Zest Books/Orange Avenue Publishing
128 pages. $12.95.
In a “let’s work together” spirit, this paperback delivers digestible and thought-provoking advice on how to stop “mean girls” bullying. Author Bonnie Burton, who dispenses tips for girls at http://grrrl.com, has a warm, inclusive style: “You have probably been a victim – and a perpetrator. We all have.”
After opening with theories on “why we hurt each other,” Burton analyzes common methods of girl-on-girl cruelty: the silent treatment, gossip, boyfriend-stealing, verbal abuse, cyber abuse, and dumping. Coping strategies range from calm confrontations to forgiveness.
Other chapters cover how to get help from adults and ways to stop the cycle of cruelty. The book closes with suggestions for working together to promote girls’ unity, including an inspired explanation of feminism for this resistant generation. Along with lively graphics and photo collages, the pages are enhanced with quotes from advice columnists and female performers such as the Go-Gos’ founding member Jane Wiedlin.
With its brevity, support, and accessible advice and resources, this book could make a difference to the 160,000 students who miss school each day out of fear of being bullied – if adults make sure it reaches girls’ hands. (415) 777-8654, http://www.zestbooks.net.