3 out of 4 stars
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Bully Proofing You by Jeanie Cisco-Meth is a motivational non-fiction book. Whether you’ve ever been bullied, have met someone who has been bullied, or have just read the news, you know how dire consequences bullying can have on the victims. It can affect them greatly. In fact, not very long ago a student at an American school took her own life because she was constantly bullied on social media and couldn’t take it anymore. Many are scarred forever. They end up retreating into their shells, without ever living up to their full potential because their self-confidence, their self-worth is forever destroyed.
I picked up this book because I have friends on Facebook who have mentioned more than once that their kids are being constantly bullied at school. I wanted to know if there is anything I could do to help them. And maybe now there is. But not in the way you would think.
Most books on bullying are focusing on the bully. As a victim, you learn to speak up to the relevant authorities. You learn to report them and then try to piece your life back together after the ordeal. With Bully Proofing You, you learn to gain self-confidence, to become more caring and sympathetic to others (even to bullies), and to rise above the hurting words. Bullying always starts with words. And they can only hurt if you allow them to.
I admit, the author’s approach somewhat surprised me. The book touches on much more than just the topic of bullying. If you read it, put the exercises into practice and take your time with them, you will become a changed person. A strong person, one that bullying will have no effect on at all. But it won’t happen right away. It is a life-long process. However, I also admit that change is hard and not everyone can change equally. You read a book, nod in the right places, promise to follow through with an act of kindness, then put the book away and life goes on as usual. That’s why most motivational books don’t really have more than a transient effect.
You can easily see that Jeanie Cisco-Meth has life-long experiences that she loves to share with others. Her book is very uplifting and passionate. You feel her very energy seeping through the pages and know that the author’s heart is in the right place. The stories in the book illustrate the author’s points and make for inspirational reading as well.
There are a few issues that I want to mention, however. Based on the official StopBullying website, most bullying happens in middle school. The NLP exercise listed towards the end of the book is one that children and teens can practice with a friend, which makes sense. Yet, the book itself is written for adults. The life lessons are for adults. I cannot see a bullied 16-year-old teen reading this book and applying the lessons within. This is not the type of non-fiction book such a young person would ever read.
In addition, the book doesn’t seem to be properly edited. There are several grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors throughout the text. Periods are missing at the end of at least three sentences; then we have mistakes such as: “you see my friends perspective” (instead of “friend’s perspective”). Finally, the following paragraph made me question my reality: “There was a time when everyone thought the earth rotated around the sun. Then Copernicus found out differently through study and observation.”
Due to the many editorial problems, I have to give Bully Proofing You 3 out of 4 stars. Overall, I recommend it to those who love motivational books. I wouldn’t be surprised if, after reading it, you decided that you’d be kinder to people from now on; more understanding; more Christian, as it were. But if you are looking for a book to teach you how to deal with bullies NOW, you might have to look somewhere else.
Bully Proofing You
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