Why wear odd socks?

This week is Anti-Bullying Week, and today is Odd Socks Day.

Odd Socks

What is the relationship between Odd Socks Day and Anti-Bullying Week? What does this fashion statement have to do with bullying?

We wear odd socks today to express the idea that everyone is different, everyone feels like they are not part of the crowd for some reason, and we all deserve love and respect.

Anti-bullying

While anti-bullying seems to be getting plenty of attention in schools, and hopefully our children and youth are getting the message that bullying is not acceptable, I have been increasingly alarmed at the amount of bullying that goes on among grown-ups in the cyberworld. For some reason, adults do not seem to have learned what it is we are teaching our children. Someone makes a mistake that is publicly outed, and people think it is okay to to dogpile on them, sending them tweets and private messages that they are worthless, unloveable, and should go kill themselves. It is really shocking!

Someone doing something you don’t like is not an excuse to bully them, threaten them or their family, or to push them into committing suicide. We all make mistakes, whether they get publicized to Facebook and Twitter or not, and we should be adult enough to recognize that and to make sure that our words in response do not injure others.

There is a certain meanness that runs through social media. Memes that make fun of certain groups, practices, or celebrities. Even people I know in real life and would never expect to hear a bad word from think it is okay to make fun of peoples’ appearance when pictures are posted to the internet or when it becomes popular to poke fun at the fashion, hairstyle, or skin colour of world leaders and celebrities.

It’s not okay.

Saying nasty things about all men because of the #metoo movement is not okay. Vigilante sniping at peers and competitors is not okay. Telling anyone to harm themselves is unacceptable.

Books

Okay, so, books! This is primarily a book blog, so while I address social issues here, I prefer to explore them through my books. I think you learn a lot more by immersing yourself in a book for a few hours than by arguing or preaching.

He was Walking Alone

Many of you have been enjoying the Zachary Goldman Mysteries! You know by now that Zachary Goldman is the underdog fighting for justice in cases that have involved mental illness, autism, domestic abuse, and other issues. He was Walking Alone debuts this weekend, and as you might have guessed, touches on the issue of bullying.

He met with tragedy

Richard Harding was walking alone when he was struck by a vehicle and died. A tragic accident that was no one’s fault. But if that was so, then why was his girlfriend so sure that it was intentional homicide? Zachary Goldman is on the case. With Christmas approaching, he is as determined to distract himself from his own troubles as he is to ferret out the truth of Harding’s death. 

The pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place and Zachary finds that there are more parallels between Harding’s life and his own than he would have guessed. If he doesn’t identify the sinister force behind Harding’s death in time, he could suffer the same fate. 

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More books addressing bullying

The Trespassers Club

The Trespassers Club

The Trespassers Club, by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Trespassers Club was just supposed to be a game, but sometimes going places you shouldn’t has consequences …

Laura has always spent her free time playing Trespassers Club with her sister, Katy. But Katy just turned thirteen and isn’t interested in playing games anymore.

When their family moves suburbs, Laura discovers an old abandoned house on her street. It seems like the perfect hideout, but something – or rather someone – is already hiding inside.

Laura meets Jacob, a runaway teen in a lot of trouble. Who is Jacob and what is he hiding from … Will Laura get herself into trouble if she gets involved?

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness

The monster in Conor’s backyard is not the one he’s been expecting — the one from the nightmare he’s had every night since his mother started her treatments.

This monster is ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor.

Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.

From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd — whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself — Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

The Survival Guide to Bullying

The Survival Guide to Bullying

The Survival Guide to Bullying, by Aija Mayrock

The Survival Guide to Bullying covers everything from cyber bullying to how to deal with fear and how to create the life you dream of having.

From inspiring “roems” (rap poems), survival tips, personal stories, and quick quizzes, this book will light the way to a brighter future.

This updated edition also features new, never-before-seen content including a chapter about how to talk to parents, an epilogue, and an exclusive Q&A with the author.

Underwater

Underwater

Underwater, by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Bailey has a lot of secrets, and a lot of scars, both of which she’d like to keep hidden. Unfortunately, Pine Hills Resort isn’t the kind of place where anyone can keep anything hidden for long.

When Bailey arrives, she just wants to get through summer quietly, spending as much time in the water as she can.

Then she meets Adam.

Bailey’s not looking to make friends, but Adam isn’t easy to ignore. Neither is his ex-girlfriend, Clare.

Adult Bullying

Adult Bullying

Adult Bullying, by Peter Randall

The frequency and severity of personal harrassment is a problem that is only just beginning to be uncovered. In Adult Bullying, psychologist Peter Randall uses the voices of both bullies and victims to reveal the misery that many adults endure.

He describes the processes that turn child bullies into adult bullies, often aware of their behaviour but unable to stop it. The workplace and the neighbourhood replace the playground, but the tactics and patterns of reward remain the same.

The adult victim has little or no more power than the child counterpart, often changing jobs to escape the attentions of the bully. Similarly, managers like teachers, often fail to tackle the complaints of the victim with the seriousness the problem deserves, preferring to believe that the fuss is unwarranted.

Nobody!

Nobody!

