GOOD Books: No More Bullying
Drew Ferraro, a California high school student, committed suicide last week after allegedly being bullied at school. After a spate of similar suicides last year, Ferraro's case has brought the problem of bullying back to the limelight, but it's been a ripe topic for novelists for decades (an upcoming documentary called Bully became controversial after the MPAA awarded it an R rating). Click through to see some of the best young adult books about kids being picked on and the varying ways they respond.
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As a new kid in seventh grade, Eric Hayes makes friends with the confident and popular Griffin Connelly. But there's a dark side to Connelly's natural leadership skills—he's the classic bully. Once Hayes decides to stand up to him, he moves suddenly from bystander to victim. Preller captures the tension of bullying and standing up for what's right.
Miriam Fisher feels different from her seventh-grade friends. She enjoys poetry and reading the Oxford English Dictionary. The "watermelon girls" at school harass her, teasing and taunting her in front of everyone. Miriam resists conformity, inspiring others to do the same.
By Kathe Koja
Buddha Boy is a tale of two unlikely friends who must face the cruelties of being different. Justin, an average kid, pairs up with Jinsen, the Buddha Boy, for a school project, and becomes fascinated with Jinsen's artistic abilities despite the other kids' taunts. As the plot unfolds, Koja not only reveals the horrors of Jinsen's torment, but also the deep, psychological motivations that underlie bullying.
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl
A high school outcast known as Fanboy is bullied while his best friend becomes popular. But after meeting the cynical, comic-loving Goth Girl, Fanboy can't resist having a friend who understands him. The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl is a gripping story of overcoming bullying and fighting back.