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Quotable RA: Stop Bullying. Period.

I am sure I don’t need to recount the news of the week, we all know.  Another young man entered his school with a gun and shot some of his classmates.  Once again we hear cries that bullying has led to violence.  Also in the news, Lady Gaga started a foundation and challenged teens everywhere to stand up to bullies.  The Born This Way Foundation has a great slogan: Empowering Youth, Inspiring Bravery.  Whatever one may think of Lady Gaga, her style or her music, it seems hard to argue with her mission of empowering youth and trying to save lives.  She is not alone in her mission, every day there are writers writing stories about bullying to send the message: Bullying must end. Period. It has consequences. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but the childhood rhyme is wrong – names do hurt.  Long after bruises fade the pain of bullying lingers.

I like to collect quotes; as I read, I keep a journal by my side where I write down the parts of a book that speak to me.  Here I present to you 6 powerful works about bullying by letting the book speak for itself.

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

“…racist thought and action says far more about the person they come from than the person they are directed at.”

“I walk outside and scream at the top of my lungs, and it maybe travels two blocks. A whale unleashes his cry, and it travels hundreds or even thousands of miles. Every whale in the ocean will at one time or another run into that song. And I figure whales probably don’t edit. If they think it, they say it…Whale talk is the truth, and in a very short period of time, if you’re a whale, you know exactly what it is to be you.”

“Nothing exists without its opposite.”

“…the Magnificent Seven consisted of one swimmer of color, a representative from each extreme of the educational spectrum, a muscle man, a giant, a chameleon, and a one-legged psychopath. When I envision us walking seven abreast through the halls of Cutter High, decked out in the sacred blue and gold, my heart swells.”

The Misfits by James Howe

“Another thing I think about names is that they DO hurt. They hurt because we believe them. We think they are telling us something true about ourselves, something other people can see even if we don’t. —Bobby Goodspeed”

“Sticks and stones may break our bones, but names will break our spirit. —Bobby Goodspeed”

“This business of really knowing people, deep down, including your own self, it is not something you can learn in school or from a book. It takes your whole being to do it—your eyes and your ears, your brain and your heart. Maybe your heart most of all. —Bobby Goodspeed”

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

“If your heart tells you something but your mind tells you something else, which do you believe? Both are just as apt to lie. In fact, they play at deceit all the time. Mostly they balance each other, giving us that crucial reality check. But what happens on the rare occasions when they conspire together?”

“What’s the point of living if you’re going to hate the world? Guard your heart if you have to, but don’t shut it away.”

“You think you want to know the secrets of the universe. You think you want to see the way things all fit together. You believe in your heart of hearts that enlightenment will save the world and set you free.
Maybe it will.
But the path to enlightenment is rarely a pleasant one.”

By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

“No one ever found out what was happening inside me. How the pain was eating me away. No one ever came to my rescue, or stood up for me.”

“I’ve never been afraid of the dark. I’m more afraid of the day, of people. I love the night. The solitude. Well, I don’t love it. I don’t feel love. I hate people, so I hope when I get there it isn’t crowded. I hope the light is a momentary phenomenon and the other side is completely black. And silent.”

“Everything seems to be working.” Except me. I’m broken.”

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

“Life isn’t fair. A fair’s a place where you eat corn dogs and ride the ferris wheel.”   

“One’s my favorite number. The word won being the past tense of win, and we can all say at the end of the day that we won once again, can’t we? Some days making it to the end of the day is quite a victory.”

“At Garvin High we were dealt a hard dose of reality this year. People hate. That’s our reality. People hate and are hated and carry grudges and want punishments … I don’t know if it’s possible to take hate away from people. Not even people like us, who’ve seen firsthand what hate can do. We’re all hurting. We’re all going to be hurting for a long time. And we, probably more than anyone else out there, will be searching for a new reality every day. A better one … But in order to change reality you have to be willing to listen and to learn. And to hear. To actually hear.”

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”

“But you can’t get away from yourself. You can’t decide not to see yourself anymore. You can’t decide to turn off the noise in your head.”

“In the end….everything matters.”

