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Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories

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Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the "funny guy" into the best defense against the bullies in his class.

Today's top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.

369 pages, Paperback

First published September 6, 2011

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About the author

Dawn Metcalf

6 books414 followers
The role of Dawn Metcalf will be played by the tall brunette in the off-the-shoulder, floor-length leather straitjacket. Makeup by Clinique, buckles by Jada Pinkett-Smith, hair by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

I have no good excuse for the way I write. I lived in a normal, loving, suburban home, studied hard, went to college, went to graduate school, got married, had babies, and settled down in northern Connecticut. Despite this wholesome lifestyle, I've been clearly corrupted by fairy tales, puppet visionaries, British humour and graphic novels. As a result, I write dark, quirky, and sometimes humorous speculative fiction.

Review Policy: My review policy has changed. I am removing all comments and stars from Read books. If it's here, I liked it or loved it (3-5 stars). I brag about books I absolutely adore and share other wild opinions on my website, Officially Twisted at www.dawnmetcalf.com.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 492 reviews
Profile Image for Tamora Pierce.
Author 106 books83.5k followers
September 12, 2011
79 writers describe their bully experiences--as victims or as bullies--in essay, poem, or graphic form in this book. Everything is brief, so some of the pieces seem a bit pat, but the experiences are varied, and what one person says doesn't work, such as "ignore them" does work for someone else. There's plenty of food for thought here, for teenagers and adults. A couple of writers even point out that bullying doesn't stop at college and adulthood.

The main points that aren't stressed, but that come across simply when the book is read, is that kids cannot deal with this on their own, and that they must have intelligent sympathy from adults. It does them no good to be told to fight back if they aren't fighters in the physical sense and if they are the ones who are punished. Bullies are good at turning the issue onto their victims, and too many authority figures, for a number of reasons, favor them. School personnel has to learn to listen to all parties fairly and without allowing themselves to be bullied by families. In other words, we need a group effort to deal with something that is killing our kids.

This is a book that should be in school and public library collections, possibly in multiple copies. I think the fact that so many high-powered writers have contributed with make it interesting to kids who might not otherwise pick up such a book.
Profile Image for Jackie.
692 reviews182 followers
August 29, 2011
70 authors came together to tell their stories. Most are about being bullied. Some are
about being the bully. Some are about not stopping a bully or helping the bullied.
These are painful memories to be sure, but they all come to the conclusion--it get's
better and you do survive and can thrive. In the wake of so many child/teen suicides
that have their roots in bullying, these authors chose to make their stand. Here are
some of the statistics that the book starts out with:

--Every 7 minutes a child is bullied on a school playground, with more than 85% of those
instances occurring without any intervention.

--On a daily average 160,000 children miss school because they fear they will be bullied
if they attend classes.

--On a monthly average 282,000 are phsically attacked by a bully

--A child commit suicide as a direct result of being bullied once very half hour, with
19,000 bullied children attempting to commit suicide over the course of one year.

These writers have taken a stand. It's time for all of us to do so as well.
Profile Image for Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
1,349 reviews1,251 followers
December 14, 2017
I've really taken my time reading this moving and powerful anthology. It tackles one very important subject...


These are honest and deeply raw stories from a huge number of authors about their own personal experiences with bullying. Each message is written with a unique voice and vary from those with humour to those saying what they've always wanted to say to their bully.

From schoolyard bullies and beyond, these are messages, letters to the bully, the things you really want to say now, the emotions you felt, the damage it did and the scars it left. There is nothing half-hearted about this amazing book and I really say bravo to all those writers who contributed. All 70!

Whether you have been the victim of a bully or two in your life or not you will be impacted by this powerful collection. It's at times raw and very real and doesn't for a second play down the sheer level of damage bullying can leave on its victims.

What I loved? The messages to their bullies of how they've overcome, survived, thrived, become authors and so many more good things. A bit like giving the bully the middle finger once and for all.

An amazing book that is unique and unlike anything else I've read on this subject matter. The fact is these authors have told us their tale, and that is something quite amazing. It's sad and shocking how many have been impacted by bullying.

A five star book that is precious on my bookshelf. As a survivor of severe high-school and workplace bullying I salute the writers who contributed to this book!

I read my own paperback copy of this book. All review opinions are my own and totally unbiased.

To follow my reviews, be alerted to great book events and book competitions I'd love to connect with you on social media!


Profile Image for Mimi.
265 reviews358 followers
September 24, 2013
If there's one thing in the world I feel strongly against, it's bullying. I hate that there are wars and hunger and conflicts and stereotypes, yet I know that some of those things are inevitable. But bullying? I really, truly, honestly believe that there isn't ANY reason why bullying should happen!

