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Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of…

Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the…

by Emily Bazelon

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It is truly heart-wrenching to read and absorb this book. The culture of bullying is both real and difficult to grasp and solve. Bazelon does a great job of tackling the topic with research and personal strength.
  AmronGravett | Dec 26, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was interesting to me mainly in emphasizing the gray areas in bullying and how difficult it is for school districts and parents to sort out the he said/she said side of things. I gave this to education people and they were interested. ( )
  atiara | Apr 28, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I won this on Early Reviewer, but never received it - still I was able to get the book through OhioLINK (our state academic consortium) and so here's my review:

Emily Bazelon uses the personal stories of three students to illustrate her points about bullying, and I found it particularly helpful to hear the details of the one story which had been heavily covered in the news. Bazelon points out both how schools, parents, and professionals often fail students by not taking them seriously, or escalate the problems by dealing with what Bazelon calls "teenage drama" as bullying when in fact it may not be. She is particularly critical of the response (or lack thereof) by social media websites to the pervasive problem of misuse of their sites and blatant disregard for their posted policies which they fail to adequately address. In her closing remarks she makes very pointed statements to parents - "In our understandable eagerness to fight bullying, we have to resist going too far and taking away kids' freedom. By all means, when a child is being tormented, she needs help. Psychic wounds can be as damaging, and as lasting, as physical ones. At the same time, kids have to learn to cope with emotional bruises in order to grow up." She stresses the importance of working with children to develop character and empathy, and the paramount value of kindness. I found the book very helpful in understanding the many different facets of the problem of bullying, and in avoiding the knee-jerk reactions that the media promotes. ( )
  SherylHendrix | Apr 4, 2013 |
Nothing in this book is revelatory or shocking to me, probably because I've read a great deal about bullying and adolescent development. Readers not as familiar with the subject should find it an informative and insightful overview of the issues. Bazelon does a good job of synthesizing a lot of research but, for a journalist, does little to curb her biases. There's an extensive list of resources for educators, parents, and kids. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812992806, Hardcover)

Being a teenager has never been easy, but in recent years, with the rise of the Internet and social media, it has become exponentially more challenging. Bullying, once thought of as the province of queen bees and goons, has taken on new, complex, and insidious forms, as parents and educators know all too well.
No writer is better poised to explore this territory than Emily Bazelon, who has established herself as a leading voice on the social and legal aspects of teenage drama. In Sticks and Stones, she brings readers on a deeply researched, clear-eyed journey into the ever-shifting landscape of teenage meanness and its sometimes devastating consequences. The result is an indispensable book that takes us from school cafeterias to courtrooms to the offices of Facebook, the website where so much teenage life, good and bad, now unfolds.
Along the way, Bazelon defines what bullying is and, just as important, what it is not. She explores when intervention is essential and when kids should be given the freedom to fend for themselves. She also dispels persistent myths: that girls bully more than boys, that online and in-person bullying are entirely distinct, that bullying is a common cause of suicide, and that harsh criminal penalties are an effective deterrent. Above all, she believes that to deal with the problem, we must first understand it.
Blending keen journalistic and narrative skills, Bazelon explores different facets of bullying through the stories of three young people who found themselves caught in the thick of it. Thirteen-year-old Monique endured months of harassment and exclusion before her mother finally pulled her out of school. Jacob was threatened and physically attacked over his sexuality in eighth grade—and then sued to protect himself and change the culture of his school. Flannery was one of six teens who faced criminal charges after a fellow student’s suicide was blamed on bullying and made international headlines. With grace and authority, Bazelon chronicles how these kids’ predicaments escalated, to no one’s benefit, into community-wide wars. Cutting through the noise, misinformation, and sensationalism, she takes us into schools that have succeeded in reducing bullying and examines their successful strategies. The result is a groundbreaking book that will help parents, educators, and teens themselves better understand what kids are going through today and what can be done to help them through it.

Advance praise for Sticks and Stones
“Thoughtful and moving, incisive and provocative, Sticks and Stones is essential reading for any educator trying to negotiate the minefield of bullying. Packed with valuable advice, the book brings a welcome dose of sanity to an often overheated national discussion.”—Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed
“Beautifully written and tenaciously reported, Sticks and Stones is a serious, important book that reads like a page-turner. Emily Bazelon is a gifted writer, and this powerful work is sure to place childhood bullying at the heart of the national conversation—right where it belongs.”—Susan Cain, author of Quiet
“Emily Bazelon is doing the most honest, hard-hitting investigative work on bullying in America today. Sticks and Stones is a page-turner, combining compelling personal stories, rigorous reporting and practical advice for parents and educators. Read it: It’s essential.”—Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:04 -0400)

Bazelon defines what bullying is and, just as important, what it is not; explores when intervention is essential and when kids should be given the freedom to fend for themselves; dispels persistent myths about bullying; and takes her readers into schools that have succeeded in reducing bullying and examines their successful strategies.… (more)

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