, and long, thick hair as examples. The author writes transparently from personal experience, and some of the specific emotional impacts or bullying tactics she describes might not be wholly universal. Nevertheless, her advice is varied and her compassion, genuine enough that readers are bound to find plenty of applicable nuggets as well as a wealth of encouragement.

Practical, moving, and deeply kind. (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-86066-6

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2015

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Essential.

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THIS BOOK IS ANTI-RACIST

20 LESSONS ON HOW TO WAKE UP, TAKE ACTION, AND DO THE WORK

A guidebook for taking action against racism.

The clear title and bold, colorful illustrations will immediately draw attention to this book, designed to guide each reader on a personal journey to work to dismantle racism. In the author’s note, Jewell begins with explanations about word choice, including the use of the terms “folx,” because it is gender neutral, and “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world. She also chooses to capitalize Black, Brown, and Indigenous as a way of centering these communities’ voices; "white" is not capitalized. Organized in four sections—identity, history, taking action, and working in solidarity—each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous section. Underlined words are defined in the glossary, but Jewell unpacks concepts around race in an accessible way, bringing attention to common misunderstandings. Activities are included at the end of each chapter; they are effective, prompting both self-reflection and action steps from readers. The activities are designed to not be written inside the actual book; instead Jewell invites readers to find a special notebook and favorite pen and use that throughout. Combining the disruption of common fallacies, spotlights on change makers, the author’s personal reflections, and a call to action, this powerful book has something for all young people no matter what stage they are at in terms of awareness or activism.

Essential. (author’s note, further reading, glossary, select bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4521-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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SMILE

Telgemeier has created an utterly charming graphic memoir of tooth trauma, first crushes and fickle friends, sweetly reminiscent of Judy Blume’s work. One night, Raina trips and falls after a Girl Scout meeting, knocking out her two front teeth. This leads to years of painful surgeries, braces, agonizing root canals and other oral atrocities. Her friends offer little solace through this trying ordeal, spending more of their time teasing than comforting her. After years of these girls’ constant belittling, Raina branches out and finds her own voice and a new group of friends. Young girls will relate to her story, and her friend-angst is palpable. Readers should not overlook this seemingly simply drawn work; the strong writing and emotionally expressive characters add an unexpected layer of depth. As an afterword, the author includes a photo of her smiling, showing off the results of all of the years of pain she endured. Irresistible, funny and touching—a must read for all teenage girls, whether en-braced or not. (Graphic memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-13205-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Bantam Discovery

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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