Dear Bully is a collection of stories from 70 authors who have either been bullied, a bully, or a bystander. And they're all so powerful in their own way — it blows my mind away how much these authors have been through! Some of the stories literally made me want to cry.

I'm usually not a big fan of anthologies, but I loved everything about Dear Bully! It was heart-breaking and moving and powerful. Each and every one of the stories made me think. I can't even pick a favourite because there are so many that just stuck with me.

Whether you have experienced bullying or have been a bully or are even faintly aware of this HUGE issue, you should definitely pick up Dear Bully! I'm so glad that so many of these authors are putting their heartbreaking stories out there to bring awareness to this!

BUY or BORROW?: This is definitely a book you have to buy! Plus, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Stomp Out Bullying, which I think is just amazing! :)

(Original review at Mimi Valentine's YA Review Blog)
Profile Image for Victoria Scott.
Author 52 books2,911 followers
September 26, 2011
A must read for anyone who has ever been bullied, or bullied someone else. It was so amazing to read all the authors', many who I greatly admire, personal stories. I commend each of you for sharing, and for making my own story a little easier to carry.
Profile Image for Zemira Warner.
1,569 reviews1,043 followers
July 14, 2014
I've been reading this anthology for a couple of days now. The reason I haven't finished it in a day is that a lot of stories are telling the same tale over and over again. It was a really good book but I just wanted them not to be categorized- stories about authors being bullied in one part, authors being bullies themselves in another, 'it get's better' stories and doing nothing while someone is bullied in the last one.

I don't normally read non-fiction but I had to pick this book up because I was a bit jaded and I wanted to feel the genuine connection with something/someone for a moment.
Profile Image for Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids.
1,952 reviews205 followers
September 22, 2011
If you have ever been bullied, pick this book up!

If you've ever been a bully and wondered if your words and actions really effected the person you bullied, pick this book up!

If you've ever thought bullying doesn't really effect anyone, than you REALLY need to pick this book up

If you're dealing with a bully or know someone who is, GO PICK THIS BOOK UP, because you will realize you are not alone! In fact, you're far from it. There's a whole slew of authors who know what you're going through and believe me, their stories will effect you one way or another.
They'll do more than make you realize you do have a friend in all this, they'll inspire and empower you to rise above the crap you're having to deal with, and help you to realize you are far better than those who are or are trying to bring you down.

Normally when I read a book like this I like to talk a little about each author's story, but this book is different. There are so many stories that one, there's no way I could fit it all in one post, or even two, and two, this entire book is one that at times made me cry, made me smile, made me think, made re-count my middle grade years, and more. Dear Bully made me think of my bullying experiences and made me think of the things I've done to others that may have effected them in ways I was effected by a bully, not that I was a bully, but this book makes you realize that all the things we do and say no matter how big or how little effect someone.

You know the old saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words will never hurt me!" Well many of us know that words are far more powerful than that saying indicates and have a longer, lasting effect than a broken bone. The stories included in this book are real experiences these authors have had, and each of them made me reflect, but the two more powerful stories came from Ellen Hopkins, who's story is the first in the book and than Heather Brewer's story. If I could send Heather's message to every person I know who's been effected by bullying I would, but instead I'm going to close my review with a quote from her story that made me cry, and I'm not a crier:

"Bullying is a horrible thing. It sticks with you forever. It poisons you. But only if you let it. See, there's a secret that no one ever tells you when they're filling your head that this "will build character" or just completely go away when you're an adult. You have the power to decide what hurts you and what doesn't, what sticks with you, and what you use as fuel to pull yourself out of the muck. You can make the needed change in your life and give yourself happiness and joy, despite what the bullies have tried to instill in you. You can succeed at anything, at everything. But you can't let them see you cry. Instead, when they want to see those tears, when they're doing everything possible to break you down, I want you to smile and remember that they're just picking on you because they wish they were just like you, but they don't have the guts.

