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Save the Lemmings! Identifying the Bullies
Dictionary.com defines bully as: a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people. However, I think we know that it isn’t always that simple.
In my middle grade novel, Save the Lemmings, the main character, Natalie, is an incurable priss, which makes her anything but popular. As a matter of fact her goody-goody personality draws the attention of the class bully, Trudy. Trudy picks on Natalie any chance she gets. However, Natalie doesn’t let Trudy’s taunts and tricks bother her.
Want to read a bit of this new book? Well, here you go.
“Imagine that.” Trudy deadpanned to her buddies, Eric, Isis and Flame, as she watched Natalie walk toward them. “They actually make two pieces of clothing in that horrible pink.”
“Ooohhh, Trudy.” Natalie sighed. “Making fun of me doesn’t make you better than me. It actually makes you…well…mean.”
Trudy burst into laughter and dramatically clutched at her heart with both hands. The spikes on her bracelet glinted in the light. “Natalie, you’ve hurt my feelings.”
“I hate to be harsh. Plant a kind word and it will grow into a sentence.”
Trudy laughed so hard she stumbled into Eric who was also bent in hysterics. Together they crashed against the lockers. Trudy gasped. “God, Natalie, you are such a dork!”
Natalie knit her brow and clutched her books to her chest. “Well, you’re…rude!”
So what do you do when the bully is in your face? Here’s what Kai has found and shared today.
According to an article posted on She Knows Parenting, the top tips for dealing with a bully is:
- Ignore the bully. Don’t even respond.
- Walk away/remove yourself from the encounter.
- If you must respond, respond without emotion. The bully wants to see you respond emotionally; don’t give the bully the satisfaction of knowing they have succeeded.
That last bit of advice can be especially hard, but bullies will turn to new victims if they fail to get a rise out of you.
A bully isn’t always the biggest kid in your grade. A bully isn’t even always a kid at all. Sometimes a bully is an adult, or in this case, the media. Yet when the media starts to bully Natalie by printing lies and stretching truths about her, she definitely feels the pressure. By sending her running for cover at school or trapping her inside her house, the media gets the emotional response they want that fuels the affects of their erroneous stories.
What should a child do if he is being bullied by an adult or a group? The same thing he would do if the bully is another child. Find a trusted and responsible adult to tell. Avoid being alone with the bully. If they end up face to face, then do what is suggested above.
Natalie does eventually figure out how to deal with the media and even learns to appreciate Trudy. Her strength should be inspiring to any child currently dealing with a bully in their life.
About the Book: SAVE THE LEMMINGS! 8th grade inventor, Natalie Isabelle Cailean Edwards is the N.I.C.E. girl who finishes last with the kids in school. Sappy inspirational phrases and monochromatic outfits have all but her best friends wrinkling their nose at her. When Natalie’s invention, the Texty-Talky, goes nationwide, she becomes an overnight sensation. Suddenly her days consist of photo shoots and interviews with little time left for her friends. A local reporter shatters her good-girl image by reporting a graffiti incident and the media launches into a smear campaign. It is so bad, even her friends start to believe the stories. Will Natalie be able to overcome the lies being printed about her? Pick up your copy of Save the Lemmings here.
About the author: Kai Strand writes fiction for middle grade and young adult readers. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. The Wishing Well: Another Weaver Tale is set in the same storytelling village as The Weaver. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, “Do your dishes!” She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.
To find out more about Kai’s books, download companion documents, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her WEBSITE: HYPERLINK “http://www.kaistrand.com” www.kaistrand.com. She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to send her an email or visit her facebook page, Kai Strand, Author.
Review: So glad Kai could be here today. She provided me with a copy of book, so I could review it. I was happy to do that. Here’s my take on Save The Lemmings.
Natalie’s the brainy girl who is so sweet and so corny, she’s the target for practical jokes. Her classmates even conspire to get her into trouble, which they do. When Natalie’s caught painting a mural, she’s charged with defacing school property. She’d been told the mural was an authorized project.
Still she takes her punishment and continues to be the Pollyanna at school while completing an invention called the Texty-Talkie. The invention becomes a huge success and catapults Natalie into the limelight. All is wonderful, until the limelight turns ugly. She’s even accused of being affiliated with a subversive group called The Lemmings. It’s all a mistake because the only thing Natalie has in her mind while she circulates her petition to Save the Lemmings is stopping the mass suicide of those “cute” rodents.
Close to losing her friends and being shunned by the community, Natalie makes a drastic change in her lifestyle. She’s no longer the happy, upbeat girl in pastels. Now she’s a sad-faced girl in black. Then she turns from the defensive to the offensive so the world will know who she really is and not believe the false stories that are in the news.
Save the Lemmings is a sweet story for young readers. It shows friendships that don’t always run smoothly and touches on jealousies that are so common, even among good friends. I liked the simple, straightforward characterization of Natalie and how she took charge of an out of control situation to bring her life back to normal. I also liked the theme of fame and how it can bring positive and negative changes into your life.