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home : commentary : actnow May 24, 2016

MEAN -- Guide to Bullying Resources
ActNow:Educator's Guide for the Youth Performance Company production of MEAN
Websites and booklist compiled by Betty Johnson, Feb. 2011
(Used with permission of YPC)

This will take you to an excellent article, "Thereʼs Only One Way to Stop a Bully."
PACERʼs National Bullying Center, based in Bloomington, MN, provides information, articles, and advice for schools and parents, kids and teens:
An interactive site for kids and adults.
Local blogger Anna Berend wrote columns about bullying in Sept.


For kids
Bullies are a Pain in the Brain, by Trevor Romain. Published in 1997 by Free Spirit Publishing for ages 9-12.
A deceptively simple approach to dealing with a difficult issue faced by millions of children every day. The advice throughout is clear, unequivocal, and helpful: "Tell your friends if you're being bullied. A bully is less likely to approach you if you're surrounded by your buddies." The advice for dealing with life-threatening situations is brief: "Run!" Fictional books abound on the topic, one of the most well-known being Mary Stolz's The Bully of Barkham Street (HarperCollins, 1985). Eda LeShan's nonfiction title When Kids Drive Kids Crazy (Dial, 1990; o.p.) deals extensively with the subject and provides excellent coping skills both for the victims of intimidation and abuse and for parents trying to help. However, bullied children are much more likely to pick up Romain's book on their initial foray into self-help, due to the attractive format with cartoon characters and lots of white space on the page. Resources for additional help include books, organizations, and Web sites. This useful, slim volume will have heavy usage. -- Susan R. Farber, Ardsley Public Library, NY (in School Library Journal)

Cliques, Phonies and Other Baloney, by Trevor Romain. Published by Free Spirit Publishing in 1998 for grades 3-8.
Youngsters who are sometimes victimized by their peers will appreciate this reassuring and humorous treatment of cliques versus friendship groups, phonies versus real friends, and popularity versus being popular with yourself. Romain defines these concepts, provides examples, and explores commonly held myths about them. With a sense of ease and lighthearted humor (sometimes bordering on the truly silly), the author serves up solid advice in friendly, reassuring prose, often using slang words, such as "Duh!" and "barfed." The book's expressive black-and-white cartoons, open layout, and easy-to-read text will appeal to reluctant readers. A solid purchase. Rosie Peasley, Empire Union School District, Modesto, CA (in School Library Journal)

Girl Wars: 12 Strategies That Will End Female Bullying, by Cheryl Dellasega and Charisse Nixon. Published by Fireside in 2003. (Cheryl Dellasega, Ph.D., also author of Surviving Ophelia, is a nurse-practitioner, the mother of a teenaged daughter, and founder of Camp Ophelia, Club Ophelia, and other dynamic programs for girls. She is on the faculty of the College of Medicine at Penn State University in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where she lives.)
Mary Pipher's bestselling Reviving Ophelia triggered widespread interest in the culture of preteen and teenage girls and the seeming epidemic of relational aggression (bullying) among them. Gossip, teasing, forming cliques, and other cruel behaviors are the basis of this bullying, which harms both victim and aggressor. Until now, no one has been able to offer practical and effective solutions that stop girls from hurting each other with words and actions. But in Girl Wars, two experts explain not only how to prevent such behavior but also how to intervene should it happen, as well as overcome the culture that breeds it. Illustrated by compelling true stories from mothers and girls, the authors offer effective, easy-to-implement strategies that range from preventive to prescriptive, such as how to ...
... Adopt a "help, don't hurt" strategy
... Provide positive role models
... Teach communication skills online and off
... Stress assertiveness, not aggressiveness
... Learn conflict resolution skills
... Identify alternatives to bullying behavior With their combined experience in offering and evaluating programs that combat bullying, the authors show that girls not only want to help rather than hurt each other, they can do so with guidance from concerned adults.

Just Kidding, by Tracy Ludwig. Published by Tricycle Press in 2006 for grades K-5.
This companion to My Secret Bully addresses the topic of teasing. D.J. is tired of Vince's mean-spirited comments at school. Vince knows which buttons to push, using the I was just kidding defense when he goes too far. Unsure how to handle the situation, D.J. talks with his father and his teacher and learns a few strategies to help him deal with putdowns. Most importantly, he realizes that he isn't the problem and that he hasn't done anything to deserve Vince's taunts. This frank and plausible story will help youngsters to distinguish between good-natured teasing and the destructive variety, empowering them by providing options they can use when faced with bullying. Realistic acrylic paintings beautifully capture the text's mood and action. Gustavson is adept at revealing the subtle emotions of his characters, and both D.J. and Vince will strike a familiar chord with readers. A foreword by a bullying prevention consultant outlines four points that educators and parents need to impart to victims of this behavior. Also provided are conversation starters for further discussion, a list of pertinent organizations and Web sites, and suggested reading for both adults and children. This useful resource is an important addition to school and public libraries.-- Carol L. MacKay, Forestburg School Library, Alberta, Canada

