Why the victim?
Review by The Mole
Sam Hendry has moved up to secondary school but in order to try to give her the best chances her parents have elected to send her to a private school. The effect of this decision is that she has gone up to secondary school without any of her friends and on the first day in school she is on her own. Almost from the moment Molly sets eyes on her she decides that Sam is a victim to be bullied and starts a campaign of intimidation.
Written from the victim's standpoint this book does endeavour to show the true impact of bullying.
It is written in the short staccato sentence structure that one would expect an 11 year old to write in, however both myself and Maryom struggled with the form. After a burst of inspiration Maryom read a passage swapping "she" and "Sam" to "I" and so changing it to first person and this worked a great deal better, however it still did not sit right somehow. It's also important to note, I feel, that bullying also affects parents and so any message on the subject should be universally accessible and that the writing style chosen should not put them off reading it.
Bullying is a problem that is not unique to either gender but unfortunately this book contains girlie fashion tips and music choices that are very likely to turn boys off and miss an important audience for this subject.
In writing this the author highlights the role of reduced esteem that bullying causes and probably causes a spiralling effect on the severity of the intimidation. In reading this I was reminded of a scene from "Crossing Delancey" where Bubba attends a class endeavouring to teach the elderly that if they look like a victim they will be a victim.
This book, despite it's fairytale feel good ending, has a very positive message about a very serious aspect of bullying which the author has shown a very clear indication of understanding deeply, but unfortunately it could have been executed better. A message not to be ignored though.
Publisher - Grimoire Books
Genre - Children's 10+, bullying, Rebecca Emin
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