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Rising Above Bullying: From Despair to Recovery ISBN: 9781849051231
Hayes, Rosemary and Herbert, Carrie
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2011
This is not a book I would normally review for healthybooks, but it is so good, so to the point, so necessary that I am making an exception. Although the book is mainly aimed at adults, there are eight stories told by children themselves, children who have faced bullying of the worst sort both in primary and in secondary schools. They describe bullying from teachers as well as parents and classmates: bullying about weight, mental breakdown, sexual assault (including rape), religious beliefs, homophobic bullying and cyber bullying - all are told in horrific detail. The basis of the book is to explain the work of Red Balloon Schools. Begun in 1996 in Cambridge by Carrie Herbert, this is a series of schools in cities dedicated to helping educate those who have been bullied - and sometimes those who bully. Their ethos is based on therapeutic care and on a curriculum assessed for each individual child. No more than fifteen children are taken on at any one time, and schools meet in ordinary houses. Besides the eight stories of the children who have been bullied, there is a second section on 'Understanding bullying behaviour and strategies to prevent it'. This is aimed squarely at teachers, parents and the children themselves, and it is practical and forthright with useful coping strategies of all sorts. Ms Herbert, who has been working with damaged children for many years, pulls no punches and explains the negatives that must be dealt with while emphasising the positives. While this is not a book for children to use on their own, it is a book that belongs in every school, and it should be read and used by parents too. Common sense is the main theme, and the strategies herein should be in use everywhere so that children no longer have to face the grim fact of being bullied. Available from Amazon, from bookshops, or from the publisher at www.jkp.com.
Age: 11+
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