Waiting to be chosen for a pickup game of basketball, D. J. hears Vince challenge Cody to a game of Rock Paper Scissors: "Loser gets D. J." It's not the first time Vince has crossed the line, but D. J. can't figure out how to respond. With a helpful suggestion from his dad and support from a teacher, D. J. begins to handle his problem. The story offers a realistic portrayal of a bully who uses words in hurtful ways but avoids punishment. It also offers hope that children can break the pattern, at least if the adults around them are aware of the problem, competent to deal with it, and supportive of the children involved. The book concludes with a list of "Teasing Dos and Don'ts" for kids. In addition, a detailed foreword offers suggestions to parents and teachers trying to help children in this situation. The well-composed illustrations, apparently acrylic paintings, offer sensitive portrayals of children in realistic settings. Pair this with Becky Ray McCain's Nobody Knew What to Do (2001). -- Carolyn Phelan, American Library Association Booklist

Mean Chicks, Cliques, and Dirty Tricks: A Real Girlʼs Guide to Getting Through It All, 2nd Edition, by Erika V. Shearin Karres. Published by Adams Media, 2010, for young adults.
"Cyber-bullying can be worse than being picked on in school. Like when a girl tries real hard to make me feel bad about myself. Doesn't she know how much that hurts?" --Tanya, 13
"I don't know any girls that don't hurt other girls in some ways. Why? Because life is tough for girls." --Angela, 14
"Some girls try to intimidate and threaten you on Facebook. It's their way to get attention. I just don't want to play their game." --Jennifer, 15
Cliques. Snobs. Facebook stalkers. Twitter twits. Gossip. MySpace brats. Name-calling and showing off. Let's face it -- the girl world is tough!
Mean Chicks, Cliques, and Dirty Tricks, 2nd Edition is your ultimate survival guide to backstabbers and bullies both in school and online. Girl guru Dr. Erika talked to more than 1,000 teen girls just like you to help you understand what makes mean chicks tick. She features smart strategies and powerful tools, such as:
•FYI: The real lowdown on the different types of mean chick behavior--what causes it and what you can do
•Awesome quizzes: Designed to help you figure out where you stand with the mean chicks and how you can make real changes
•Fab fixes: Hey, even a cool chick like you can feel down every now and then-these are quick pick-me-ups for any bad day
•Cool quotes: Wit and wisdom from women who fought their battles years ago-and came out on top
•Real Answers: Restore kindness and courtesy at your school and online
Loaded with helpful advice and true stories from girls who fought back against teasing and cyberbulling, Mean Chicks is the only book you need to feel strong, confident, and triumphant.

My Secret Bully, by Tracy Ludwig. Published in 2005 by Tricycle Press for ages 4-10. This overtly bibliotherapeutic offering tackles the difficult topic of bullying. Monica and Katie have been friends since kindergarten, but lately Katie increasingly seeks to exclude and embarrass her pal in front of their classmates. Monica's despair and isolation are realistically portrayed and highlight the often-overlooked aggression between females. The child eventually shares her anguish with her mother, who effectively counsels her without presenting any pat solutions or easy answers. Lists of resources for adults and children and discussion points are appended. A muddy palette, uninspired renderings of the characters, and a small typeface detract substantially from the appeal of this picture book. Still, libraries may want to purchase it because of the scarcity of material on this very important issue. - Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA (in School Library Journal).

Nobody Knew What to Do: A Story about Bullying, by Becky McCain & Todd Leonardo. Ages 4-8, a Concept Book from Albert Whitman & Co., 2001.
Straightforward and simple, this story tells how one child found the courage to tell a teacher about Ray, who was being picked on and bullied by other kids in school. Faced with the fact that "nobody knows what to do" while Ray is bullied, the children sympathetic to him feel fear and confusion and can only hope that Ray will "fit in some day." Finally, after Ray misses a day of school and the bullies plot mean acts for his return, our narrator goes to a teacher. The children then invite Ray to play with them, and, with adult help, together they stand up to the bullies.

Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, by R. Simmons. Published by Harvest Books in 2002. There is little sugar but lots of spice in journalist Rachel Simmons's brave and brilliant book that skewers the stereotype of girls as the kinder, gentler gender. Odd Girl Out begins with the premise that girls are socialized to be sweet with a double bind: they must value friendships; but they must not express the anger that might destroy them. Lacking cultural permission to acknowledge conflict, girls develop what Simmons calls "a hidden culture of silent and indirect aggression." The author, who visited 30 schools and talked to 300 girls, catalogues chilling and heartbreaking acts of aggression, including the silent treatment, note-passing, glaring, gossiping, ganging up, fashion police, and being nice in private/mean in public. She decodes the vocabulary of these sneak attacks, explaining, for example, three ways to parse the meaning of "I'm fat." Simmons is a gifted writer who is skilled at describing destructive patterns and prescribing clear-cut strategies for parents, teachers, and girls to resist them. "The heart of resistance is truth telling," advises Simmons. She guides readers to nurture emotional honesty in girls and to discover a language for public discussions of bullying. She offers innovative ideas for changing the dynamics of the classroom, sample dialogues for talking to daughters, and exercises for girls and their friends to explore and resolve messy feelings and conflicts headon. One intriguing chapter contrasts truth telling in white middle class, African-American, Latino, and working-class communities. Odd Girl Out is that rare book with the power to touch individual lives and transform the culture that constrains girls--and boys--from speaking the truth. --Barbara Mackoff

Although more than 16 years have passed, Rhodes Scholar Simmons hasn't forgotten how she felt when Abby told the other girls in third grade not to play with her, nor has she stopped thinking about her own role in giving Noa the silent treatment. Simmons examines how such "alternative aggression" where girls use their relationship with the victim as a weapon flourishes and its harmful effects. Through interviews with more than 300 girls in 10 schools (in two urban areas and a small town), as well as 50 women who experienced alternative aggression when they were young, Simmons offers a detailed portrait of girls' bullying. Citing the work of Carol Gilligan and Lyn Mikel Brown, she shows the toll that alternative aggression can take on girls' self-esteem. For Simmons, the restraints that society imposes to prevent girls from venting feelings of competition, jealousy and anger is largely to blame for this type of bullying. It forces girls to turn their lives into "a perverse game of Twister," where their only outlets for expressing negative feelings are covert looks, turned backs and whispers. Since the events at Columbine, some schools have taken steps to curb relational aggression. For those that haven't, Simmons makes an impassioned plea that no form of bullying be permitted. (From Publishers Weekly)

Odd Girl Speaks Out: Girls Write About Bullies, Cliques, Popularity and Jealousy, by Rachel Simmons. Paperback published by Harcourt in 2004. This sequel to the controversial bestseller Odd Girl Out compiles pseudonymous accounts of bullying, backstabbing and other nastiness that girls say they have suffered or perpetrated on other girls, intercut with brief commentary from political scientist Simmons. Simmons argues that for "thousands of years, women have been barred from showing aggression," although feeling jealous, competitive or threatened are "natural, appropriate" responses to the world we live in. Furthermore, because "girls are taught that expressing anger directly is wrong, many girls (and women) have no choice but to resort to secret acts of meanness." Although there is nothing "secret" about most of the nastiness the girls in this book describe they're very verbal in their abuse, very obvious and deliberate in their shunning of other girls there are more fundamental problems with Simmons's model. Since she finds aggression universal, there's no need to look for the happy girls. She does not include accounts from kind young women, even though their insights into living a good life might be instructive. Still, this anthology's target audience is the girl in trouble, and Simmons has some decent advice: e.g., don't take offense right away, don't assume you have an exclusive relationship with anyone, don't try to IM (instant message) your way through a fight, don't accept a bad relationship, get involved in positive activities, be kind when ditching an old best friend, etc. It's not much different from what teen advice manuals have always offered, but some readers may find Simmons's presumption-of-wickedness approach more disarming than the conventional, presumption-of-goodness literature. (from Publishers Weekly)

Sara Shandler's Ophelia Speaks (1999) responded to Mary Pipher's watershed title Reviving Ophelia (1994) with teens' own comments about the difficulties of growing up in a "girl poisoning" society. Now Simmons releases a collection of teens' words that builds on her own groundbreaking work, Odd Girl Out (2002), about the secret culture of aggression among adolescent girls. In this collection, Simmons draws from her workshops with teens, offering anecdotes, poems, and letters written by teens as well as her own insightful commentary. The chapters are loosely organized and examine bullying from a variety of angles: the voices of the bully, the victim, and the not-so-innocent bystander all speak here. Simmons also explores the more subtle hurts that come from shifting friendships and simmering jealousies. A section about "finding your inner strength" closes the book on a hopeful note. Parents, teachers, and social workers will find this revealing, but the book's most obvious audience is the young adults who will find support, direction, and even a community in their peers' words. -- Gillian Engberg, American Library Associationʼs Booklist.

