On January 26th, local author Scott Starkey drew a sizable crowd who came to listen to him speak and to have him sign his new book The Call of the Bully, the sequel to his first book, How to Beat the Bully Without Even Trying. The crowd consisted of both kids and adults eager to meet him and ask questions about his book and about the experiences he encountered with bullying as a grade school teacher of close to 17 years. His new book is about a boy who encounters a group of bullies at summer camp, but overcomes them and eventually becomes a camp hero. It has a very optimistic message, and the author talked about how he was glad that he could play a positive role in bullying prevention. There was even a flyer provided at the event that suggested ways to deal with and prevent bullying.
Bullying is an age old problem we may have all experienced at one time or another in our lives. Recently, there have been many stories in the media calling our attention to suicides that were provoked by bullying or cyber bullying. We have only had access to the Internet for 15 years or so, and it has played both a negative and positive role in bullying. While giving rise to a whole new type of bullying called cyber bullying, it has also made it possible for news of local bullying crimes to be spread across the nation. This has helped initiate a nationwide dialog that has lead to the the creation of organizations designed to educate and give support to people being bullied and has also inspired the writing of many books on the subject.
Another great grade school book story about bullying is The Bully Book, by Eric Kahn Gale. It is based on incidents he experienced in the sixth grade. It is a mystery to the main character why he is being bullied. In his search for answers he finds a guide called The Bully Book which teaches him how to prevent being bullied and be in control.
If you visit your local bookstore or library chances are you will find several books on bullying. A Google search will yield a plethora of titles that address all different age groups but mostly focus on young adults, teenagers, and children. Books for kids include some that explain how to prevent people from bullying them, how to build self confidence, and how to resolve conflicts. There are both children's and adult books about characters who have been bullied themselves and there are textbooks that offer schools and institutions instructions on how to prevent bullying among groups. You can even find books written by former bullies wherein they confess their bullying crimes.
We have the books and we have the resources. We can only hope that they ignite a new spark in education that will help lead to a notable decrease in bullying related incidents and deaths in the near future.
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