Remember that minion, because everyone deserves a happy ending"- pages 69 & 70

GO PICK THIS BOOK UP! Every tween, teen, teacher, parent and so forth NEEDS TO READ THIS! Bullying IS A PROBLEM and it's one that's not going away. It's at every grade level, in every school, in every town across the US (and through out the world) and it's time to change that. Thank you to each of 70 authors who not only shared their own experiences with bullying, but have now connected with their fans on a whole new level. This is a book that everyone needs to read.
Profile Image for RoRo.
295 reviews66 followers
April 29, 2021
5 stars

All I have to say is this was an amazing book and although I didn't like the writing style for some authors, I definitley found some of my new favorites!! I honestly loved this book so much!!
Profile Image for Wendy.
589 reviews44 followers
March 6, 2012
In the end, I'll give it 5 stars, as this book will really hit some people, and I'm one of those people. Other people will hate this book, and to each his/her own opinion.

~~~~~~~~~~ 3/12

I can really only make it through some of these stories...It just really brings back painful memories, of which GR is no forum to rehash. I'm over it.

On the one hand, this book deserves just one star. Bullying is just one of those things that no matter the conversation, no matter the books written about it, the intercessions, the rules, the LAWS for crying out loud ... it is still a staggering epidemic at schools across the world. Why is that? Why are some kids just little s&%ts? Why are they ALLOWED to act that why? Is it parenting? Lack of parenting? We warehouse kids and expect them to all learn the same things at the same pace and get good grades, etc. etc. etc. UGH!! Books like this just raise my hackles, and bring to the surface some really fervent feelings I have about the educational system here in America.

On the other hand, this book deserves 5 stars. Some people make it through happy and healthy, the bullying just a bump in the road. Some make it through, scarred and wary. It affects them for years. And SOME people realize that they were that jerk that made someones life a living hell. Or maybe they don't realize it. One story recounts that later in life, an author finds her bully on Facebook and really lets him have it!! And.... he didn't even remember her. WOW. Just, wow.

People, what you say and how you behave towards others MATTERS. Am I teaching my kids that? I hope so. I think they are both kind and considerate.

I have too much to say, so I'll just end there.

Maybe I need to write a book. Catharsis! ;)

Sitting in Teen Central, waiting for me. I'm leafing through it a little while on desk.

I notice that I feel a little light headed, and nervous.

I was bullied too...in elementary school, and in seventh grade.

What worries me more is, did I ever lash out on someone innocent because I was so hurt and angry? Did I belittle anyone, or just join the crowd in taunting a 'lesser' person in the social echelon because I was a coward or hurting?

Many writers in this book speak about running into their bullies, or wanting to at least, for the moment of retribution. Is it ever as fulfilling as we imagine it would be? Is justice sweet?

Is it too simplistic to say, let's forgive the children who bullied us as children? They may have grown up to be good people, or they could be bastards...who knows.

But God knows I pray for forgiveness for any really, really stupid mistakes I made as a child.
Profile Image for Brenda.
197 reviews
March 22, 2013
Though this book is targeted for teen readers, as the mom of two young children, one on the cusp of middle-school-dom, I was very interested to check out this book for myself. A compilation of letters written by many well-known authors for teens, I urge everyone to pick up a copy of this book! Dear Bully not only gives us the perspective of those that were bullied but also the side of the bully. And what it shows us is that everyone has been a part of bullying whether they know it or not.

Even growing up I was the victim of bullying—but I didn’t necessarily call it that at the time. You see, I am very tall and I can remember being called names because of it when I was growing up. Was I self-conscious about my height? You bet. Did the name calling make me crater into a depression? I don’t think so. Looking back I’d have to say it was through the support of my family and true friends that helped me believe in myself and accomplish all that I have today. Looking back I just call it part of growing up.

Even today—in the workplace or at school—bullying happens on many levels. And with social media such a big part of our lives and even more so in the lives of our children, there are many more ways for bullying to occurs.

What Dear Bully shows us is that though bullying can take many forms, it is how we learn from our experiences and become stronger from them that helps us through the tough times. I think that is the lesson that the reader can take away—and what we can teach our children. How to be strong and how to move on. And how to believe in ourselves and how to stand up for others.

I plan to refer to this book often and read many of the selections with my children as a way for them to relate to the experiences they are having and hopefully help them navigate their sometimes complicated social lives.
Profile Image for Christina.
97 reviews4 followers
January 2, 2013
I got this book because the subject matter hits particularly close to home. Not only was I bullied all through middle school and high school, but my youngest cousin committed suicide a little less than three years ago after an embarrassing photo of her was circulated among her classmates online. She had just turned 15, a high school freshman.

