Lannah Sawers-Diggins has created an important and much-needed book on the subject of bullying from the viewpoint of the victims. Having been a victim, she is familiar with the territory. Bullying is fast reaching epidemic status in the US, with an extremely sad outcome. When children and teenagers find suicide as the only imaginable remedy, it’s long past the time for the supposed adults to step in and find other solutions.
This slim book tells 36 case histories in the words of the victims. No real names or places are mentioned, to help protect the innocent, but the overall sadness will weigh you down for days. We must learn to believe the victims rather than perpetrators.
Unfortunately, in spite of its good intentions, this book is probably not going to be a leader in the revolution against bullying. It’s not an easy book to read for several reasons. First, of course, the stories themselves are heart-breaking in their unrelieved sadness and senseless cruelty. But second, Ms. Sawers-Diggins chose to print the stories exactly as she received them, adding a legibility burden on the reader and making it very difficult, if not sometimes impossible, to wade through the myriad inaccuracies to get to the gist of the tale. Not all of the stories are in this unhappy condition, but the rare exceptions just emphasize the inequities of the others.
Perhaps this reviewer is overly critical, and if so, I’ll readily apologize, but the purpose of editing is to clarify and make the reading easier. An editor could have accomplished a great deal with this material. The originals could have been kept beside the corrected portions. Also, offering suggestions and/or possible solutions would have been very helpful to the reader. As it is, the book is a continual downer, with no relief in sight.
This is very unfortunate, I think, as bullying is being uncovered at a terrific rate; solutions are desperately needed to help these victims. Parents need to be more involved; they cannot simply and entirely blame teachers or the education system. Indeed, it does take a village to raise a child, but only one bully to destroy everyone’s efforts – along with the child.
This book could have been so much more. Sad.
|Page Count||104 pages|
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