You Can't Sit With Us

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Kylie pinched the side of my hand. She might as well have just shouted, “You can’t hang out with them anywhere, so don’t even think about it.”
Now I had to figure out how to avoid the Tribelet for the rest of the day. As I made my way to my seat, I realized that was going to be hard because, in one lunch period, I’d gone so far backward that I didn’t even know which way I was facing.

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 11-15
Subjects: Bullying, Family Relationships, Friendship, Death of loved one, Truth
Summary:  For one week Ginger’s life changed for the better. For one week she was free from the fear of bullying that had consumed her life. But it didn’t last long. Kylie and the pack just learned how to be sneakier about the bullying so that teachers couldn’t catch them. And now Ginger isn’t necessarily the only target. It’s almost an attack on her family. Because Ginger spilled some information about her mom that the mean girls fully intend to use against her. The threat is simple: stop hanging out with Tori and your other friends and we won’t spread lies about your mom all over school. In fear Ginger agrees and starts avoiding her friends. It makes no difference though. The pack wants to ruin her life as much as possible. So now that she’s alone, she’s more attacked than ever. Social Media is one of the ways used to get around the teachers and spread the lies. Ginger knows that she has to keep it all a secret for the sake of her dad. But how? The bullying is getting worse all the time.
Notes: The second in the Mean Means Makeover Trilogy, You Can’t Sit With Us gives the perspective of the victim. The first book looked at the situation from the perspective of the bystander and the third book will be from the perspective of the bully. This story picks up right where the other one left off. Kylie and her friends had gotten caught and punished for their bullying and the school created an anti-bullying code. But Kylie and her friends are smart enough to find ways to sort of go underground with the bullying. The most effective thing they do is alienate Ginger so that she no longer tells her friends or teachers or Dad or mentor what is going on. The beauty of this book comes when Lydia, the sort of mentor or counselor type figure in the series, starts bringing God into the discussion with Ginger. Ginger heard a sermon years ago that placed God as a bully sending hard or hurtful things into our lives just to strengthen us. Believing that God wants to hurt her, she has rejected Him. Lydia guides Ginger to the truth and shows her how everything in the code comes straight from the Scripture itself. The author also places another character in the story whose faith, in small ways, encourages Ginger. The focus of this book really is on standing up for your right to be yourself. Ginger is actually a brilliant and beautiful young girl, but as she writes in her journal, that’s one of the things “nobody knows about me”. A wise teacher at school assigns her and another victim of bullying a project that allows them to express themselves and think through their real-life problems in an allegorical story they write. I highly recommend this book to all young girls.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

Ephesians 3:14-19 – For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  - 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

Reviews of #1 and 3:
Thank you to Nancy Rue for sending me a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. It was wonderful!


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