October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Millions of teens are bullied every year and their stories are told in hundreds of YA books. Here is my list of five excellent YA books that tell the true story of teens that were bullied.
Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Regina Afton used to be one of the most popular girls at Halloway High until rumors about her and her best friend’s boyfriend make her a target. Regina finds herself going from high school royalty to being high school royalty’s punching bag. Regina must find a way to protect herself from her former friends just to survive high school.
Summers wrote an incredible realistic and disturbing tale of bullying. The ways that her classmates torment Regina will jump off the page and stay with you long after reading. It is disturbing, it is terrifying, and it completely believable.
Final Rating: One Unicorn
The List by Siobhan Vivian
Every year the students of Mount Washington High make a list of the prettiest and the ugliest girls; eight girls from freshman to senior year have to endure this label. But the label is just the beginning their lives are effected and they become the target of their classmates mockery. How will the list effect them and how will it change them?
The List is on the fluffy side for a anti-bullying book however it is the kind of story a teen girl would want to read. There are eight stories being told which gives the reader eight opportunities to find themselves in the characters. Vivian wrote a book that allows teens to learn and be entertained. Plus, a TV adaptation is in preproduction at MTV.
Final Rating: One Fairy
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGary
Echo used to be the popular girl, perfect and talented, until a horrible accident leaves her physically scared. Noah used to come from a good home until his parents were killed leaving him emotionally scarred. The two meet when Echo is assigned to tutor Noah and sparks fly. Noah helps Echo deal with her family issues and the conflict between her and her old friends while Echo helps Noah deal with the fallout from losing his family.
I will admit that this book is mostly a romance. It is actually written by one of my favorite YA romance authors and published through Harlequin Teen. However, under McGarry skilled direction Pushing the Limits is able to go beyond just a teen love story. Echo’s old life has left a permeant mark on her current existence. She is bullied by her old friends because she no longer belongs. In telling Echo and Noah’s story McGarry also tells how to overcome life’s disappointments and about finding the strength to move beyond them.
Final Rating: Two Unicorns
Ruby Oliver Series by E. Lockhart
Ruby Oliver has just started therapy. In a matter of a year, Ruby has lost her boyfriend, her best friends, lost all her other friends, and had an anxiety attack. Ruby needs help and she will find it with her therapist who helps her reevaluate her past relationships.
I am a fan of the entire Ruby Oliver series. I love the fact that Ruby is an average girl who begins going to therapy because she needs help and there isn’t any stigma associated with it. Ruby has a difficult time dealing with her best friend’s betrayal and she needs a professional to help her. Lockhart is one of the few authors who gives her reader a peek into how to heal from bullying. Ruby learns about herself and finds a way to overcome her ex-friends’ bullying.
Final Rating: Two Fairies
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Annabel used to have everything then there was the night of the party. The party where her best friend’s boyfriend attacked her and all of her friends turned on her. Now Annabel is tormented and bullied everyday. Then Owen comes to town. Owen who loves music and who likes Annabel. Will he be able to help Annabel move on?
This is another book that shows how mean girls can be. Annabel is tormented by her former friends in a cruel and terrifying manner. She can’t get away from their taunts and doesn’t know how to deal with them. It isn’t until she finds someone who can see her worth can she begin to stand up for herself. This book shows the drama and pain of being a teen girl and no one does it better than Sarah Dessen.
Final Rating: Two Unicorns