“No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”

Previous Posts: Join the Fight Against Bullying ; A Letter to Teens About Bullying

Reading the Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies are invading again. They’re everywhere. On the streets. In your house. On the TV…and in your bookshelf. These brain-munchers have made an amazing comeback as they moan and shuffle their way to the top of young adult novel enthusiasts’ lists. Now it seems that you don’t have to be even interested in zombies before you read one. They’re that good. Infinitely infectious like the disease that lingers in their bite. They’ll drag you into their stories as villains, protagonists, and even as love interests as you scream for mercy…or more. Are you willing to risk getting bitten in exchange for a good story? I know I am.
So, to satisfy all you zombie enthusiasts, you apocalyptic survivors, and even you who’re searching for a good human limb to curb your munchies, I’ve procured a list of what I consider the top ten zombie list for YA novels.

1. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Here we are people. Perhaps the greatest manifestation of the infestation. Rot & Ruin. It’s most certainly a must read. The undead. Zombie killers. A teenage-point-of-view post-apocalyptic life? What more could you ask for? Other than, you know…a sequel.

2. Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry

Well there you have it. I’ve granted your wish. Well no…not me. Though I wish I’d thought of the idea first, Jonathan Maberry, the king of the shuffling hordes, has done it again. Another magnificent tale of teens in life after the zombie apocalypse. Behold the thrilling sequel to Rot & Ruin.

3. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

In my opinion, not many come close the greatness that is Jonathan Maberry and his Rot & Ruin series. But this devoted brain-muncher has come pretty darn close. The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a book unlike any other I have ever read. Taking on the same idea of teenage life after the apocalypse, author Carrie Ryan spins a tale of romance among chaos and fear, and of course, the living dead. I give it five moans on the zomb-o-meter.

4. The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Carrie tells a tale as good as the first in her second book in The Forest of Hands and Teeth series. Again love and survival must reign over the threat of the dreaded “Unconcecrated” or “Mudo” as some call them. Love. Secrets. Zombies. Could you ask for much more in a good zom-book?

5. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Are you getting tired of seeing Carrie’s name up here? I’m not. In fact, I wish there was more, but sadly The Dark and Hollow Places is Carrie Ryan’s last installment of The Forest of Hands and Teeth series. Another love story, this book completes the three. It answers questions and provokes new ones. Are the Mudo really the worst monster the world has ever seen…or is it man?

6. World War Z by Max Brooks

Now I know that this technically is not considered a YA novel, but I still think every devoted zombie geek should read it. I certainly enjoyed it. This book goes over in detail just how a real zombie apocalypse might happen. It’s chillingly realistic and believable, and will leave you boarding up your doors and windows.

7. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

Again, not a young adult book, but I still think this must be in the undead reader’s “must read” list. Max Brooks takes us into a world of possibilities. And how chillingly real those possibilities seem. This informative guide gives the huddled groups of dwindling mankind detailed instructions on how to prepare and react to the zombie masses shuffling outside their doors. This should be the first thing you pack in your ZAEB (Zombie Apocalypse Emergency Bag). Okay, that’s not real. But considering this book is certainly a good idea if you intend to fight or flight as the undead beat down your doors.

8. The Enemy by Charlie Higson

Now here’s a popular notion expressed in nearly every teen’s life at some point. Adults are zombies. In this post-apocalyptic world, anyone sixteen and older become ravenous, decaying monsters who run through the streets of London looking for children to eat. Another gripping story about teens who struggle to survive the impossible, this unique book delivers.

9. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Can a zombie love? Apparently so in Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies. A touching story of a boy zombie who eats another boy’s brain and falls in love with the boy’s girlfriend. Isn’t that sweet? Hey, if that isn’t zombie love, then what is?

10. Zombies Vs. Unicorns edited by Molly Black and Justine Larbalestier

It’s a battle of the giants. War of the greats. Zombie? Or Unicorn? Which is better? This amazing anthology, the two sides are recognized by many bestselling teen authors, such as Cassandra Clare, Scott Westerfield, Meg Cabot, and many others. Which team are you? Team Zombie? Or Team Unicorn?

by Cuyler Creech, TLT Teen Reviewer