It’s so funny how things work out sometimes. After finishing this audiobook two days ago, I saw [yesterday] that the author was featured in a CNN article about 10 visionary women! I am taking this as a sign that I need to post my review for this book now. 🙂
Bullying has been a high profile topic for quite some time now, and many authors have done a great job shining the spotlight on this problem — Dear Bully edited by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones, Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser, Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia, Scrawl by Mark Shulman, and Shine by Lauren Myracle are just a handful of titles I have reviewed on this blog… The problem isn’t so much that people don’t know bullying exists. It’s that bullying is such a complex issue and there are no easy answers as to how people can prevent bullying or how adults can get teens to speak out and speak up to stop bullying in its tracks. It’s easy to look back as adults and to see where we could or should have done things differently, but it’s not quite so easy to put that knowledge to good use if the teens we live or work with don’t want to listen to our advice. That’s where these books can come in handy. These books provide a way for teens to vicariously experience someone else’s bullying and to not only empathize for all of the characters involved but to see what they did right or wrong as a result of their situation.
I think what I liked best about Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass was just how raw and honest the story felt. Unfortunately, because my middle and high school experience included being bullied, it was quite clear to me that Meg Medina had also experienced bullying firsthand. Piddy’s depression and fear were just too real to be completely fictional. Luckily, my experiences were not nearly as harrowing as Piddy’s, but I can definitely see a lot of what I felt [and more] in how Piddy reacted. No matter where people fall on the spectrum of bullying — from bully, to victim, to bystander — though, I think they can find some of their life experience in this story. This book would be a great conversation starter for anyone who would like to delve into the topic of bullying with their child, class, or book club.