Friday, August 2, 2013


Still good, but not as great as "Bullied".
The spoiler line below is meant only for those of you who have not read the first book in this series, because my review below will include spoilers from the first book. First I recommend reading Bullied, and then come back to this review of book #2.


Revenge picks up a couple weeks after Seth's parents are killed in a fire in their trailer on Seth's 18th birthday. We know from the end of the first book that Seth is fully aware of the identity of the 8 students who are responsible for the murders, and we also know that he intends to get his revenge on the group.

Seth has moved into his own luxury apartment, bought a new Audi, and is beginning to plot his revenge. It is at this point that creepy Jim comes to Seth with more information about the amulet. It turns out that Seth is not the only person who has one. There are five amulets in total, and the more a person owns, the more powerful he/she is. This means that others may come looking for Seth's amulet one day, and he must be prepared to fight for it. One of the five amulets is still in Jim's possession, but the other three could be anywhere.

As much as Seth would like to kill the students who killed his parents, he changes his mind after listening to Jim's advice. Jim tells him that the temptation to use the amulet for evil will be very strong, and that Seth should consider using it for good rather than evil. As a result, he decides to trap them each in their own personal prisons for the rest of their lives instead of killing them. One by one, he puts his plans in action.

If you think any of the guilty students may being feeling remorseful about their actions, you would be very wrong. The same 8 students continue to be totally consumed with making Seth's life a living hell.

As much as I loved the first book in this series, I have to be honest that I did not like Revenge quite as much. In this book we start to grasp how far Seth's powers can reach - he can actually enter the minds of his victims and change their actions/abilities forever. He uses this technique to force some of the kids to confess to their crime or commit more crimes, and others to be inflicted with life-long punishments outside of prison.

If I had that kind of power over a person's mind, I would prevent them from ever doing or thinking another mean/evil thing again. I would turn them into martyrs, dedicating their lives to the Peace Corp or human rights campaigns without any desire for personal gains for themselves. At least with this solution, they can actually contribute something good to society while being unable to hurt anyone again. But with Seth's solutions, they are basically becoming a permanent drain on tax payers dollars for the rest of their lives. It isn't that I don't think they should be punished for murder, I just think that a better punishment would have been something that stripped them of their freedom while still benefitting the rest of the world.

Again, this is a quick read. I read the first three books in the series all in one afternoon. By the end of this book, we see the introduction of other supernatural beings, so the storyline is headed in a totally new direction from this point forward. You'll have to read book 3, Witch, to get a clearer picture of what is to come.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cyberbullying Statistics

Cyberbullying statistics refers to Internet bullying. Cyberbullying is a form of teen violence that can do lasting harm to young people. Bullying statistics show that cyberbullying is a serious problem among teens. By being more aware of cyberbullying, teens and adults can help to fight it.

Cyberbullying affects many adolescents and teens on a daily basis. Cyberbullying involves using technology, like cell phones and the Internet, to bully or harass another person. Cyberbullying can take many forms:
  • Sending mean messages or threats to a person's email account or cell phone
  • Spreading rumors online or through texts
  • Posting hurtful or threatening messages on social networking sites or web pages
  • Stealing a person's account information to break into their account and send damaging messages
  • Pretending to be someone else online to hurt another person
  • Taking unflattering pictures of a person and spreading them through cell phones or the Internet
  • Sexting, or circulating sexually suggestive pictures or messages about a person

Cyberbullying can be very damaging to adolescents and teens. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicide. Also, once things are circulated on the Internet, they may never disappear, resurfacing at later times to renew the pain of cyberbullying.

Many cyberbullies think that bullying others online is funny. Cyberbullies may not realize the consequences for themselves of cyberbullying. The things teens post online now may reflect badly on them later when they apply for college or a job. Cyberbullies can lose their cell phone or online accounts for cyberbullying. Also, cyberbullies and their parents may face legal charges for cyberbullying. If it was sexual in nature or involved sexting, the results can include being registered as a sex offender. Teens may think that if they use a fake name they won't get caught, but there are many ways to track some one who is cyberbullying.

