I was initially planning on posting a review today, but (surprise, surprise) I still haven’t finished the book I was hoping to review. 😳 So, instead – and since I’m still in the middle of the Anti-Bullying Readathon, and have therefore been thinking about bullying a lot – I thought I’d bring you another thematic recs list! 🙂 The bullying in all these books is pretty prominent, if not the main focus of the story, but I’ve tried to pick out books that will (I hope) appeal to a variety of different people – and, of course, they’re also some of my favourite books on this topic!
1) I’m the King of the Castle by Susan Hill. A chilling story that I first read as a set text in school. I’m the King of the Castle follows a young boy called Hooper, who lives alone with his distant father in a cold, remote house – until his father hires a new housekeeper, who brings her her son, Kingshaw. Resenting Kingshaw’s presence in his home, Hooper proceeds to bully him mercilessly, and the main focus of the story is on the relationship between the two boys.
2) Jane, the Fox & Me by Fanny Britt & Isabelle Arsenault. The story of a girl called Hélène, who is bullied by her former friends because of her weight – and consequently spends her days escaping into books (Jane Eyre specifically). A beautifully drawn and written graphic novel, with an incredibly touching story.
3) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Another story about being ostracised by people that the main character once called friends. Starting a new year at school, Melinda finds that all her friends are ignoring her, angry that she called the police on a party over the summer. With no one to speak to, she withdraws into her own mind, but that makes it difficult for her to hide from a memory that she’d rather forget – the real reason why she busted that party. Heart-wrenching and incredibly powerful; I’d recommend this book to pretty much anyone.
4) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. This book is about Hannah, a teenage girl who committed suicide not long before the story begins – before she died, however, she recorded a series of tapes, and posted them out to the people who she held responsible for her death. The story is half-told by Hannah herself, in the form of her tapes, while the other half of the story is told from the perspective of a boy called Clay, who is one of the people who receives them… A unique and fascinating story about how seemingly-small things can have a huge effect on people’s lives.
5) Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Last but by no means least, one of my favourite books of all time! Eleanor & Park follows two teenagers meeting and falling in love for the first time, and both having to deal with varying degrees of mockery because of that. Eleanor, in particular, faces a lot of bullying – from her awful stepfather, to people at school who make fun of her for her weight. Rowell’s writing is brilliant, and her characters, as always, are spot-on. Highly, highly recommended.