Defeating the Culture of Bullying

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I have just read the wonderful and important book Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy by Emily Bazelon.  This bestselling book follows the stories of three teens who suffered from bullying, and along the way leads the reader through the best research on why kids (and adults) bully and what can be done about it.  If you are a parent or an educator, you simply must read this book.  There are also some great resources on the author’s website, including resources for Parents, for Youth, for Educators, and a discussion guide for the book.

I also recommend (for adults and teens) the Ted Talk presentation by Shane Koyczan presenting his poem “To This Day”. There is some strong language used, but it is a beautiful piece of spoken-word poetry.

And because I believe in the power of literature to heal, or at least to start the conversation, there are good books about bullying for all ages:

Bully by Judith Caseley is a picture book good for young children.

Blubber by Judy Blume is a classic good for eight to twelve-year olds.

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier is often taught in middle schools.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio is a great book, enjoyed by nine year olds up to adults.

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