Let’s start with this: (800) 421-3481. That’s the number to call if your kid is being bullied and your school is not effectively handling the situation. It’s the hotline to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. The author, Carrie Goldman, included this number somewhere in the middle of this book. People looking for this book may need that number sooner, rather than later, without having to dig around to find it.
And that’s my main recommendation about this book: that it could have been organized a bit more sharply to deal with information upfront that can resolve a serious situation. Instead, the other opts to speak about her own daughter liking Star Wars and the peer fallout, and then the following support she received. The author then gives a few case studies that end with sad and personal results of bullying. It’s an interesting read that flows well, but doesn’t have the bite a book of this nature should have.
Looking at the chapter titles at the second-half of this book, you would believe some real meat of the matter would be talked about. More personal stories. Within these stories, school programs were mentioned, including acronyms, but nothing in detail was discussed. What are these programs? What do these acronyms stand for? What is effective in the program and what are the lacking areas? Instead, there is a short appendix section in the back that briefly overviews (like a paragraph each) the previously mentioned programs. Really, each program could have its own chapter.
The author did a great job at researching and interviewing other sources—mostly interviewing. The author includes several conversations she’s had with other authors of this same topic. It helps make the whole book more personal and relatable.
If you want to revel in the audacity of bullying, along with the author, then this book is an interesting read. There are a lot of personal stories that will make your heart melt. There are several stories of triumph. There just isn’t enough “how to” on what programs work and what programs don’t work—there’s some, but so much more could be dived into.