Anti-Bullying Week is an annual event here in England which aims to raise awareness of bullying of children and young people, and to highlight different ways of preventing and dealing with it. This year, Anti-Bullying Week started on the 17th November and ends tonight – and although I wanted to write this post much, much earlier, I couldn’t let this week pass without talking about some of my favourite books that deal with this subject and why you should read them.
There are a lot more that I haven’t had the chance to read yet – such as Seven Days by Eve Ainsworth (which is on its way to me as we speak!) – but if you’re looking for some recommendations on YA books that deal with bullying in some form, here is my top 5, in no particular order.
Dead Ends by Erin Lange
Dead Ends is probably the best and most memorable book I read in 2014, and I’ve recommended it to so many people since then that I’m genuinely starting to lose count. It was the first book I read from Lange (I picked up her debut, Butter, shortly after) and I fell in love with her writing, her characters, and the way she deals with such difficult topics within a few chapters.
Unlike most of the bullying books I’ve read, though, in Dead Ends we see – and hear – the story from the bully’s perspective. As the Guardian says, “in Dead Ends, we are rooting for the bully – hot-headed thug Dane Washington, who kick-starts the action by unapologetically smashing his foot into “some guy’s throat”. In Dane’s world, violence is justified if people are “asking for it”, the only exception to the rule being girls and ‘retards’.”