So NOT Okay

Friday, May 23, 2014

“Yeah, you’re a gang. Mitch the Witch, Winnie the Ninny, Gingerbread, and Victoria my pet.”
“You’re breaking everybody’s heart by even showing up at school. You reek like moldy gingerbread.”
“Anybody who likes Gingerbread has to be blind. Or stupid.”
“I think there’s something wrong with you.”
 “I told you – you’re dead.”
“Scientists and psychologists don’t know anything about what goes in a middle school. If they did, they wouldn’t call what we do bullying.”

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 11-15
Subjects: Bullying, Friendship
Summary: The Wolf Pack rules the school. Everyone knows it and just accepts it. As long as you lay low and blend in to the surroundings they won’t bother you too much. Sure they’re make fun of you sometimes, but nothing too severe, nothing overly prolonged. No one told Ginger that secret to survival though. So she makes an effort to befriend the girls when she starts school at Gold Country Middle School. Of course that only makes it worse and soon there’s an actual hate club with lists about why everyone should hate Ginger. Smashed together for a research project in Science, Tori, Ophelia, Mitch, Winnie and Ginger are faced with a question: Why does bullying occur and what (if anything) can be done to stop it? The question goes far beyond a homework assignment. They need to find answers – for the sake of their very survival!
Notes: So NOT Okay, the first in the Mean Girls Makeover trilogy, Nancy Rue addresses the issue of bullying from the perspective of the bystander. The next two books address it from the issue of the bullied and the bully. In this first book, the bullying situation is set up and the bystanders become the bullied as they support the one who was the primary target for the bullies. A sort of mentor tells the girls that “You can’t stay neutral and expect this to just go away. If you do nothing you’re partly responsible for the consequences.”
The spiritual elements are surprisingly less in this story than in others from this author. The mentor is portrayed as a Christian and makes a comment about prayer a couple of times and at the end of the story tells Tori that all the methods they developed for dealing with the bullies came straight from the Bible. The author has said that the story is building up towards a stronger spiritual emphasis.
This book is part of an entire anti-bullying movement that the author is leading. Please visit the websites below for more information and to join the movement.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 2/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Esther 4:14 – For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
2 Timothy 4:2 – Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.  - the author's main website with links to a number of resources - the page for girls 3rd-8th grade who have been bullied or want to join the anti-bullying movement - the parent/adult page for those wanting to join the anti-bullying movement
Review of # 2 and 3:


Nancy Rue said...

Jamie, thank you so much for this honest review. And yes, you can count on the spiritual message being more overt in the second two books in the trilogy. This one echoes Francis of Assisi: "Preach the gospel always. Use words if necessary." I appreciate you! Nancy Rue

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