Despite the potential damage of cyberbullying, it is alarmingly common among adolescents and teens. According to Cyberbullying statistics from the i-SAFE foundation:
  • Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.
  • More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyberthreats online.
  • Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet.
  • Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs.
The Harford County Examiner reported similarly concerning cyber bullying statistics:
  • Around half of teens have been the victims of cyberbullying
  • Only 1 in 10 teens tells a parent if they have been a cyberbully victim
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 cyber bullying incidents are reported to law enforcement
  • 1 in 10 adolescents or teens have had embarrassing or damaging pictures taken of themselves without their permission, often using cell phone cameras
  • About 1 in 5 teens have posted or sent sexually suggestive or nude pictures of themselves to others
  • Girls are somewhat more likely than boys to be involved in cyber bullying
The Cyberbullying Research Center also did a series of surveys that found these cyber bullying statistics:
  • Over 80 percent of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most popular form of technology and a common medium for cyber bullying
  • About half of young people have experienced some form of cyberbullying, and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly
  • Mean, hurtful comments and spreading rumors are the most common type of cyberbullying
  • Girls are at least as likely as boys to be cyberbullies or their victims
  • Boys are more likely to be threatened by cyberbullies than girls
  • Cyberbullying affects all races
  • Cyberbullying victims are more likely to have low self esteem and to consider suicide
Parents and teens can do some things that help reduce the cyberbullying statistics:
  • Talks to teens about cyber bullying, explaining that it is wrong and can have serious consequences. Make a rule that teens may not send mean or damaging messages, even if someone else started it, or suggestive pictures or messages or they will lose their cell phone and computer privileges for a time.
  • Encourage teens to tell an adult if cyber bullying is occurring. Tell them if they are the victims they will not be punished, and reassure them that being bullied is not their fault.
  • Teens should keep cyber bullying messages as proof that the cyberbullying is occurring. The teens' parents may want to talk to the parents of the cyberbully, to the bully's Internet or cell phone provider, and/or to the police about the messages, especially if they are threatening or sexual in nature.
  • Try blocking the person sending the messages. It may be necessary to get a new phone number or email address and to be more cautious about giving out the new number or address.
  • Teens should never tell their password to anyone except a parent, and should not write it down in a place where it could be found by others.
  • Teens should not share anything through text or instant messaging on their cell phone or the Internet that they would not want to be made public - remind teens that the person they are talking to in messages or online may not be who they think they are, and that things posted electronically may not be secure.
  • Encourage teens never to share personal information online or to meet someone they only know online.
  • Keep the computer in a shared space like the family room, and do not allow teens to have Internet access in their own rooms.
  • Encourage teens to have times when they turn off the technology, such as at family meals or after a certain time at night.
  • Parents may want to wait until high school to allow their teens to have their own email and cell phone accounts, and even then parents should still have access to the accounts. 
If teens have been the victims or perpetuators of cyberbullying they may need to talk to a counselor or therapist to overcome depression or other harmful effects of cyberbullying.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


With so many recent cases of suicide being talked about in the media, it leaves many wondering about the new term Bullycide. It is a hybrid of bullying and suicide to explain when someone takes their life as a result of being bullied. 

There are many teens who face being bullied every day whether it be at school, around their neighborhood, in public places or online. Cyberbullying has taken the concept of physical bullying to a whole new level, which is why many researchers believe it is often responsible for cases of bullycide. With many teens taking their lives after being bullied by fellow peers either in school or on the Internet, it leaves parents, teachers and their friends wondering what can be done to prevent bullycide.

What is bullycide?

Bullycide is when a person commits suicide due to the acts of bullying. Children and teens who are bullied live in a constant state of fear and confusion in their lives. Many feel the only way to escape the rumors, insults, verbal abuse and terror is to take their own life. Bullycide is clearly a serious issue. There are several different reasons that ultimately can lead to bullycide including:

  • Being constantly physically and emotionally bullied
  • Experiencing constant physical and emotional pain
  • Having to continually relive an embarrassing moment over and over that is regularly brought up by peers as a method of torment
  • Being the victim of bullying by an authority figure like a parent, teacher, coach or other adult
  • When the victim of bullying has no other friends to rely on for support or encouragement while being bullied regularly
One example of such a case is: Phoebe Prince.
Phoebe Prince

15-year-old Phoebe Prince's life was filled with unrelenting torment. Classmates at the Irish immigrant's Massachusetts high school called Prince a "whore" and an "Irish slut," students said. They defaced her school photo with obscene drawings, sent her threatening text messages and whispered—or shouted—insults in school hallways. On Jan. 14, witnesses say, she was taunted by a group of classmates in the library and hit with a can of Red Bull thrown from a moving car. That afternoon, Prince went home and hanged herself with a scarf. 
Nine students had been charged with harassment and other bullying-related crimes, spurring national debate about the role of the justice system and the culpability of the school administration. But Prince's case raises another, more elemental question: Why are kids so cruel?