Say Something, by Peggy Moss. Published by Tilbury House Publishers in 2008 for ages 4-10.
This story takes an interesting slant on an important topic. A young narrator describes different examples of bullying that she witnesses at school and on the bus, but remains silent. One day, when her friends are absent, she must sit alone in the cafeteria, and several students make jokes at her expense. In addition to feeling angry about being treated this way, the girl is frustrated with the other kids who look on sympathetically but say nothing. She is then able to empathize with other victims. The next day, she approaches a quiet girl who is often teased and finds a new friend. As well as demonstrating different examples of bullying, the author gradually but clearly illustrates that being a silent bystander contributes to the problem. Points are made quickly and simply, and the narrative has a natural flow that immediately draws readers in. Back pages include topics for discussion, practical and proactive advice for kids who are being targeted, and some good Web sites. The realistic watercolor illustrations depict busy school life and represent a diverse population. Emotions are portrayed beautifully through facial expression and body language. Suitable for independent reading or for sharing aloud, this book can be used in a classroom environment to set the stage for important dialogue about this universal and ageless issue. -- Corrina Austin (in School Library Journal), Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada

Can one person make a difference? Moss' obviously didactic book, which seems designed for group discussion about bullying, focuses on the role of the bystander, a girl who sees the sadness of the victim but does nothing ("I walk on the other side of the hall. I don't say those things"). Realistic, lively watercolor illustrations show the child in a diverse school community, where kids are picked on and called names for being slow or different. The girl feels sad for them, but she looks away--until one day, when she is alone, the bullies make her cry, and her friends do nothing. The dramatic climax is quiet: the girl reaches out to a child who always sits alone on the bus, and the children have fun together. This is one of the best of the recent books for discussion about teasing; its direct, first-person narrative and informal portraits bring close classroom, hallway, and schoolyard scenarios for kids and adults to talk about. -- Hazel Rochman, in Booklist (American Library Association)

Sorry!, by Trudy Ludwig. Published by Tricycle Press in 2006 for ages 4-10.
Ludwig continues to tackle serious subjects in this follow-up to My Secret Bully (River Wood, 2003) and Just Kidding (Tricycle, 2006). Here she deals with the insincere apology. Jack's friend Charlie behaves badly all the time and gets away with it by saying he's sorry even though he clearly isn't. Jack doesn't like this about Charlie, but he does like how being the boy's friend makes him a somebody. Then Charlie damages Leena's science-fair project, and she tells him that Sorry doesn't cut it! A teacher helps him understand that he has to make amends for the hurt and damage he has caused. With Jack's help, he fixes the project. In the end, Jack chooses Leena's company over Charlie's. An afterword on the importance of apology, an author's note, discussion questions, and Apology Dos & Don'ts are appended. The text is stilted and lacks an authentic age-appropriate voice. Manning's digital pastel and watercolor illustrations effectively capture the characters' myriad emotions and provide valuable support to the text. Purchase this title as need dictates. -- Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH (in School Library Journal)

Stick Up for Yourself: Every Kidʼs Guide to Personal Power & Positive Self-Esteem (Revised and Updated edition), by Geershen Kaufman and Lev Raphael. Published by Free Spirit Publishing in 1999 for ages 9-12.
A self-help guide to positive thinking, high self-esteem, and responsible personal power. Based on a program originally developed for adults, the book's premise is that all young people can and should be taught the skills necessary to face common issues, such as making choices, liking themselves, and solving problems. Exercises guide readers through learning about their own feelings, dreams, and needs--while stressing that they are responsible for their own behavior and happiness. Written in manual form, Stick Up For Yourself is similar in format to the many adult titles of the same genre. Situational anecdotes used to enhance the discussion are age appropriate and relevant to children. Of particular value are the "Getting Personal" sections that encourage writing and keeping a journal, which makes the guide more interactive and meaningful. The highly motivated will use this book independently, but it will be most effective within the classroom, family, or guidance group. -- Pamela K. Bomboy, Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA (in School Library Journal)

Stop Bullying Bobbie!: Helping Children Cope with Teasing and Bullying, by Dana Smith-Mansell. Published in 2004 by New Horizon for ages 4-8.
In this insightful and winsome story, Robin, a seven-year-old girl, sees Bobby, the new kid in the neighborhood, being teased and bullied by other kids. Bobby dresses differently and is very small for his age. Robin wants to help Bobby, but doesn't know how so she asks her parents for help. After witnessing firsthand the teasing that Bobby has to endure, Robin's mother talks to Bobby and Robin's teacher, Ms. Wells. Ms. Wells develops a clever class activity to teach the children that everyone is different, but these differences should not be grounds for bullying. Using puppets, the children come to see the good in everyone, no matter how different. This informative book is a must read for all parents of young children who may be or are dealing with bullies and teasing at school.

