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DEAR BULLY by Megan Kelley Hall


Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories

edited by Megan Kelley Hall & Carrie Jones

Age Range: 12 - 17

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-206098-3
Publisher: HarperTeen

Seventy authors for children and young adults talk of their relationship to bullying in lists, free verse and comics but primarily in bland prose.

In uber-short pieces, the authors tell of having been bullies, bullied or bystanders. The individual pieces are too short, at about four pages each, to be compelling in their own right, and it's doubtful that even the biggest Nancy Werlin, R.L. Stine or Carrie Ryan fan will make it all the way through this collection. For professionals looking for teaching tools, however, it offers multiple interpretations of bullying from which to draw. Cecil Castellucci's minicomic illustrates Castellucci taking control of her group's seeming powerlessness over the shifting nature of bullies and bullied. Aprilynne Pike asserts that most children—and adults—don't realize they are bullies. Only a few authors discuss having been bullies themselves, and almost none raises the potentially tragic consequences that have made bullying of such immediate concern in schools. The myriad perspectives mean that an interceding adult can choose the appropriate piece for the appropriate teen; depending on the situation, a piece of advice (such as Lara Zeises’ suggestion that one should not let oneself be bothered by mean behavior) could range from dangerously impotent to exactly what an individual victim or perpetrator needs to hear.

A potentially useful resource for counselors and teachers. (Nonfiction. 12-17)