Battle Bullying with Books

In the wake of this week’s Booklist Online webinar, “Battle Bullying with Books,” we compiled a few of the many excellent questions from attendees and asked the presenters to respond. Michelle F. Bayuk from Albert Whitman and Miriam Gilbert from Rosen kindly offered some answers, which appear below.

Special thanks go to the sponsors of this webinar, which was timed to coincide with National No Name-Calling Week: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Rosen Publishing, Albert Whitman and Company, Candlewick Press, and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

Question: Do you have more books about online bullying in the pipeline? What about fiction recommendations for parents of teens to help them deal with cyberbullying?

Michelle F. Bayuk, Director of Marketing, Albert Whitman and Company: The Truth about Truman School was mentioned in the presentation and deals with a cyberbullying incident. We are looking at some other titles, but don’t have any scheduled at the moment. As you can imagine, a book needs to be more than its topic. Finding (indeed, writing) a book that teaches without being didactic is much more difficult than it might seem. The authors who succeed are incredible.

Miriam Gilbert, Director of Rosen Publishing Online: Rosen’s Kids Online series, interest level grades 2–6, reading level grades 2–3, covers a range of topics, from staying safe online, online bullying, avoiding online predators, Internet privacy, and a guide to social networking. Rosen will be launching a set of interactive Staying Safe Online e-books in August.

Question: I saw stats that said most children who are bullied do not say anything. Are there any books that tell that story?

Michelle F. Bayuk, Director of Marketing, Albert Whitman and Company: Several of our books do address this issue, including Bullying and Me: Schoolyard Stories and Lucy and the Bully.

Miriam Gilbert, Director of Rosen Publishing Online: The Teen Health & Wellness database article on Bullying and Cyberbullying contains teen contributed personal stories—one by the bully and how he got help to address anger and self-image issues, and the other by a young man who was bullied and how he dealt with the challenge. In addition, the article provides tools to readers about how to recognize bullying and how to get help. The Resources and Further Reading sections are information rich.

Question: What advice would you give to librarians when materials addressing LGBTQ issues are challenged by parents, teachers, administrators, etc.?

Miriam Gilbert, Director of Rosen Publishing Online: The goal of Teen Health & Wellness is to educate and equip communities to create safe and caring communities. The articles on gender diversity, sexual identity and orientation, discrimination, GLBT teens, are starting points for creating a shared vocabulary and understanding of nuanced issues and are places to begin a dialogue. The articles can be easily e-mailed or printed to facilitate dissemination.

Question: Do you have any advice on promoting use of Rosen’s Teen Health & Wellness database?

Miriam Gilbert, Director of Rosen Publishing Online: Both the Personal Story Project and the It’s Your Cause Video Challenge programs have allowed librarians and teachers to engage teens in Teen Health & Wellness in deep and meaningful ways. By producing works that are personal and/or mission-driven, teens have a creative (and safe) outlet and audience, and, if school-based, teachers have meaningful capstone and end-of-semester projects. We have many models of teacher/student/librarian collaboration we can share.

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