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Extended Audio Sample Sticks and Stones Audiobook, by Emily Bazelon Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (278 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Emily Bazelon Narrator: Rebecca Lowman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2013 ISBN: 9780385362801
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Being a teenager has never been easy, but in recent years, with the rise of the Internet and social media, it has become exponentially more challenging. Bullying, once thought of as the province of queen bees and goons, has taken on new, complex, and insidious forms, as parents and educators know all too well.

No writer is better poised to explore this territory than Emily Bazelon, who has established herself as a leading voice on the social and legal aspects of teenage drama. In Sticks and Stones, she brings readers on a deeply researched, clear-eyed journey into the ever-shifting landscape of teenage meanness and its sometimes devastating consequences. The result is an indispensable book that takes us from school cafeterias to courtrooms to the offices of Facebook, the website where so much teenage life, good and bad, now unfolds.

Along the way, Bazelon defines what bullying is and, just as important, what it is not. She explores when intervention is essential and when kids should be given the freedom to fend for themselves. She also dispels persistent myths: that girls bully more than boys, that online and in-person bullying are entirely distinct, that bullying is a common cause of suicide, and that harsh criminal penalties are an effective deterrent. Above all, she believes that to deal with the problem, we must first understand it.

Blending keen journalistic and narrative skills, Bazelon explores different facets of bullying through the stories of three young people who found themselves caught in the thick of it. Thirteen year old Monique endured months of harassment and exclusion before her mother finally pulled her out of school. Jacob was threatened and physically attacked over his sexuality in eighth grade, and then sued to protect himself and change the culture of his school. Flannery was one of six teens who faced criminal charges after a fellow student’s suicide was blamed on bullying and made international headlines. With grace and authority, Bazelon chronicles how these kids’ predicaments escalated, to no one’s benefit, into community-wide wars. Cutting through the noise, misinformation, and sensationalism, she takes us into schools that have succeeded in reducing bullying and examines their successful strategies. The result is a groundbreaking book that will help parents, educators, and teens themselves better understand what kids are going through today and what can be done to help them through it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Beautifully written and tenaciously reported, Sticks and Stones is a serious, important book that reads like a page-turner. Emily Bazelon is a gifted writer, and this powerful work is sure to place childhood bullying at the heart of the national conversation—right where it belongs.”

    Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Quiet

  • “These are not simple or satisfying stories, but Ms. Bazelon tells them with cleareyed compassion—even for the bullies…This authoritative and important book should not only be read by educators and parents alike, but should also be taught in law schools and journalism schools.”

    New York Times

  • “Intelligent, rigorous…Bazelon is a compassionate champion for justice in the domain of childhood’s essential unfairness.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Comprehensive in her reporting and balanced in her conclusions, Bazelon extracts from these stories useful lessons for young people, parents, and principals alike.”

    Washington Post

  • “An important, provocative book about what we can—and can’t—do about the problem.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A humane and closely reported exploration of the way that hurtful power relationships play out in the contemporary public-school setting…As a parent herself, Emily Bazelon brings clear, kind analysis to complex and upsetting circumstances.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “In Sticks and Stones…journalist and editor Emily Bazelon brings a sure hand and investigative heft to her exploration of bullying, which, in the era of social media, includes both digital and old-fashioned physical cruelty.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Using case studies and interviews, [Bazelon] tackles root problems and real-world solutions, demolishing along the way several common misperceptions and simplistic solutions.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “Masterfully written, Bazelon’s book will increase understanding, awareness, and action.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A nuanced approach…Bazelon surveys promising new approaches to dealing with bullying.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 2/3/2014

    " Having heard the author being interviewed on NPR, I thought the book would be interesting but I was not prepared for how engaging and thought provoking it actually is. The author concentrates on three main case studies to illustrate how we have treated bullying and how we could do it better. I found the Phoebe Prince example particularly poignant because of the amount of media coverage it generated and how we, the consumers of the media, could be so manipulated. At the end of the day, the author's point is that we shouldn't treat every case automatically as bullying nor should we blame the actions of the Columbine shooters or the Virginia Tech shooter on bullying (mental health was clearly the issue here) but we should use our common sense as parents, educators and human beings to determine what is really going on through thorough communication and, most importantly, teach our children the importance of empathy and kindness and tolerance in their and our dealings with others. This is a very simplistic synopsis of a very fine book which deserves to be read. The author also gives a very extensive list of additional materials for further investigation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcela Sara | 1/13/2014

    " I won this book in a First Reads Giveaway. This book will be a great asset to my classroom library. Also this will help me dearly with my Peer Assistance Leadership program at my school. Thank you for providing me with this book. I appreciate it and have shared in with other teachers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 12/19/2013

    " Emily Bazelon makes Facebook look like an insidious bully enabler. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 11/24/2013

    " Good discussion of what bulling is and what to do and not do about it. Emily Bazelton does a great job mixing stories of those who have been bullied and thos who have bullied with the legal and moral aspects of bulling. Shows what a tough job being a parent and educator can be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 8/26/2013

    " 5 stars for how valuable it could be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shana Dennis | 4/4/2013

    " I like how this book took a look at all sides of a bullying story, as well as offering strategies to combat it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liane | 3/28/2013

    " As a researcher and parent, I very much appreciated--and learned from--Bazelton's complex, nuanced, balanced, and sympathetic treatment of the subject of bullying. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 3/23/2013

    " The book is interesting but I found the structure odd. The stories are chopped up so that you have a lot to remember. I'm not sure how helpful it would be if your kid was being bullied but it is very academic in its approach to schools so that part was interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katherine | 2/17/2013

    " Well-written, with case studies, research, and a worldwide historical perspective, Sticks and Stones provides possible solutions that may change the culture of schools, public and private. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Surfdragon | 2/14/2013

    " A very informative books about the modern spectrum of childhood bullying. The author is good a cutting through the media hype to the real issues and solutions, though she does spend more time than needed in some of the case descriptions. A good book anyone and everyone should read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 1/15/2013

    " Sticks and Stones is a must read for EVERY middle and high schooler! "

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About the Author

Emily Bazelon is a senior editor at Slate, a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, and the Truman Capote Fellow at Yale Law School. Before joining Slate, she worked as a law clerk on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, and lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband and two sons. Sticks and Stones is her first book.

About the Narrator

Rebecca Lowman is an actress and audiobook narrator who has won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards. She has starred in numerous television shows, including Law & Order, Big Love, NCIS, and Grey’s Anatomy, among many others. She earned her MFA from Columbia University.