Admiration and dominance

Research into bullying didn't start until the 1970s, when psychologist Dan Olweus began to study the phenomenon in Norwegian schoolchildren.
Since then, decades of research have shown that the power differential between bullies and victims is a crucial component of the interaction. Bullies go for admiration, for status, for dominance. Unlike friendly teasing bullying is long-term, unwanted and doesn't occur between social equals. 
Despite their aggressive behavior, bullies also want affection. Bullies care about the approval of their own in-group, so they strategically pick victims they know few other classmates will defend. 
Based on evidence that has been found, kids who are already socially awkward are more vulnerable to bullies. But there's no one thing that makes a child a target. One day, they just don't like a kid because that kid will wear pink, and the next day they might not like other kids because they're wearing blue, or they're tall, or they're small, or they wear glasses. It's just not really, systemically, that there's some kind of reason or motivation. It's more like a cultural thing.

Bullying prevention:

Because bullying is at the root of the problem when it comes to these ever-too-frequent cases of bullycide, the best way to take preventative measures is to work on stopping children and teens from being bullied. It is important to realize that the big, mean boy on the playground isn't the only type of bully anymore. There are many types of bullies from boys, girls, teens of all ages to adults in authority positions. Cyberbullying also makes it easier for children and teens to bully one another. Bullying has also been found to be a growing trend among recent bullying statistics.

Now, the question comes down to how to prevent bullying among youth to prevent cases of bullycide. One of the best ways to prevent bullying is to have your child journal every single instance of bullying. If the bullying is happening at school or is school-related, make sure to take this journal to a teacher, counselor or even the principal. If the matter is not resolved from there, take the situation to the police. Bullying and hate crimes are against the law. If teachers or administrative members at your school refuse to take action, you can file a complaint or bring charges against the school for negligence. You can also bring criminal charges of bullying to the school.  It is their job to ensure the safety of your child while they are at school. Take the matter to the police and school board to ensure action. This may make the difference between ending the bullying and some child or teen's life as the result of bullycide.

Do not allow your child to become a victim of bullying by encouraging open communication. If your child hides the instances of bullying from you, chances are you may not even notice that they have a problem until it is too late. Make sure your child knows they can come to you for help with anything. Another way to prevent bullycide and from bullying getting too far, make sure your child has a good group of friends. Often, bullies target children and teens who are loners or do not have many friends because they make for easy targets. Having friends can be a great protection for your teen or child against bullying. While cases of bullying and bullycide are growing, there are also more and more schools cracking down to ensure their students are not becoming bullies or becoming victims of bullies. However, parents still play a vital role in protecting their child against cases of bullying and bullycide. Although it may seem hopeless, you must never give up. We have the law on our side and we must continue the good fight.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bullying and Depression

Bullying and depression are often related. Depression affects both bullies and their victims. Victims of cyber bullying may be at even higher risk for depression. Learn about bullying and depression and how you can help stop bullying.

Researchers have discovered a strong link between bullying and depression. Depression is an illness that is not totally understood, and may have a variety of causes, but it is clear that it can have a relationship to bullying. Both bullies and their victims are more likely to suffer from depression than youth who are not involved in bullying. This connection can be long-lasting; people who are bullied as children are more likely to suffer from depression as an adult than children not involved in bullying.

Depression can have a number of serious effects on a person's life. The link between bullying and depression can also extend to other problems, like:
  • Low self esteem
  • Anxiety
  • High rates of school absence
  • Physical illness
Teens who commit suicide often suffer from depression. Experts hesitate to say that bullying is a direct cause of suicide, but it may be a factor in a teen's depression.