It was a shock to our family, and the amount of damage that was inflicted on those she left behind is irreparable.

This particular book was a compilation of essays by authors of young adult books, a ploy to get school-age kids to read it. The idea is sound, and their hearts are in the right place. However, their personal stories don’t give much back, as far as how to get through what the readers are dealing with. Each essay is a personal experience by each author of a time when they were bullied, when they did the bullying, or when they witnessed someone being bullied. I read it in one evening. Not difficult text, but painful subject matter.

Worth a read if you want to know what your school-age kid is going through, but not much help for someone currently dealing with it.

If anyone out there is reading this and is going through some serious shit, please reach out to someone, a teacher, a parent, a friend. Anything is better than suffering in silence, even if you think that telling someone will make the situation worse. If you don’t have anyone in your life that you can talk to, then please please please talk to me.

It gets better. I promise.
Profile Image for C.
1,213 reviews29 followers
December 3, 2011
I recommend this book to everyone. It is not just for children, teens, parents or teachers. Bullying does not always stop at childhood or college, it can continue on into adulthood and exist in any social situation: family, personal relationships, work, groups/clubs, doctor to patient, neighborhoods...anywhere people may interact, and it is worthwhile to recognize it for what it is, and understand both how to deal with it, how not to respond, and that it is not a reflection of *you.*

What people hopefully read and consider:
- how do we turn a blind eye to bullying behavior in our culture, on an every day basis? Not just in schools, but as a culture. The opening statement in this book is powerful. We make cultural generalizations, we allow stereotypes, we mock people based on what brand of clothing, technology, car, city they choose. We must stop this behavior - the "tribal" idea that dividing groups into "us" and "them" gives us strength, when in reality, it weakens us and takes us back closer to that animalistic state we believe we've evolved away from.

- can you learn that a bully's behavior reflects upon them, not you? You are not weak, or less-than, or any of those things they'd want you to believe. Speaking up does not make you a whiner, or a victim. These are things bullies tell themselves and try to make you believe to cover their own asses! It is not *your* shame, that this happens to you. It is theirs and deep down, they know it, and can't face that within themselves. Their fear of recognizing how small and weak they really are, makes them more vicious and hurtful.

You deserve, and must believe you deserve, the right to fair treatment by others, and the right to be and express yourself and explore your differences. Not everyone has to like you, but that does not give them the right to hurt you, either.

- can you be accountable, and consider where in your life you may have been/be a bully, and recognize the damage it does to people, and how, by doing so, you lessen yourself? Can, and will you, make amends and learn? It is a scary, and shameful thing to confront within yourself, but taking responsibility for your actions and how you have hurt others is a strength.

This book was heartbreaking to read and sometimes hard to return to, but I am ennriched by what these writers have chosen to share about their lives. It reaffirms my belief, and what I have been taught by the friends and positive people in my life, that vulnerability, open reflection, and honesty with self and others is strength of character.

I experienced bullying in my life from the time I was six years old, until even now, at thirty six. Every situation has been a struggle to rise above and move on, and in every last case, I don't regret rising above, and moving on. I realize, in retrospect, that those people were seeking out my weaknesses and vulnerabilities to make themselves feel better, and that it is self defeating. And, sometimes it takes a long time to come to that realization...oh but when it does, the feeling it gives...that is empowering, not hurting others. Not being hurtful.

I know how it feels to wake up every morning physically sick with anxiety, afraid to go to school, afraid to come home, afraid to go to work, church, to face my husband's family. To sit on the school bus and fantasize, with all my might, the demise of the people terrorizing me. To imagine myself swept away, rescued. To imagine and dream myself the victor instead of the victim. To wake up thinking of how I would kill myself. What would be the best, easiest way, for the tools I have at hand? What would be the surest way?

To enter every acquiantence with fear and vulnerability, wondering from which corner the inevitable rejection and betrayal will come about. To doubt myself and fear that I am not "enough:" not smart enough, not adequate enough... the things I say are stupid, wrong... To wonder why I am so socially awkward and incapable of fitting in. To feel burnt and sensitive and wounded and not know from which direction the next attack is coming. To realize long after the fact that a friend is an abuser and bully. To enter into social situations desperate for approval and to fit in, and to find that desperation the very thing that turns me back out.

And, I also know how much of a struggle it is to realize that these things are lies. To have to teach myself to slow down, breathe, relax, to calm down... to be a friend to myself. To cut myself a break and force my perspective off my weaknesses and on to my strengths. To try to force myself to BE myself without apology and to face rejection with optimism. There are 7 billion people on the planet. You will find people to relate to, and who relate to you, no matter who you are and what you think of you.