Stop Picking on Me, by Pat Thomas and Leslie Harker. A First-Look-At Series, published for ages 4-8 by Barronʼs Educational Series, 2000.
"This wonderful picture book introduces the concept of bullies. . . and, most importantly, reassures the reader that nobody ever deserves to be bullied." --Adoptive Families magazine
Barron's "A First Look At" books explore the dynamics in relationships among children of preschool through early school age, and encourage kids to understand personal and social problems as a first step toward solving them. Written by an experienced psychotherapist and counselor, these books promote positive interaction among children, parents, and teachers. The language in each book is simple and direct--easy for younger children to understand. This approachable picture book explores the difficult issue of bullying among children. It helps kids accept the normal fears and worries that accompany bullying, and suggests ways to resolve this upsetting experience.

The Hive, by Kelley Powell Barcellona. Paperback published in 2009 by Pegasus Books for Children.
Bullying is overwhelming our schools, homes and communities. The newspapers, Internet, television news reports and radios are loaded daily with reports of violence due to young people who are using Gestapo means to terrorize their fellow classmates. Most disturbing is the tremendous rise in bullying with the largest increase being among girls. From violence caught on camera of young men being beaten to death by bullies, to the suicides and beatings among girls, these incidents have become a common occurrence in our country and around the world. Kelley Powell Barcellona, a former middle school teacher and coach, became passionate about this subject and created these shocking and revealing images of the terror, which hides between the walls of our schools. The Hive, a middle grade novel, invites readers between the ages of seven and twelve to meet a group of girl bullies and their victims. Ms. Barcellona takes readers into the life and mind of the most violent of these bullies, Brooke Stevens. -- Pegasus Books for Children

They are the most beautiful and popular four. They call themselves, The Hive. If you are not one of them or at least approved by them, you are nothing. When you are nothing, your school days are filled with abuse and humiliation. Brooke Stevens leads a foursome of middle grade girls in a world of bullying and torture, making life miserable for the weaker students. However, when Brooke goes too far, her secret is revealed to all, and her school days are changed forever. The Hive draws readers into the dark world of middle grade life, which can be a white knuckle, hold-on-to-the-edge-of-your-seat type of thrill ride for some, but a gruesome collision course for their bruised and battered victims, who desperately try to survive until the 3:00 pm dismissal bell rings, and they can race home. Yet the track changes everyday at 3:00 pm for Brooke... The Hive shoves the reader behind the scenes to explore the true motivation of the bully, and forces a taste of the bitter reality that is Brooke's home life. What obliterates her character at home, is reflected in the malevolent and emotionally wicked pain she inflicts on her victims at school. This book will help a bully or a follower recognize herself, and it will help a victim find strength and hope.

Trouble Talk, by Tracy Ludwig and Charisse L. Nixon. Published in 2008 by Tricycle Press for grades 2-8.
When Bailey comes to Hoover Elementary, Maya is picked to be her Welcome Buddy. At first, Maya likes having a new, lively friend, but at a sleepover, Bailey is cruel to another girl. Later, she overhears a conversation on the playground and broadcasts confidential information. Finally, after listening to Maya's parents fight, she spreads the rumor that they're getting a divorce, causing Maya to seek the school counselor's help. Ms. Bloom defines Bailey's actions as "trouble talk.... Spreading rumors, saying hurtful things, and sharing information that isn't hers to share are examples of the kind of talk that leads to nothing but trouble." She gives Maya tips on how to not get involved and to choose instead "kids who make you feel safe." As the story ends, Bailey works to remedy her conduct. Given the prevalence of these behaviors, young readers will readily identify with Maya's dilemma and appreciate the straightforward text. Colorful and expressive mixed-media art depicts a refreshing and realistic multicultural schoolyard. A foreword, geared toward adults, gives insight into this type of bullying, discussing the need to connect with others in constructive rather than destructive ways. Appended are an author's note with further tips for addressing the problem, discussion questions, and additional resources. This picture book would be well used by school counselors or social workers to interface with a child who's exhibiting or harmed by "trouble talk." -- Martha Topol, Traverse Heights Elementary School, MI (in School Library Journal)

"While the message in Trouble Talk is clear to young children, the story is realistic and does not become didactic. A foreword by Charisse L. Nixon, director of research for the Ophelia Project, explains that girls are more vulnerable to this destructive way of connecting to their peers. The author concludes with a brief note on relational aggression, ways to engage children in healthier friendships and empower bystanders of trouble talk, questions for discussion, a list of related organizations and Web sites, and a bibliography. As she notes that researchers are discovering that trouble talk is on the rise and equally or even more harmful than physical bullying, this picture book will prove to be a valuable resource for children, educators, and parents alike." -- ForeWord,

For Adults and Teachers
And Words Can Hurt Forever: How to Protect Adolescents from Bullying, Harassment, and Emotional Violence, by James Garbarino andf Ellen DeLara. Published by Free Press in 2003.

