Parents & Teachers: Book Review,
"The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander"
Written by: Barbara Coloroso
Review By: Katie Ransohoff,
high school student writer
The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander, by Barbara Coloroso, features advice and tips that can be utilized immediately to deal with bullying at home or school. This book is best for teachers and parents, but it might be helpful for an adult to share some of the information with kids, like the tips about how to handle a bully or what constitutes bullying. Since a 2001 Kaiser Family Foundation survey showed that three out of four preteens saw bullying daily, kids might find the advice particularly handy.
Coloroso makes an important distinction between the bully, the bullied, and the bystander and the mixed feelings of innocence, responsibility, and guilt that those people may feel. Another important insight is Coloroso's analysis of why kids don't tell adults about problems with bullies, and the difference between telling and tattling.
Two additional sections of this book make it stand out from other books on the same topic: the section on bystanders and the section on friendship. The bystanders are often overlooked in bully situations because they're not necessarily "responsible" for the problem, but Coloroso defines different types of bystanders, such as those who help the bully or those who want to help but are afraid. No bystander is innocent, so teachers and parents need to talk to kids about what to do in this situation.
The small section on friends is also important. There is lots of focus on the negatives in elementary and middle school, so friendships are often overlooked. When adults only hear about bullying, they forget what's really important: good relationships. Kids need to know what makes a good friend and how to be a good friend in return.
Overall, this is a practical book with useful advice and tips. The innovative approach to discuss all aspects that make bullying possible works well. I would rate this book 4 out of 4 – with 4 being the best. This is a useful book for parents, teachers, and kids to learn from and use to make classrooms, playgrounds, buses, sleepovers, and other environments safer and healthier.
Reviewed by: Adolescent Interest Group
Last reviewed: August 2013