And, I am ashamed to admit that at times throughout my life I have been equally weakminded and I've gone with the "herd" or taken my weakenesses out on others. And, I know how it is to have said cutting things, to attack and cut down. To take delight in someone's bad karma coming back on them. To shut an enemy out of a group and feel satisfaction in their hurt and confusion. To turn on a frenemy and hurt them back. To use someone's feelings of love towards me as a weapon back towards them. It was a struggle for power when I was feeling powerless; a need to get on the other side of the table and be THAT person, instead of the weak soft person I thought I was.

Those lessons are difficult to learn, the traits we loathe in others are agonizing to face in ourselves, they're addictive and hard to give up. To admit them, to take responsibility for them, to try to make amends to those people, is hard...and it makes you a stronger, better person.

I know first hand how hard both sides are. I love that this book explores both, and will hopefully help teens and kids learn this lesson earlier than I had to come to it on my own.

A couple quotes from the book:
In a letter to herself "in the past" one author points out that not all bullies are unsuccessful losers later in life and in some cases, become very successful:
" . . . So learn to get along with them now. Practice being diplomatic but not underhanded, honest but not catty, friendly yet smart and guarded. You don't have to be fake - if someone's not a good friend, then nothing you can do will change that. But hiding isn't an option, and neither is being mean back.

Because being mean? That's called bullying. . . . the infighting, the bitchy remarks, the little ways that girls can cut one another down? That's bullying, too. And you've done it just as often as you've had it done to you. You might not have realized it at first. It can be so subtle, so easy, and sometimes it feels so good to be the one who's got the gossip, the one who's on the inside, the one who is not being laughed at or left out. But if you know you're hurting someone, then it's bullying. And the damage doesn't go away."

Another author, about her daughter:
"I think time and distance have softened the memory, but I still see her shudder when someone mentions a particularly brutal episode.

Yet for all its brutality, she learned something valuable. She learned that even tose dark and terrible moments that are embedded in our psyche change and fade. That the world is not as small as it can seem. That there are people in it who will hurt you to ease their own pain, insecurity and fear.

But if you look a little closer, there are people in it who are like you, too. People who will love and accept and cherish you as you are. Often, you will find them in the most unexpected places.

And when you get right down to it, that's what life is: one long opportunity to find "your" people. The ones who make your world a better place and the ones for whom you can make the world a little brighter as well.

Every day is another chance. Another opportunity to find them.

You just have to do your part. You just have to keep looking."

A couple things worth mentioning about the book itself: it was written after several teens committed suicide over bullying. Also, a portion of the proceeds go towards Stomp out Bullying.

Some references from the back:

www.ravendays.org - organization for "outsiders who are being bullied at school, for adults who remember what it was like to be bullied, and for those who want to help."




www.glsen.org (gay lesbian and straight education network)

www.bridgew.edu/marc - resources on bullying, cyberbullying education


Profile Image for aubrie lovings.
46 reviews
June 17, 2022
“What is bullying?. Bullying is the use of force, hurtful words, or aggression, to hurt, or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated.” That’s what I was taught in school. I was taught about one type of bullying. Physical.
I’m at a loss of words to describe how much this book opened my eyes. 70 authors shared their experiences of bullying. Whether it was elementary, middle, or high school. This book looks at many different kinds of bullying. Physical, Emotional, Cyber, Etc.
This book has a collection of stories, essays, poems, and pictures that speak to youth today. The stories aren’t written directly to teachers or parents with kids in our school system. These are written for the children that are surviving in the atrocious world they call school. This is an amazing book with an even more amazing message.

You are not alone.
32 reviews6 followers
December 29, 2017
I am so glad that I picked up Dear Bully. Many of the stories were very touching. The authors were either bystanders, the ones being bullied, or the bully themselves. There was a variety of how the people had experienced bullying, whether it was physical, emotional, or if it involved someone they knew well, or didn't know at all. This is a must read for everybody.
Profile Image for Cass -  Words on Paper.
820 reviews219 followers
June 9, 2013
Snatched up for $3 at AllBooks4Less stall at shopping centre. :))

[My thoughts]
I wouldn't even know how to review this book properly. Some of the things I have written below are kind of personal, and while I don't go into any details it can be hard to share things that had once weighed so heavily on your heart. As such, not many people know about it.

