Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for...Bullying

Controversial Song of the Day: "Bully" by Three Days Grace

For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.

So, bullying. I've experienced it. You've probably experienced it. But bullying seems to be a far, far more serious issue since when I was a kid. When I was younger, I'd get teased, go home, and feel safe.

But kids aren't safe at home anymore.

At least once a week, I have to hold some kind of mediation in my counseling office for some kind of disagreement that spawned from text messages, Facebook, or Twitter. Not only do kids and teens have to deal with bullying in the hallways, but it's invading their homes now.

Did You Know...?

*1/3 of teens report being bullied at school
*18% of teens had a rumor spread about them
*11% were physically bullied
*6% were threatened
*44% of middle school students report being bullied, compared to about 20% of elementary and high school students
*About 8% of students report being cyber-bullied
*Statistics were taken from bullyingstatistics.org

These numbers were collected in 2009--who knows where we stand three years later (I believe more than 8% of my middle school students have experienced cyber-bullying).

The question is--should we write about bullying in our YA novels? Well, if we want our novels to be realistic, then yes. True, many people like to read to escape from their everyday problems--but we also read to find a way to cope when life gets too tough. Here are some of the YA novels that truly bring bullying to light:

What are your thoughts on bullying in YA? Any other books you'd like to share?


Rachel said...
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Marquita Hockaday said...

Hi Rachel!

Thanks for leaving such a personal and relatable comment. We appreciate you sharing your story with us and our blog readers. It's so strange how you went from being the bully to the bullied---but what's even more strange is that this probably happens everyday now. It's a cycle that I hope society can break soon.

Thanks for the book suggestion, too. That sounds like a good one!

Again, we appreciate you stopping by and leaving such a thought-provoking comment. Hope to see you again tomorrow!

a.eye said...

Wow! I just wrote something kind of related to bullying today on my post as well.

I think that the numbers are so shocking (though I think they would actually be higher if kids were truly honest), but that many adults don't realize that it happens so much.

I think YA books would fly off the shelves if/when they deal with bullying issues.

Sarah Kate said...

This is a great post, anytime bullying is talked about is a good thing. I hope it's ok to mention this here, I run an anti-bullying blog where people can share their experiences and read other peoples. There aren't many stories yet so if anyone has anything they'd like to share we'd love to have it! Take a look at the blog at: www.conquerthesilence.blogspot.com and send your story to the e-mail address on there. Thank you!

Cheree Smith said...

Very interesting stats. Great post, bullying is very relevant especially with cyber bullying. I went to school before cyber bullying became really accessible, but can relate to this topic strongly from my younger years. I'm loving these topics. I look forward to seeing what you have for the rest of the month.

RaeLynn Fry said...

So glad I stumbled upon your blog from the A2Z Challenge list. Great posts and good food for thought. Those statistics are sickening.

Alison Miller said...

What an awesome theme for the A-Z blogfest! I've read the first two and Some Girls Are is on my TBR. My brain is searching for a few others - coming up empty now, but I know I've read more. Great post!

Carrie Monroe said...

This is such an important topic to write about. It is part of life for kids and maybe seeing a character stand up to bullies in a book or the consequences of bullying can help them stand up in their own lives.

Rachel said...
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Escape Artist said...
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Escape Artist said...

Hi! Great blog! Very serious by comparison to mine and a very welcome topic! Always!
I think it must be very hard growing up in today's world. You don't have to look someone in the eye when you say nasty things. Makes it too easy.

Rebecca B said...

Thanks for sharing the stats. It's really sad how prevalent bullying is, and I'm happy that the YA community is working to shine a light on this problem.

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I think it's really important for YA to cover bullying. Teens need to know they aren't alone. I hope some of the books you listed prevents teens from wanting to commit suicide when things get really rough.

ali cross said...

SUCH an important issue today. I can't add any to your list, but I'm grateful these topics are being touched on in today's books because sometimes the stories they read are the only indication a kid has that they're not alone--that someone understands, even if that someone is a fictional character.

Brenda said...

Great article! I noticed you have numerous articles that would be of interest to teens and families. We have a website, www.FamilyFirstAid.org, which I believe would be a great resource for your website visitors. Please check it out and consider adding us as resource to your blog list.
Brenda W.