The relationship between bullying and depression is not limited to face-to-face bullying. The Cyberbullying Research Center found that victims of cyber bullying were more likely to suffer from low self esteem and suicidal thoughts. They suggest further research needs to be done to see if low self esteem is a result of being cyber bullied or if it makes a person more likely to be a target of cyber bullying. A recent study by the US National Institutes of Health, reported by Reuters, found that victims of cyber bullying showed more signs of depression than other bullying victims. This may be because cyber bullying can be more relentless and more frightening or discouraging, especially if the bully is anonymous.

Parents, friends, and other concerned people should be on the lookout for signs of depression in children and teens, especially those who have been bullies or bully victims. Some signs of depression can include:
  • Long lasting sadness or irritability, including unexplained outbursts of crying or anger
  • Sudden loss of interest in activities the person usually enjoys
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Changes in sleep patterns, either sleeping a lot or not being able to sleep
  • Sudden changes in appetite or eating habits
  • Always feeling tired or slow
  • Being restless, anxious, or worried
  • Not being able to concentrate or think clearly
  • Feeling worthless, guilty, helpless, or hopeless
  • Aches and pains with no obvious physical cause
  • Thinking or talking about death or suicide, such as saying that the world would be better without them or that they wish that they were dead
  • Giving away prized possessions or saying good-bye to people can be sign of suicidal thoughts or intentions
If a person is suffering from depression, a visit to a doctor or counselor can start them on the road to recovery. If a person is having suicidal thoughts or has attempted suicide, this should be considered an emergency and the person should get immediate medical help from a doctor, by calling 9-1-1, or by going to the emergency room. There are also local and national suicide hotlines that can help people who are having suicidal thoughts.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bullying Interventions

With the growing problem of bullying among children and teens, bullying interventions are becoming more and more of a responsibility of parents and teachers. Bullying interventions are necessary to prevent bullying or to stop it before it goes too far.

While it is not always possible to prevent cases of bullying, it is important to know what to do as a parent, a teacher or other school official in order to stop bullying with various types of bullying interventions. Through this tactic, bullies might be able to be successfully put in their place with an end to the bullying. There are a few different steps and ways you can go about preparing bullying interventions. It is best to find a technique that works with different types of bullying, which can range from physical to emotional as well as cyberbullying. According to a study put together by the Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System of the London Family Court Clinic, there are a few different methods for bullying interventions.

First, intervene immediately. Do not overlook a potential bullying situation. It is then important to talk to both the victim and the bully separately. If more than one student is involved, which does happen in many cases of bullying, talk to each one separately. Be prepared for the bully to minimize and deny their actions. By speaking to each person involved separately, you will have the best chance of figuring out the truth of the matter.

Second, remind the bully about the rules established in the school. Or if you are a parent looking to handle the situation, remind them of the rules in your home or in your neighborhood. Bullying is a crime that often occurs with physical violence, slander, and libelous statements that can be made online or spread viciously through rumours. Remind them that by committing these acts, they are susceptible to punishment by the justice system. If this is a first time offense and the results are minimal, make sure the punishment fits the crime. However, if this bully has continually hurt victims, be sure the consequences are much more severe. When talking with the victim, be sure they understand everything possible is being done to ensure a similar instance does not happen again. You want to make sure and gain their trust and confidence. The effects of bullying can be severely detrimental to the victim not only physically but also emotionally. This is why it is important to help them during the process to feel safe and secure again. If you are a parent, be sure to involve the other child (s) parents in the situation to help reach a resolution. If you are a teacher or school administrator, be sure to call both of the parents of the children or teens involved to help reach an understanding and possible resolution. It is important for parents to make sure their children are not taking on the characteristics of bullying. If they are, they need to be stopped before that type of behavior gets out of control. For some children and teens anger management is a serious problem that may need to be addressed in a counseling type setting to help stop the bully from continuing their antics and damage to their peers.

After the punishment has been delivered continuing watching the behavior of the bully. If you are a parent, be sure to keep that child away from your own and help your child or teen learn to avoid bullying. One way to prevent bullying is to help your child develop good self-esteem. Your teen or child doesn't have to be the strongest kid in the class or on the block to avoid bullying, but good, strong self-esteem is a great way to help them know how to handle a potential bullying situation.