The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School - How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence (updated edition), by Barbara Coloroso. Published by Harper Paperbacks in 2000.
This is an extremely helpful book that both parents and teachers can use to deal with bullying, an aspect of school that the author feels "is a life-and-death issue that we ignore at our children's peril." Staring with a bottom-line assumption that "bullying is a learned behavior," Coloroso (Parenting Through Crisis) wonderfully explains not only the ways that the bully, the bullied and the bystander are "three characters in a tragic play" but also how "the scripts can be rewritten, new roles created, the plot changed." For each of the three "characters," she breaks down the behavior that defines each role, analyzes the specific ways that each character can have their behaviors changed for the better, and suggests a range of methods that parents and educators can use to identify bullying behavior and deal with it effectively. The book also provides excellent insights into behaviors related to but not always recognized as bullying, such as cliques, hazing, taunting and sexual bullying. And while there have been numerous books about bullies, this volume is perhaps best for its sections on the "bystander," the person whose behavior is too often overlooked or excused. Coloroso's emphasis on aikido-related defensive skills do not sufficiently address the issue of what a child is to do when physical force is necessary to stop a bully, but overall this is an important look at the ways that bullied children can affirm their dignity and self-worth. (from Publishers Weekly)

How Not to Be a Bully Target: a Program for Victims of Childhood Bullying, by Terry Centrone. Published in 2010 by Free Spirit Publishing for grades 3-6. Children learn how to avoid being the target of bullies and how to tap into their own strengths to value themselves and realize that everyone deserves respect. Self-confidence building techniques help children learn that all kids should be treated with dignity. Using stories of a fifth-grade student, the lessons nurture kindness, empathy, acceptance, and positive self-regard.

Please Stop Laughing at Us ...: One Survivorʼs Extraordinary Quest to Prevent School Bullying, by Jodee Blanco. Published by Benbella Books in 2008.
An entertainment industry publicist before becoming an antibullying crusader, Blanco (Please Stop Laughing at Me) was a victim of bullying from fifth grade through high school. For Blanco, bullying is a broad term-it's not "just the mean things you do, it's all the nice things you never do." For her, even the Columbine shootings were a result of students marginalized by bullying. She offers many stories of tearful children who have been the subject of abuse, and offers her own advice to thwart and/or deal with bullying, but in the end, she doesn't truly persuade readers that her remedies are effective. As an "Adult Survivor of Peer Abuse," her personal experience gives her all the insight she thinks she needs-it's only "clinical experts" who need theories and evidence ("there are clinical experts who might scoff at me for trying to give comfort and guidance"). She retells frequently the story of how she overcame-and forgave-her own bullies at her 20th high school reunion. Her former tormentors just seem to have decided to accept her after 20 years: a happy ending, but hardly a winning strategy for a troubled teen today. Blanco tells readers she has counseled countless students, victims and bullies alike, and while her stories are dramatic, neither the dialogue nor the instant results seem authentic. Readers looking for advice based on concrete fieldwork should turn to Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes. (Mar.) -- Publishers Weekly

Blanco bared her soul in her memoir, Please Stop Laughing at Me (2003), delving into the years of abuse she suffered as a teen at the hands of high-school bullies. Here, she chronicles her efforts as a youth advocate and public speaker. After her first book hits the New York Times best-seller list, Blanco finds herself in demand at schools who want to bring her in as a speaker to help them combat bullying. Blanco does more than give moving presentations at the schools she visits; she takes the time to meet with students, teachers, and parents one-on-one to give them advice on their individual situations. In addition to recounting her efforts at the schools she visits, Blanco also reveals the struggles she faces in her personal life: the toll of reliving her painful past, her newfound friendships with her former high-school tormentors, and her burgeoning relationship with a former classmate. Essential reading for teens, parents, and educators, Blancoʼs second outing is as engaging as it is eye opening. -- Kristine Huntley (in Booklist)

Schools Where Everyone Belongs: Practical Strategies for Reducing Bullying, by Stan Davis. 2nd edition published by Research Press, 2007.
This new edition is packed with practical guidelines and proven strategies for implementing a whole-school approach for reducing bullying. The author draws on theory and research, as well as over two decades of experience as a school counselor and consultant to provide educators with his creative ideas and successful techniques. Interventions to help aggressive youth internalize rules and develop conscience are paired with methods for helping targets of bullying. Chapters cover a wide range of topics, including myths about bullying, acknowledging positive behavior, effective discipline, working with parents, relational aggression, empowering bystanders, and preventing disability harassment. A terrific book . . . . will get you thinking differently about how you praise students and approach the bullying problem in your school. --Virginia Rose, Oregon School Counselor's Association Newsletter

Understanding Girl Bullying and What To Do About It: Strategies to Help Heal the Divide, edited by Julaine E. Field, Jered B. Kolbert, Laura M. Crothers, and Tammy L. Hughes. Published by Corwin Press in 2009. This book covers the causes and characteristics of girl bullying; outlines assessment, prevention, and intervention methods; and provides an original 10-session curriculum for small groups. It's written for school counselors, so education libraries will find important the many tips on assessment, prevention and intervention. Chapters consider how schools can offer alternative, healthy ways of managing conflict.

