The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

Dear Colleagues,

 

I’m writing to tell you about a new book on bullying, STICKS AND STONES, by Emily Bazelon. Emily has received a lot of great attention in the past couple of weeks, with appearances on the Colbert Report, Morning Joe, and Fresh Air. The book is a national bestseller, and it was featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, where Andrew Solomon praised STICKS AND STONES for being “rigorous” and “intelligent” and called Emily ““a compassionate champion for justice in the domain of childhood’s essential unfairness.” A second review in the daily NYT said: “this authoritative and important book should not only be read by educators and parents alike, but should also be taught in law schools and journalism schools.” That’s the kind of praise you don’t often see, and it reflects the contribution this thoughtful, compelling book is making.

 

I urge you to pick up a copy of STICKS AND STONES: It’s a book I think every parent and educator should read, with stories that will help you understand what bullying is and is not, examples of successful prevention programs, and advice on how to help kids more effectively at home and in school. We tend to react to bullying when it happens to our own kids, or turns into a local crisis, rather than thinking proactively. This book can help change that.

 

Emily is especially eager for groups of parents and teachers to use the book as a launch pad for discussion (if possible, with their kids and students!) What do we do about social media and social exclusion? What do adults tend to get wrong, and what are they doing right that we need more of? The stories in the book open the door to better-informed discussion of these tricky questions. As the New York Times parenting blogger, KJ Dell’Antonia, wrote about the impact the book can have: “Before I read “Sticks and Stones,” I’d been struggling to find a way to approach a school bullying incident with one of my children. I feel a whole lot readier for it now.”

 

In hopes of sparking discussion groups, Emily is offering to Skype or call in to book groups of 10 people or more. Random House will send two free copies to the organizer. A discussion guide is available here on Emily’s website, emilybazelon.com. To get started, email her at emilybazelon@gmail.com. You can order STICKS AND STONES here.

 

All the best, and thank you for reading,

Bill

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