So it took 3-4 weeks to finish this anthology. Some of them were great and awe-inspiring, others less so. But overall I really liked Dear Bully. The degree of bullying varied, from the most mild to most severe. I was able to relate to some of the ideas presented. I had my very own personal bully in year 5/6. I was simultaneously afraid of and amazed by this boy. But I was never ganged up on by the rest of the grade or anything like that (like some of the authors had been). I had a group of friends who I was comfortable with and with whom I felt safe. Of course in high school (which was all-girls), particularly years 7-9, there was a lot of bullying among my cohort. Much of it was related to boys, done over social media. Rumours. Whispered conversations, backhanded comments. Backstabbings. Looking back it's a wonder why anyone did any of it at all. I think we all let it happen because we did not know how it could be dealt with by authoritative figures. How it could have helped matters at all. Because it would place you as a target. Luckily I was never involved in all that drama.

I don't like mentioning such personal matters but this anthology did open my mind a little bit. Made me look back on my own experiences, and what it all means to me now. I will never forget how he made me feel. But I know that there are lots of good guys out there and I have not ended up hating them all because of what happened in the past. I hope some of the messages from these authors reach bullies and the bullied from past, present and future.

When I read through this anthology again I hope to mark down the stories/essays that I most related to or liked. Have you read any anthologies like this? Let me know!
Profile Image for Melissa.
586 reviews73 followers
May 21, 2012
This book was an emotional roller coaster. I know that I mentioned earlier that I don't usually read more than one book at a time, unless it's one print book and one audio book. But with Dear Bully, I had to put it aside for a while and pick up another book, because the stories in this book were evoking such strong emotions that I couldn't keep reading through my tears.

With that being said, I am incredibly grateful to have read this collection. As the title implies, the book contains stories from 70 different YA authors (including some of my favourites, like Lauren Oliver and Megan McCafferty) about their own experiences with bullying. As a formerly bullied kid myself, it would have been amazing to read this book when I was 13 and know that some of my favourite writers had struggled with the same issues, and to know that I was not alone. I can only imagine the strength that a book like this can provide to a teen that is currently being bullied.

The stories are divided into sections: Dear Bully, Just Kidding, Survival, Regret, Thank You Friends, Insight, Speak, Write It and, finally, It Gets Better. The first section was the hardest for me to read, as authors penned letters to their own bullies, recounting their experiences. Just Kidding and Survival were also equally heart-wrenching, and then regret told stories of kids who were bullies, and what they wish they'd done differently. By the end of the book, the stories become quite empowering, encouraging teens to speak out against bullying and, stories of writers who took their bullied experiences and turned them into bestselling novels.

Dear Bully is a book that could really make a difference in a teen's life; however, if you've shared in any of the experiences in the book, have a jumbo box of Kleenex handy. Trust me, you'll need it.

Review also posted at: http://writergrrlreads.blogspot.ca/20...
Profile Image for Emily.
676 reviews88 followers
February 7, 2017
I picked this book up without knowing what I was getting myself into exactly. Stories about bullies, of course, but what would they say? I suppose you could say I have strong views on bullying, so I think that's what caused my hesitation. I can definitely say that I did not regret picking up this book.

What I liked the most about this anthology is the fact that it had stories about different kinds of bullying. Instead of only reading stories of kids who were physically bullied, what many think of as "traditional" bullying, it involved more subtle ways of bullying as well. Verbal abuse, threats, spreading rumors, ostracizing someone purposely for the fun of it, and even a potentially abusive relationship. I think that could be eye opening for many people who may not realize they are being bullied, even by someone close to them.

I will say that at times it began to feel a bit repetitive which made it hard to get through occasionally. The book was split into sections, such as those being bullied, those who bullied, or the bystanders, which helped the organization of the anthology of course, but at times I felt as if I was reading the same story multiple times with different characters and details. Not that it made any of their stories had less impact or importance, just repetitive.

This is a book I would recommend for almost everyone, particularly for those dealing with bullies or know someone who is, as it really shows that while one method for dealing with bullies may work for one person, it won't for another and vice-versa.
Profile Image for Micki.
206 reviews5 followers
October 8, 2011
This book is a must read for teachers, parents, teens, and anyone else who wants to put a stop to bullying.

I heard about this book through a couple of Facebook connections, and I immediately knew I had to get my hands on this book as soon as it came out. I am VERY glad that I did.

I am a middle school teacher, and I see behavior that is clearly bullying, but most of what I see is "friendly fire" between students. It is sometimes difficult to see the line between playful banter among friends and hurtful remarks that really sting. And, sadly, many students will not say anything to anyone about these remarks and will instead hold their hurt inside.