Why Good Kids Act Cruel: The Hidden Truth About the Pre-Teen Years, by Carl Pickhardt. Published in 2010 by Free Spirit Press for parents, teachers and counselors.
The preteen years are often the time when cruelty among kids escalates (teasing, bullying, exclusion, ganging up, etc.). As a result, anxiety and stress increase for adolescents who are already facing an enormous amount of change in their lives. This book gives parents, teachers, and other adults an understanding of why cruelty happens during these years and how to help children through the difficult times.

Cyber Bullying
Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying, by Sameer Hinduja and Justin Patchin. Published by Corwin Press in 2008. Focusing on how technology can facilitate or magnify bullying behavior, this resource provides proactive strategies, current research, and legal rulings to protect students from cyberbullying. "Sameer Hinduja and Justin Patchin get it! There are only a few researchers and others who are focusing on this growing problem, and these two are pioneers in the field. While there is a lot of press about Internet safety issues such as predators and pedophiles, cyberbullying-using 21st-century technologies as tools of peer abuse-tends to get lost in the shuffle. As professors of criminal justice, they get the fact that cyberbullying is not fundamentally a technology problem. Rather, it is a social and educational problem involving youth and their use of a variety of new technologies. The first responders should be parents and educators. From the table of contents and the preface, through each chapter, and throughout the wealth of immediately usable tools, this book is both an eye-opener and a hands-on text for classroom and support program educators and parents. It also puts things into practical perspective for professionals in law enforcement and the technology industry. It will take all of us to keep our young people safe in this new technological world. This is a much-needed resource." (Mike Donlin, Senior Program Consultant)

"School leaders need information about cyberbullying and resources on how to protect the children in their care. This book provides timely research, best practices, and personal voices from students that will go a long way toward improving student safety." -- Gail Connelly, Executive Director, National Association of Elementary School Principals

"Hinduja and Patchin are two of the most respected researchers on cyberbullying, and their in-depth research lays the foundation for this book. This book contains the best practices that principals can implement at their schools to prevent and respond to acts of cyberbullying." -- Gerald N. Tirozzi, Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals

"Cyberbullying can have the same debilitating effects on a young person as face-to-face bullying: depression, a drop in school grades, loss of self-esteem, suicide, and other violent acts. We simply must do all we can to stop this devastating problem. This book is an excellent resource that clearly presents the relevant issues and provides many practical strategies to help readers address cyberbullying." -- Alfonso E. Lenhardt, President and CEO, National Crime Prevention Council

"An important contribution to the burgeoning literature on cyberbullying and a valuable tool for concerned adults that will enhance the safety and well-being of young people as they navigate their increasingly technological worlds. Backed by years of research and enhanced by the authors' perspectives from the worlds of criminology, juvenile justice, and computer science, this book offers educators, families, and youth service providers an array of useful information, ranging from the social and legal context to concrete strategies for responding to cyberbullying." -- Scott Hirschfeld, Director of Curriculum, Anti-Defamation League

"Cyberbullying is a significant concern for teens and tweens in the 21st century. This timely and informative book brings adults up to speed on how kids are using technology to harm their peers." -- Tina Meier, Cyberbullying Activist, Founder, The Megan Meier Foundation

Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age, by Robin Kowalski, Patricia Agatston, and Susan Limber. Published in 2007 by Wiley-Blackwell. It provides an excellent overview of bullying research in general, paying proper attention to research from around the world, and a good overview of the cyberbullying research, much of which the authors have been directly involved in conducting. -- Research Papers in Education, August 2009

Cyber Bullying provides the most current and essential information on the nature and prevalence of this epidemic, providing educators, parents, psychologists and policy-makers with critical prevention techniques and strategies for effectively addressing electronic bullying. --The Parent Report, March 2009

Champions and critics of the [cyberbullying] laws agree that preventive education is a more powerful deterrent to cyberbullying than discipline. That notion is supported by Patricia Agatston, co-author of Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age and a counselor at Cobb County School District's Prevention-Intervention Center in Georgia. -- Washington Post, January 2009

A must-read for anyone who has access to technology, and it is particularly relevant for any parent and educator who works with youth. Cyber Bullying provides eye-opening and helpful suggestions for helping parents and educators monitor and track students' use of technology. Provides a very useful roadmap for educators and parents about this phenomenon. - PsycCritiques

"The school bully isn't necessarily that oversized, physically intimidating kid anymore. Humiliation by words has become just as popular--if not more so--as children's social lives have migrated online...The authors of Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital interviewed approximately 150 middle and high school students during the spring and fall of 2006. Aside from their own first-hand research, the book includes a plethora of statistics from leading academic researchers covering cyberbullying and real-life bullying around the world." -- CNET Networks

"Bullying in The Digital Age effectively uses real life stories, research and data from leading organizations like i-SAFE to provide the world with the who, what, when, where and how of cyber bullying. This is the most comprehensive look at Cyber Bullying to date and will be a great tool for years to come." -- Teri Schroeder, CEO of i-SAFE, Inc.

