Canadian Children's Book News Review - We Want You to Know

Canadian Children's Book News
Reviewed by: unavailable

Deborah Ellis has examined the plight of children and teens in war-torn and AIDS-plagued countries, now, she is turning her lens to victims who are closer to home -those who are bullied in schools and towns near her home in southern Ontario. She talked to kids from nine to 19 and recorded their experiences, some children are anonymous, others have used their names and pictures. Their stories range from sad to powerful to harrowing. She divides the book into four sections, each representing a type of bullying. Part One, 'You're not good enough' is about kids who are consistently excluded, often seemingly at random. Part Two is about being different, often because of some sort of disability. Part Three is about bullies who target victims for no apparent reason. And Part Four is about when bullying escalates into more dangerous territory. She concludes with a chapter called Redemption' about kids who have survived bullying. In some of the schools, teachers and administrators behave in shocking and unbelievable ways when it comes to bullying. In other schools, there are programs in place that work towards creating a more positive environment for everyone. Ellis is skilled in getting kids to open up and share their stories. You can sense that they feel safe with her: she respects them and never exploits them. While she talks about bullying in general ways, the focus here is on the kids, on their voices and their stories. There is lots of research about the cause and effect of bullying and how to deal with it, and she mentions some useful resources in her conclusion. This book is for adults who want to get a more personal perspective on the dangers of bullying, ands for kids who may need to hear someone else's story so they don't feel so alone.

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