Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Shelf Life [kids]

Cyber Bullying by Nick Hunter, 56 pages.

@ SPL:  J 302.3 Hun

At one time, bullying would usually end in the safety of the home, away from school and the neighbourhood.  Unfortunately, with cyber bullying, the torment can continue at home, day and night. It may seem as it there’s no escape from it. And because cyber bullying is much easier to do than “regular” bullying, and because a cyber bully can be anonymous, it is happening more and more.

What exactly is “cyber bullying”?  It’s using the Internet or a mobile device to harass, embarrass, intimidate or harm someone, violating their privacy and sometimes even making threats.  It can be as devastating as physical abuse – and in some cases, more so.

Kids and teens who don’t know where to turn for help can feel completely helpless and desperate, while parents may not even know that it’s a problem.

Doing nothing is not the solution. While Cyber Bullying, doesn’t presume to have all the answers, it provides useful advice on how victims can cope, how they can end the cyber bullying and how it might be prevented in the first place.  The book includes interviews with real-life former victims of cyber bullying and addresses how kids might help a friend who is being cyber bullied. Further resources of information are listed at the end. 

Kids who are being cyber bullied must speak out. Although it may not be easy and it may be embarrassing, it’s vitally important for them to let someone know.  It’s also important for kids who know of others being victimized in this way to speak out.

** Recommended for ages 10 to 15 years of age.

Cyberstalking & Cyber Bullying by Samuel McQuade, Sarah Gentry and Nathan Fisk, 144 pages.

@ SPL: J 302.3 McQu

What motivates cyber bullies, how cyber bullying and cyberstalking are carried out, the painful impacts of cyber bullying and cyberstalking - and most importantly, how teens and others can take precautions and fight online bullying and stalking - are all addressed in Cyberstalking & Cyber Bullying. 

Online abuse is a serious and growing social problem which can cause untold anguish for victims. Unfortunately, it is also quite easy to do because unprecedented opportunities for this type of bullying exist through social media and the Internet.  Solutions aren’t easy to find, but one course of action is to be as knowledgeable as possible about online abuse, knowing the precautions to take in the first place. 

The authors of this book share their expertise in the areas of information technology, Internet safety, and criminal justice and security.  They, along with Nick Hunter (author of the first reviewed book, Cyber Bullying) stress that it’s vitally important for victims of online abuse to tell their parents or teachers.  Adults can help by creating a “culture of communication”, in which kids and teens feel that they will be listened to with respect and consideration.

How wide-spread is online abuse?  Sadly, surveys have shown that up to 42% of young people have been cyber bullied at least once.

** Recommended for ages 10 to 16 years of age.

NOTE:  Parents may be interested in visiting  for an online publication, “A Parent Guide for Addressing Bullying in Publicly Funded Schools in Ontario”.  It has just been launched by the York Region Anti-Bullying Coalition and is available on the London Anti-Bullying Coalition’s website.

This review appears in The Stratford Gazette on May 2, 2013. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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