"An indispensable resource that combines new research and specific, practical techniques to help parents, schools, and communities protect young people from cyber-bullying. This book will make a difference!" --Stan Davis, author, Schools Where Everyone Belongs

Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social Aggression, Threats, and Distress (book and CD), by Nancy E. Willard. 2nd edition, published by Research Press, 2007.
Online communications can be cruel and vicious. They take place 24/7. Damaging text and images can be widely disseminated and impossible to fully remove. There are emerging reports of youth suicide, violence, and abduction related to cyberbullying and cyberthreats. In this book,the author provides school counselors, administrators, teachers and parents with cutting-edge information on how to prevent and respond to cyberbullying and cyberthreats. It covers challenging issues that occur as students embrace the Internet and other digital technologies such as: *Sending offensive, harassing messages *dissing someone or spreading nasty rumors online *Disclosing someone's intimate personal information *Breaking into someone's e-mail account and sending damaging messages under that person's name *Excluding someone from an online group *Using the Internet to intimidate The book includes detailed guidelines for managing in-school use of the Internet and personal devices, including cell phones. Appendices contain reproducible assessment and program forms, as well as parent and student handouts. ". . . contains a very helpful Parent's Guide to Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats as well as an excellent, concise fact sheet entitled CyberbullyNOT: Stopping Online Social Cruelty. There is also a very useful Situation Review Process handout and School Action plan for working with parents and students." -- Karen Creech, Instructional Technology, Dept. of Public Education, Raleigh, NC

"A highlight of Willard's text is her overview of the technologies that teens and adults use that provide opportunities for cyberbullying. She covers traditional communications technologies (including e-mail, chat, and text messaging) and peer-to-peer networking and gaming." --Linda W. Braun, VOYA, Tag Team Tech columnist.

"In my opinion, Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats is the best resource about this important topic. Combines knowledge of technology, educational approaches to youth and parents, and the law. Highly recommended!" -- Stan Davis, author of Schools Where Everyone Belongs

Teen Cyberbullying Investigated: Where Do Your Rights End and Consequences Begin?, by Thomas A. Jacobs. Published by Free Spirit Publishing in 2010 for young adults (grade 7 and up).
Among books recently published on this topic, this one distinguishes itself by covering more than 50 actual court cases involving teenagers. A note on the back states that the offensive language is quoted from court transcripts and should be taken in context. Although Judge Jacobs assures teenagers of their protected legal rights, especially First Amendment rights, the hearings are a sobering reminder of the real dangers and legal consequences of cyberbullying. He admits that laws differ from state to state and judges in one court will hand down different decisions from those in another. Cyberbullies are warned to expect the unexpected. Some of the cases were still pending at the time of publication. Although the text is explicitly addressed to teenagers, it would be helpful to school administrators who could refer to the court cases when dealing with cyberspace misuse and School Authorized Use Policies (AUPs). Crime/Justice and Participation in Government courses could use the questions and prompts posed at the end of each chapter for class discussion. Although further resources and Web sites are extensive, some legal journals would not be readily available to high school students. The layout includes sidebars, photos, and graphics. Promoting the values of civility and ethical behavior makes this book an even more timely and valuable purchase. -- Peggy Fleming, Churchville-Chili High School, Churchville, NY (in School Library Journal)

Like Toney Allmanʼs Mean Behind the Screen (2009), this title deals with the hot, contemporary topic of online teen harassment, by both teens and by adults. The author, a former judge, focuses on recent landmark court cases, many of them still pending, and in an informal, interactive style, each chapter discusses one case in detail, bringing together the rights of the victim as well as those of the perpetrator. He then moves from the particulars to the general issues and asks readers, "What would you decide in this case?" Whether the case is about using a cell phone to send nude photos of a friend, a personal attack on a teacher, or posting a fake profile online, Jacobs encourages readers to consider the viewpoints of victim, perpetrator, and bystander ("Have you ever sent a bullying personal message, all over your school?"). Each chapter includes a bibliography of articles and Web sites and interactive questions sure to spark more discussion. "Think before you click!" sums up the cautionary advice. --Hazel Rochman in Booklist

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