By Nicole Quigley, author of Like Moonlight at Low Tide (Blink), winner of the ACFW “Carol Award” for best young adult fiction

The best story I ever read about a girl who was bullied is Cinderella.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, which means a lot of really cool people will tell their stories of how they suffered and overcame. I love the new voices that lend themselves to this effort every year, which remind us what bullying is and of all the good things that can come once that dark chapter is over. But, for me, the best bullying story has been with us all along.


What I love about Cinderella is that, when I was a kid, her story never struck me as being about a girl who was bullied.

Sure, I hated her evil step-sisters. I cringed at her stepmother’s super pointy eyebrows that seemed to plot new chores and insults on every page. But what I remember most is that Cinderella’s pureness of heart made her dreams come true. Read More →

pink poodle Jeremy Scott’s Pink Poodle Shoes aren’t something I see too often. But they were worn by a teen at the library who was a member of our radio program. The two canines had their own story, of course, and it turns out they had a lot to do with bullying.

I was prepared to co-lead this session of my library’s Turn it Up Teen Radio program. It’s a podcast that’s also a partnership of a local ‘ NPR affiliate, WFAE. I came with an agenda. A plan.’ The curriculum dictated that this day was for research. Participants were scheduled to identify topics and resources pertaining to the segment on the topic of bullying. They would record next month.

I started the session off with a warm-up activity, selecting several short (4-7 minute) public radio segments, mostly on the topic of bullying. I divided the teens into teams and asked them to identify the research that informed the story, then come back in 15 minutes and share with the group.

When we came back together, I sat at the front of the group and asked them who wanted to go first. I noticed they were directing their feedback to me, when I really wanted it to presented the group. I asked them to take the stage, so to speak. They did, sharing topics and research pieces and then T., with the awesome pink poodle shoes, took the stage and said he had a story to share. Read More →

This week, 15-year-old Felicia Garcia killed herself, just days after tweeting that she could no longer’ handle the way she was being teased and tormented in the school halls. She was being bullied for’ making a choice at a party with and shamed mercilessly for it.

Earlier this month, Amanda Todd’s story made the rounds. She, too, made a choice that impacted how’ other teens treated her. She made a YouTube video discussing in detail the sorts of torture she endured’ in the school halls – even after switching schools. She ultimately ended her life.

These two teens aren’t part of a “trend,” nor are they exceptions to stories of bullying. According to the’ recently-released results of an online study conducted by Love is Louder and Harlequin Teen, of’ the over 1,500 16-21 year old females who responded, 70% had been bullied. Of those surveyed, 78%’ also believed that adults don’t take their claims of bullying seriously enough. The full results of the survey are eye-opening.
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I’ve been thinking about the past year’s news stories that have an impact on teens and the library service we provide to them. The Storify below highlights a few (it is far from everything) of the stories that have captured librarian and/or teen attention. What 2011 news stories do you think are important to teens and librarians? If you have something to add, post it in the comments.
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A few days ago the Pew Internet and American Life Project released their latest report on teens and social networking. The document is filled with up-to-date data that anyone working with teens will want to take a look at in order to better understand teen use of and engagement in online social environments. The Pew report also provides a look into the role adults play in the lives of teens who are a part of the social networking world.

Check out the Storify created that captures some of the ideas presented in the report and what people are saying about it via the web and social media.
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