This book helps us see some of those blurred lines more clearly. This book shows bullying in its various stages and in its various disguises. I have shared many of the stories in this book with my students as a read aloud, and it has sparked some good conversation.
I think it has been helpful for them to see themselves in these stories, because sometimes they're the victim, sometimes they're the bystander, and sometimes they're the perpetrator.

Bullying has gotten so out of control, and unfortunately, is deeply ingrained into the culture of our schools. It's time we stand up and speak up to end bullying, and this book is a good place to start.
Profile Image for Kim.
179 reviews28 followers
September 22, 2011
This book blew my mind as I knew it would. I'm not familiar with even half of the authors that contributed, but it was still incredible knowing that so many authors suffered from the similar issues growing up. My favorite story might be Luz by Melodye Shore or Frenemies are not Friends by Michelle Zink. Those stories stuck out for me. It was nice to read so many different perspectives. Some authors were bullied, some authors were the bullies, and some authors just stood there in the background watching others getting tormented.

I didn't think about it until I started reading some of these stories, but I was bullied and I even WAS a bully. It was not a very nice realization. Of course I was one of those people that didn't realize I was doing it, but now that I look back I wish I hadn't said anything. I also realized that my parents are bullies and that was a hard thing to swallow. I'm not close with my parents, but I never put them in the same league as the kids that found it fun to pick on me and make me feel like crap.

This was a wonderful read and I will certainly be sharing it with my kids in the future.
Profile Image for Kelly Hager.
3,102 reviews132 followers
September 8, 2011
Like many teens I was bullied. It happened in middle school and they were two of the worst years of my life. Fortunately, it was before the internet, so at least home was safe. I don't know how kids today deal with it, when they also have to contend with text messages and Facebook and everything.

This book will help, too. It's isolating and makes you feel like everyone hates you and you're a freak and nobody ever has felt like that before. But here are 70 authors saying, well, yeah, but I felt that way, too.

And it DOES get better. But it shouldn't be horrible to begin with. It's never okay to act like bullying is something that happens to almost everyone. Being bullied isn't a rite of passage; that would be "learning to drive a car." That's not supportive; it trivializes what's happening.

While I do believe that high school shouldn't be the best years of your life (who wants to peak at 18?), school should be a safe place. It's awful that there probably isn't a genuinely safe school anywhere.

Profile Image for Kelli.
37 reviews11 followers
May 2, 2012
Teachers, you must read this book. Notice how many of the authors tried to reach out to an adult only, at best, to be ignored or given a pat cliche, and at worst, to have more heaped on. Only in one story did the adults active advocate for the student, and she cited that as one of the things that helped her survive her ordeal. The wide variety of perspectives on their bullying experiences was really interesting. Some people were able to let it go after many years, or view it through some kind of a thankful lens for the experience having shaped the author's self or personality. Several stories would be appropriate for upper elementary, but there is quite a bit of sexual content and language - no surprise, since it's a book about cruelty! Very much worth reading.
Profile Image for Readergirl77.
382 reviews28 followers
May 20, 2018
3.5/5 rounded up. A compilation of short stories and essays from today's young adult authors on bullying: both on the receiving and giving side of it. In today's reality of school shootings and suicides because of bullying this book is really relevant. Although a few of the stories seemed forced or half hearted, there are plenty that will hit home to both kids and adults. Kids can be mean and hurtful. Words can hurt just as much, if not more, than physical injuries. In a nutshell, be kind. Be yourself. Stand up for yourself and your friends, and don't be okay with being a passive participant by not saying or doing something if you witness it happening. Things will get better, and there are people who will like you for you....quirks, flaws and all. Choose kind.
Profile Image for Jesslivraddict.
392 reviews277 followers
June 22, 2017
Lu en plusieurs fois car chaque histoire d'harcèlement est différente et il faut chaque fois l'encaisser, la vivre...
En tout cas, je regrette que ce genre d'ouvrages n'ait pas existé quand j'étais ado. Je suis sûre qu'en ayant ce genre de livre entre mes mains à l'époque, cela m'aurait beaucoup appris et j'aurais sans doute mieux vécu les pires années de ma vie.
Profile Image for Malischa Weijkamp.
1,115 reviews28 followers
January 2, 2022
i really hate bullies ive been bulled my whole life. but i couldnt do higher stars about this book
Profile Image for Janneke RS.
219 reviews2 followers
April 11, 2023
Very confronting book. Lots of stories I relate too. But good to read how they overcome their bullies
Profile Image for Kristina.
205 reviews7 followers
November 3, 2011
