October is National Bullying Prevention Month when we spread awareness of bullying and what all of us, parents, educators, and kids, can do to stop bullying in our communities. Below are just a small sampling of some of the books on bullying that are in the Pasadena Public Library. With some fiction, non-fiction, and memoirs, there are many different perspectives represented in the titles below, but the library has many more available. Search the catalog or ask your librarian for more suggestions.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
When Clay Jenson finds a box left for him containing 13 cassette tapes from his classmate and crush Hannah Baker, he does not know what to think since Hannah committed suicide two weeks earlier. As Clay investigates the tapes he discovers that she recorded them to explain the reasons why she killed herself and it turns out that one of those reasons is Clay himself. In order to understand what Hannah meant by this and why she took such drastic action, Clay will have to listen to the tapes and try to come to terms with what drove Hannah to take her own life. Bullying from her classmates is one of the issues that the dual-narratives of Hannah and Clay explore and the consequences that that bullying has on everyone involved.
Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
Once a well-regarded Catholic school trying to morally educate its students, Saint Michael’s is now full of juvenile delinquents that have been kicked out of other schools. A culture of severe hazing and brutal bullying has arisen among the students, and the teachers, instead of trying to stop it, actively encourage it, claiming it brings students closer together. Several of the teachers such as the formerly popular Ms. Bromine and the corrupt parish priest actually engage in some bullying themselves. Into this toxic atmosphere walks Peter Davidek, an incoming freshman who must band together with volatile classmate Noah Stein and popularity obsessed Lorelei Paskal in order to survive the bullying culture of the students and teachers.
The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander by Barbara Coloroso
Coloroso examines the three players in the drama of bullying, the bully, the bullied, and the bystander, and provides practical advice for parents of children in all three groups. This work deals with cyber-bullying as well as in person bullying, the differences between boy and girl bullies, and how to evaluate a school’s anti-bullying policy, among other topics. Looking at bullying from the perspectives of parents, educators, and kids, Coloroso offers all of them the tools that they need to break the cycle of bullying violence that is happening in schools and communities across the country.
Bullied by Carrie Goldman
Blogger Carrie Goldman had the unique experience of having one of her stories go viral when she wrote about the bullying that her daughter experienced when she brought a Star Wars thermos to school in her lunchbox. The story caught the attention of the internet and Goldman spoke with news outlets around the country about her and her daughter’s experiences. The support and inquiries that she received inspired Goldman to research and compile practical insights and guidance for parents, educators, and kids about how to stop bullying before it even begins. In Bullied, Goldman shares both the deeply personal story of what she and her daughter went through as well as actionable advice on bullying prevention.
Dear Bully edited by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones
In this collection seventy authors of young adult literature share their stories of encounters with bullying. Told in poetry, pictures, and prose, these stories present both the reality and the variety of forms of bullying today. With many the stories of being bullied, but some of being the bully, all of these stories encounter bullying as many teens face it today and share authors’ strategies for dealing with and moving past the bullying experience.
Positive by Paige Rawl
19-year-old Paige was born with HIV, which has been successfully and routinely managed for her whole life. In this memoir she tells the story of her middle and high school years where she was severely bullied after the other students in her school found out she was HIV positive. HIV was always a part of Paige’s life, but it did not define or limit her so she thought nothing of sharing the fact of her illness with a friend in middle school, but within hours rumors had spread and she began feeling ostracized. Classmates made fun of her and adults at school claimed they could do nothing to help and joked about her position. After years of bullying, Paige attempted to commit suicide at age fifteen. This is the story both of the events leading up to that moment and of what follows as Paige transforms herself into an anti-bullying and AIDS awareness crusader.