May 19, 2014

How to Stop a Bully at School

Bullies have always been around, but in this present age it has escalated.  Tween expert Nancy Rue penned So Not Okay  with an intentional focus on bullying from the bystander's perspective.  My children (ages 2, 5, and 7) are not yet old enough to read this book that focuses on sixth grade problems, but it will remain on my bookshelf as a parental tool.  The end of this post includes some practical (and seemingly effective) tips to stop a bully.

So Not Okay shares a bullying story that many relate to.  Sixth grader Tori and her best friends, Ophelia and Winnie know to stay out of Kylie's way.  Kylie proves popularity equals power at their middle school as she and her "pack" do as they wish throughout the school.

Tori, Ophelia, and Winnie remain invisible...until one day Kylie takes notice of Tori's eyebrows.  Torture continues until a new student named Ginger catches Kylie's attention.  Kylie and her pack torment Ginger.  Tori tries to befriend Ginger and finds herself in the line of fire.

An adult understands and helps Tori and her friends make a difference for Ginger and their whole school. They declare a war on bullying instead of the bully.

Quite honestly, I was surprised at how naturally the story flowed while giving specific help to a bully victim and bystanders.  This may be middle grade fiction, but I stayed up way past my bedtime reading it!

This is the first of three books in this middle grade fiction series.  The other two will tell the story from the perspective of the bully and the victim.  My only complaint is the boys in the book seemed to be clueless about their bullying at school.

How to Stop a Bully (Ideas gleaned from So Not Okay.)

For everyone:
  • Be a defender, not a bystander.
  • Be an ally, not a witness.
For the victim:
  • Don't show the bully any emotion.
  • Do for the bully what you want them to do for you.
  • Report to an adult anything you can't handle.
  • Stay safe in a group.  
  • Continue on to your goal, even when the path is blocked.
I definitely recommend So Not Okay to children, parents, and teachers who have an interest in stopping bullies.  In my opinion, this book is especially relevant for girls and the emotional bullying they endure.  (It is published by a Christian publisher, but the faith content is light.  Most anyone could benefit from it.)

Interested in reading it?  Enter the So Not Okay GIVEAWAY!
Thank you, Thomas Nelson, for sending me an ARC of this book for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

~ Annette W. {This Simple Mom}
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through a link, I will earn a small percentage. Thank you!
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17 comments:

  1. Great points! As a mother of a tween girl bullying is a constant problem. Thanks for sharing this book. I will go look it up today.

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    1. I think you'll find it especially helpful for tween girls!

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  2. Now that my oldest is entering middle school and in activities where this may be more of an issue, I am starting to think about it more. It has always been on my radar, but for some reason I think it really escalates in about 5th/6th grades. Thank you for sharing these tips, and I will be checking out this book as well! :)

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    1. My 7year old doesn't quite understand that mean does not always mean bully....but yes, esp at 5th/6th grade levels!

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  3. I love this! My eldest had so much trouble with bullies that we pulled him out of school and he now cyber schools from home. I am going to get this book. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. It looks like a good story, and you pulled some great points from it.

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  5. I like this! My oldest daughter gets bullied sometimes because she is very quiet and I hate that! Thanks for sharing these tips!

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  6. Thank you for the heads up - I am going to share this with my DIL as our granddaughter will be entering the 4th grade this fall...

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  7. These are good tips to be more effective. You're right bullying has always been around but it has escalated over the years. My niece is going to be in 6th grade. I 'm worried about how she'll be able to deal with bullies. Hopefully she doesn't have to but I will definitely keep these in mind.

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  8. Just popped by to say hi and see how you're doing. Great review! Hope all is well.

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    1. Thanks, Laura! I'll send an email soon!

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  9. This is a great post! I find it disturbing at the amount of bullying that is happening, even in my small little town. I have nephews that are on the receiving end of it, and I just feel so helpless. My little Grasshopper is *tiny* for his age, so I have to pray that he won't be bullied or if he does, he will know how to handle it.

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  10. Both my girls (now adult in their forties) were bullied at their respective schools. One managed by being strong and ignoring, with help of friends, the bullies. The other one, who outwardly was the stronger looking of the pair, had to be taken out and home-schooled (the best thing we ever did, incidentally). I, too, thirty years earlier was bullied at my boarding school - I chose to withdraw and become as self-reliant as possible (gaining the reputation of being a teacher's pet!). Bullying is a menace, but even worse now that the internet is involved. because seeming one can never know where it comes from next.

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  11. I was a bullied kid during middle school (overweight and hand-me-downs). It was not a fun time. I work so hard to drill it into my kid's head that even the littlest thing can hurt someone's feelings and that they are never to stand by when someone else is being bullied. Thank you for the review!

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