You are not alone. God, I would have loved to hear those words as an outcast seventh grader whose best friend just ditched her for the popular crowd. I sure as hell felt alone. Sure, the teachers knew what was happening: a boy in band would blow his spit through his trumpet and into my hair, a boy in gym class constantly called me gendered insults before I really even knew what those words meant, a certain gym teacher loved to call on me to demonstrate because I had no athletic ability. He would laugh when I failed. He also called me weird nearly every day. And that was a teacher. The fact that the teachers knew did nothing to help. In high school, girls who knew nothing about me called me a slut and a whore and wrote things about me on the wall in the second floor girls’ bathroom. People started rumors that I was pregnant, that I’d gotten an abortion, that I slept with two-thirds of the swim team. My friends did not defend me, and to this day I don’t know why. So, this book hit a lot of my buttons. It evoked intense emotion, which can be embarrassing when you’re reading a book at your desk at work.

Some of the stories stuck out for me more than others, like Lisa McMann’s, Courtney Sheinmel’s, Melissa Schorr’s, Holly Cupala’s. Their stories led me to checking out their books, even adding a few to my wishlist. I’m not sure how to be funny about this, you know? I can’t imagine what it would be like to be bullied in the era of Facebook, where everything you’ve ever done or said can be put on permanent display. Remember, once something is on the internet, you’ll never get rid of it. The internet is forever. What would I have done if, instead of using the bathroom wall, those girls used their keyboards, hid behind computer screens? What would I have done? Would I kill myself like Phoebe Prince? I don’t know, honestly. I may very well have.

And then comes the part where the former bullies apologize or try to rationalize why they were the way they were. I found I did not care about these now-contrite former bullies*. It’s not that I think they’re bad people on the inside, but I was that victim. They did those things to me. How can I want to buy your book when I relived those years through your story? I can’t, not really. They talk about feeling a rush of power; I never once knew what that was like, so I resent that. What I took away from this, though, was a question. What if I did have that power? What if, after a lifetime of teasing in elementary and middle schools, I was popular in high school? Would I have stepped on all the “little people,” the people I didn’t think were worthy? You know I want to say no, but do I really have any idea? No. I don’t, and it’s highly possible that I would have used that power to abuse, because I was abused. To take out my anger at being a victim on victims of my own. That makes me sick and scared. Could I have been like them? I feel like I have to thank those girls and boys–Marjorie, Cheryl, Kristen, Kelly, Samantha, Brandon, Matt, Kyle–for making me what I am today, and that’s a fighter. I like to fight for the underdog, because I was one. I like to try and help those girls who sit alone at lunch, because I was that girl once, too.

So thanks, you jerks. You did a world of good for me when all you ever wanted to do was make me feel bad.

*Have you ever noticed that those who were bullied never forget that abuse and many times, carry it around with them for years, but bullies never seem to remember what they did?
Profile Image for Beckie.
311 reviews59 followers
March 1, 2012
Review also found: http://www.bittersweet-enchantment.co...

When I first heard about this book I knew right away that I had to get my hands on it but I was somewhat reluctant to read it once I did have it only because most of my life I was bullied and made fun of because of certain medical problems. I still hold a piece of that hurt deep within my heart so it was hard for me to be able to turn the first page of Dear Bully but once I did I keep reading and reading I began to see that I was not alone in my battle of bring bullied, hurt and made fun of. Each author who put their own story into the pages of the book whether it was them being being bullied themselves or them doing them bulling took a great deal of courage and forgiveness. While reading each story I got to thinking back of my own battle I had to fight each day of school and I wish I had a book like this back when I was growing up so maybe I could have seen that other's like myself where dealing with similar issues and finding ways of helping each other. Dear Bully is one of the most deeply moving, heart-wrenching yet inspiring book that I have read in a long time dealing with a real life situation. This is a topic that when I was in school was ignored and told it was nothing to worry about but it so was. I really truly believe that there are children out there that are scared to tell there parents or teachers that they are being bullied and then it ends up being to late. I would love to be able to tell each one of these 70 brave and wonderful authors that your book "Dear Bully" does and will make a difference to those who are being bullied and to people like me who have been hurt to the core by bullies most of there life's. Just knowing that I was not alone when it came to being bullied and feeling helpless against them somehow will slowly mend that part of my heart that still is broken.

I really loved how the book was split into each authors story. This gave the book a wide range of enjoyment to be able to see what so many different authors male and female experienced during there time when they were being bullied/teased. I don't think I could do what these authors did to put myself out there and tell my story. This shows such bravery and love for themselves as well as forgiveness who hurt them or to forgive themselves for being the one who bullied someone else.

To me Dear Bully is a must read for everyone who has been hurt or has hurt someone in the past. I DO think that this book should be in schools and it could may one day or may already has saved a child life.
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