Book Review: Dear Bully

dear bully
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There is power in numbers. Especially when those numbers are comprised of brilliant authors taking a stand in support an important cause…bullying. The new anthology Dear Bully harnesses that power by presenting 70 personal essays from top young adult authors in order to show children, as well as adults, that it’s possible to rise above bullying and succeed.

Edited by YA authors Megan Kelley Hall (Sisters of Misery and The Lost Sister) and Carrie Jone (Need and Entice), Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories features essays that tackle personal bullying experiences from different angles – some writers were bullied, some were bullies themselves, and some witnessed bullying. Through these compelling essays, the editors hope teens dealing with bullying will feel less alone.

The anthology, which includes an introduction by New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins, brings together diverse voices like Tonya Hurley (Ghostgirl), Jon Scieszka (Stinky Cheese Man), Rachel Vail (Friendship Ring series), Lisa McMann (Wake), R.L. Stine (Goosebumps), Melissa Walker (Violet on the Runway), Tanya Lee Stone (A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl), Megan McCafferty (Jessica Darling series), and many, many more.

The result is a fascinating collection of prose and poetry that pulls the reader in. In A List, author Micol Ostow (Family) lists 28 things she’s been made fun of for, including being half-Jewish, being half-Puerto Rican, not being Jewish enough, and not being Puerto Rican enough. Her simple piece packs a punch, and reminds readers of the ways in which everyone’s unique differences are all too often used against them.

In another piece, author Cecil Castellucci (First Day On Earth) joined forces with illustrator Lise Bernier to create a simple graphic story, They Made Me Do It And I’m Sorry, which deals with the familiar phenomenon known as “the silent treatment.”

We loved Dear Bully, not just because it is full of fantastic writing with important messages, but because it so beautiful demonstrates what can happen when creativity and passion for social change come together.

Oh, and one last thing, Dear Bully is doing good not just by spreading a message of compassion, understanding, and hope – a portion of the proceeds is going to the anti-bullying organization Stomp Out Bullying!


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