cover image Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories

Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories

Ouisie Shapiro, photos by Steven Vote, Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-0921-0

Thirteen individuals, including some adults, who have been bullied at school share their painful experiences. "The bullies hit me and spit on me and called me ‘seizure boy' and ‘mental,' " explains 13-year-old Jaevon. Katie confesses how she was bullied in middle school—"They went online and IMed each other about me"—but later became a mean girl herself, ignoring an embarrassing friend. Vote's full-color portraits sensitively depict the faces at the receiving end of abuse: "Kids bully me all the time. They say I'm ugly ‘cause my face was burned," reports a sixth-grader. An educational psychologist specifically addresses each individual's dilemma, but the book's strength lies in the honesty conveyed through the personal stories. Many readers will relate to the suffering and alienation expressed, and will feel empowered by the varying perspectives offered. And those who bully may learn to better understand the roots of their behavior. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)