Unfortunately bullies target the weak because they know they are an easy target. Do your best to ensure your child is not an easy target. Along with self-esteem, encourage your child to make friends with nice and kind peers. It is important for your child or teen to surround themselves with a positive support group to help remain strong and not the next victim of a bullying attack. As a teacher or administrator, keeping an eye on the bullying situation is the best way to stay on top of it and stop it before it starts.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Stand Up to Bullying

Perched on the edge of the George Washington Bridge, 212 feet above the Hudson River, Tyler Clementi, a newly enrolled freshman at Rutgers University, peered into the abyss that had been his life - and jumped. Though he never self-identified as gay, his roommate, Dharun Ravi, believed him to be. Using his computer, Ravi videotaped a sexual encounter between Tyler and a male lover. He then posted it online, subjecting Tyler to public scrutiny. On that fateful night, September 22, 2010, Tyler jumped to his death, after posting on Facebook that he was sorry he would be committing suicide.


When Dharun Ravi was sentenced—to 30 days in prison—I was hoping to get relief from my obsession with the sad, sad case of the Rutgers freshman who spied on his roommate. But I am still haunted as I read the stories and then the comments, which bleed with hatred and vitriol. Hatred for Dharun. Hatred for Tyler. Hatred for the families. Every aspect of this case and how we are approaching this feels wrong, wrong, wrong.

I have no immediate knowledge of any of the parties involved. But I did know a teenager who committed suicide. Emily went to my high school and my college. Every time I read about Dharun and Tyler, I think about my last conversation with Emily. And every time I think about that conversation, I wish I could press the reset button and say the right things, instead of what were most certainly, the wrong things. I think regrets like this may be one of our collective obsessions with time travel, which plays such a big role in so many works of fiction and film, from Star Trek to Men in Black 3. If we could go back and change something in the past, would the future turn out differently?

Emily was not the victim of any hate crime (as far as I know). She was not bullied (as far as I know). Here’s what I do know. Her parents were Holocaust survivors. She was smart in a quiet, contemplative, not show-offy way. She one of the nicest people I ever knew. She sailed through our competitive high school, the Bronx High School of Science, without seeming to compete at all.

I didn’t know Emily before high school, and we didn’t hang out a lot together even then, but I have a few distinct memories. I remember riding the subway with her. I remember having lost or not being able to obtain a book I needed for social studies. She gave me hers and wouldn’t let me refuse or return it.

I remember talking to her about what we wanted to do when we were older. I wanted to be a writer—always, I said. She wanted to write, too—but more specifically to adapt classics or mythology at a level that people with mental challenges could read. She volunteered with people who were mentally challenged and it bothered her that they would give them childish books that didn’t inspire them. She wanted them to be able to read something wonderful and stimulating at a reading level they could process.

I was always a little humbled in her presence.

When we both got into the same college, I was excited about this new door that was about to open and asked her if she was, too. She said she wasn’t. I was puzzled. And when I looked into her eyes I couldn’t help thinking, She looks trapped. That was my big insight that flitted in my head and flitted away, not to return until after her death. She feels trapped because she can’t justify turning this down. It was an offer she couldn’t’ refuse. But if high school was competitive, this was going to be high school on steroids.

I didn’t see much of Emily at school. It was a big school and I spent a lot of time with my books and my own personal dramas. But this is what I remember. We were approaching finals and she reached out to ask me to join her for lunch in her house dining room (we belonged to different houses). She seemed stressed out about finals. She started telling me she was struggling. And I cut her off to complain about how heartless everyone was and no one cared about anyone and on and on and on. She got quiet and I eventually noticed and tapered off.

I got through my finals of course. I always did. I complained a lot (I always did), but they were fine as usual. Back in school in the fall, almost as an afterthought, I asked about Emily, thinking I would ask her to lunch this time. You haven’t heard? Heard what?, I asked. Emily went under her desk and wouldn’t come out for finals. She wouldn’t take them.They expelled her. Emily ended up in a mental facility. She came home on a weekend pass and she killed herself.
I was in a state of shock. Decades later, I still am.

In the immediate aftermath, my grief overwhelmed me. I tried to find out everything I could about her. This annoyed one girl who had grown up with her. You hardly even knew Emily, she said. Certainly not as well as I did. Which was true. Which also added to my guilt and my grief. Why didn’t I take the time to know her better? Why did I talk so much at that lunch? Why didn’t I listen? Maybe I could have picked up on something that was going so horribly wrong inside her. Maybe I could have shifted the trajectory. Maybe with the right words, or by alerting the right people I could have helped her avert tragedy.

