Sunday, February 2, 2014

Slimy by Karen Arnpriester

Pages: 86
Genre:  Middle Grade, Young Adult, Autobiography
Source: Review copy in exchange for my honest opinion

From Goodreads 
Slimy is the painful account of my experiences as a bullied, isolated and humiliated child. My journey of abuse began in the fifth grade and continued through the ninth. I chose to share my story so that others will understand how bullying can damage and alter a child’s self- image. How we learn to tolerate injustice and mistreatment as if we do not deserve anything better. A belief that can alter a lifetime. My story is sad and filled with powerful memories that affected who I became, but my story is not unique, many children are targeted and suffer quietly without an escape. Every school has bullies, children that are angry, hurtful people who are allowed to control and determine who has value and who does not. I believe that a solution to the rampant epidemic of bullying will need the involvement of parents and teachers, but the most effective resolve for this growing threat will require a student body that chooses not to tolerate bullies and the pain they inflict. The true power belongs to the students who passively watch. These students empower the bullies through their silence and apathy. I hope to encourage the bullied child, inspire the student body to make a difference and expose the fear that bullies operate through.

My Thoughts
 I had the privilege of reading this book before it was published. It was absolutely spot on as far as the message about bullying. As a teacher I felt anger at what the main character had gone through. I felt ashamed that a teacher did not stand up for her. I felt her pain. I realize that bullying comes in all forms. There was so much I could identify with. I've seen kids bullied like this at school and do my best to stop it. Unfortunately, so many of them experience the bullying and never tell an adult. We can't stop what we don't see. I looked at myself and asked if I was doing all I could at school to make sure my students were not being bullied. Was I really as observant as I could be? Was I observant with my children? With a suicide of a young girl here in Florida so fresh on every one's mind I realized that this is important to have in schools everywhere. Students need to know they don't have to be alone or feel afraid to tell someone. As parents we want what is best for our children and grandchildren. This made me ask myself if I was always doing what was best or if I thought my actions would make them stronger. I can't recommend this book strong enough.

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