Nobody! by Erin Frankel

Thomas feels like no matter what he does, he can’t escape Kyle’s persistent bullying. At school, at soccer—nowhere feels safe!

“Mom said Kyle would grow over the summer and stop picking on me, but he didn’t grow up, he just grew.”

With support from friends, classmates, and adults, Thomas starts to feel more confident in himself and his hobbies, while Kyle learns the importance of kindness to others. 

Joshua’s Island

Joshua's Island

Joshua’s Island, by Patrick Hodges

Joshua is small for his age. Bullied relentlessly for years, all his friends have drifted away from him. Eve is a pretty girl who has just entered the popular clique. The two could not be more different.

As they begin their final year of middle school, the unlikely pair find themselves partners in Science class. At first reluctant to work with him, Eve soon discovers hidden truths about not only Joshua but their school, and her world turns upside-down.

The two form a relationship that will teach them both the true meaning of friendship, loyalty, and love… a relationship that will end up changing not only their lives, but the complexion of their entire school.

Out of my Mind

Out of my Mind

Out of my Mind, by Sharon M. Draper

Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people.

She can’t walk. She can’t talk. She can’t write.

All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced.

She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it. Most people—her teachers, her doctors, her classmates—dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can’t tell them otherwise.

But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

To Be Honest

To Be Honest

To Be Honest, by S.M. James

Angus Reid is pretty sure he’s being catfished.

After spending the last half of junior year talking online to the guy of his dreams, Angus wants to meet. In person. So when Scotty brushes it off with excuses of not being ready, red flags go up.

Determined to either catch Scotty out, or take a shot at real love, Angus embarks on a summer road trip with his adorkable roommate, Tyler. But as summer stretches on, and mixed messages fly between them, Angus finds his heart torn.

His potential catfisher?

Or his straight best friend?

And while their road trip takes them across the country, Angus is headed for one destination.

Either a happily ever after … or a broken heart.

White Knights

White Knights

White Knights, by Julie Moffett

My name is Angel Sinclair. I’m the youngest senior at Excalibur Academy for the Technologically Gifted and Talented in Washington, DC. I was pushed ahead a year because of my high IQ and considerable prowess behind the keyboard, making me an outcast even among my own peers.

I’ve been looking for my dad all my life. A brilliant mathematician and cryptographer, he disappeared under mysterious circumstances when I was eighteen months old. Although my mom tells me I must put him in my past, it only makes me more determined to find out what happened to him. When weird accidents start happening at my school and the vice principal is involved in a deadly incident, I don’t see it as a coincidence.

After launching my own investigation, with the aid of an unexpected set of allies calling themselves the White Knights, I discover a threat far greater than I ever could have imagined. I could take my discoveries to the authorities, but my own investigative methods would be at risk.

Can anyone say hacking? No, it’s up to me to set things right. My goals are straightforward: clear the name of the vice principal, learn the truth about my father, and stay alive. In other words, save the day and don’t look too much like a dork while doing it.

Freak the Mighty

Freak the Mighty

Freak the Mighty, by Rodman Philbrick

It has been over twenty years — and more than two million copies, eight foreign editions, and a popular Miramax feature film — since the world was introduced to this powerful story of a unique friendship between a troubled, oversized boy and the tiny, physically challenged genius who proves that courage comes in all sizes.

This simple yet timeless story explores many themes, including bullying — an important topic in today’s schools. Freak the Mighty is sure to remain fresh, dramatic, and memorable for the next twenty years and beyond!

Adult Bullies

Adult Bullies

Adult Bullies, by Alex Gadd

Bullying is a major problem which affects just about all schools across the country, right?

Unfortunately not for just as there are playground bullies, there are also adult bullies, who now occupy the workplace, social hangouts, family events; just about any place where adults come together. And like their childhood counterparts, these bullies tend to have various targets which they perceive to be weaker, a threat, etc and as such, take their issues out on them. Though it is true that most adult bullies don’t try and steal your lunch money off you, they can be just as conniving, verbally (and sometimes physically) aggressive as they were when they were children.

So if you are an adult and being bullied by a co-worker, family member, boss, etc, than take comfort that you are not the only adult who is experiencing this.
Unfortunately most adults still get bullied from time to time, though due to the lack of research on bullying amongst adults, (most of the research it is aimed at children) you may not even be aware that you are bullied.

Blubber

Blubber

Blubber, by Judy Blume

“Blubber is a good name for her,” the note from Caroline said about Linda. Jill crumpled it up and left it on the corner of her school desk. She didn’t want to think about Linda or her dumb report on whales just then. Jill wanted to think about Halloween.

But Robby grabbed the note and before Linda stopped talking it had gone halfway around the room. There was something about Linda that made a lot of kids in her fifth-grade class want to see how far they could go…but nobody, Jill least of all, expected the fun to end where it did.

Tell me what you think!

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Featured Book(s)

He Was Walking Alone

He Was Walking Alone

(Book #4) Richard Harding was walking alone when he was struck by a vehicle and died. A tragic accident that was no one’s fault.

But if that was so, then why was his girlfriend so sure that it was intentional homicide? Zachary Goldman is on the case. With Christmas approaching, he is as determined to distract himself from his own troubles as he is to ferret out the truth of Harding’s death. 


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