One of the elements of Tyler’s story that pulls at my heart was that he had very few friends. When things hurt—and when you are 18, they hurt a lot—having a friend to throw you a life preserver can make all the difference. Did Dharun’s tweets and the brief use of his webcam over a two-week period push Tyler off the bridge? Even the prosecution didn’t accuse him of causing the suicide. What Tyler’s family seemed most upset by, actually, was that Dharun didn’t take the time to know Tyler or to become his friend. That’s a failure that lies on more than one set of shoulders, although each and every failure adds up.

Which brings me back to my last conversation with Emily. For longer than I care to admit, I blamed myself for complaining so much about school that day, because it may have poured gasoline on the fire. I blamed myself for saying the wrong things instead of the right things. Today, as I replay the scene again, more than anything else, I blame myself for not listening.

In our national discussion about the tragedy of teen suicide, I think collectively too many of us are making the mistake of not listening. We cast blame, we exact punishments and we don’t look in the mirror. It’s Dharun’s fault. It’s the parents’ fault. It’s the school’s fault. Recently, I went back and reread an O’Henry story called “The Guilty Party.” Brilliantly, he contrasted who we give the blame to in our human courts and who really bears responsibility in the celestial scheme of things. Although really, the truth of it is, whenever someone takes his or her life, it’s everyone’s fault.

It is hard to be a teen. It always has been. It always will be. You are not a child. You are not an adult. You are under enormous pressure as you leave home for the first time. You do selfish and stupid things along with the good ones as you try to sort out the complicated business of trying to forge new friendships. You are 18—your frontal lobes are not fully developed, which means you make impulsive, rash decisions. You worry that you will never find people who care for you because of who you really are, you worry that if people know who you really are, they won’t care for you. You worry that you don’t belong, that you will never belong because you’re too fat, or because of the color of your skin, or your religion, your nationality, your sexual orientation.

I don’t have answers about Dharun or Tyler. I am just deeply troubled and disturbed with the answers dripping with hate and blame. Where is the love? Where is the forgiveness? When are we going to start listening and reaching out to everyone’s children?

I wish I could tell Emily that because of her I have become a different kind of writer than I dreamed of back when we talked on that subway train so many years ago. I write about kids a lot. I interview kids a lot. And when I interview them, I listen. I listen as hard as I can. I listen with everything I have in me for what they are saying between their words. I listen for Emily.


Thursday, July 18, 2013


An Excellent Start to the Series
"Bullied" is a wonderfully written book about a young man, named Seth Moore, who has not been granted the best lot in life. He lives in a trailer, his parents are both unemployed drunks, his skin is covered in acne, and his body is weak. Thanks to this terrific combination of attributes, he has been bullied his entire life. The last three years of high school he has been beat up regularly and verbally abused constantly by his fellow students.

On the first day of his senior year, Seth receives an amulet as a gift from a friend of his father. This amulet gives him the power to change his life. Anything he can envision with his mind and his heart, he can make happen.

As Seth begins to use the amulet to defend himself against the students who have bullied him AND the teachers who have allowed the bullying to continue, he discovers that this new power can be difficult to control. The hate in his own heart could turn him into a bully himself. Furthermore, if the hate gets the best of him, he could accidentally kill someone. And worse yet, the bullies could increase the intensity of their attacks against him instead of backing down.

First of all, I have to give kudos to the cover designer for this book. It is a freakin awesome cover. I don't often read/review Young Adult novels, but I made an exception in this case because the cover had me hooked. Brilliant time to publish this book too, considering bullying is finally being publicly recognized for the problem it is.


Anybody out there get bullied in school?
I did. I can very clearly remember the insults that were thrown at me from two girls in junior high school on a daily basis. For those of you who were bullied, do you remember the stuff you fantasized would happen to your bullies? I used to fantasize that the girls who bullied me would have all their hair fall out overnight. Seth's amulet gives him the power to do things like that to the kids who bully him.... and trust me, he takes advantage. You will not be able to put this book down, nor will you want to.

But there is a message here too. Because, once we start treating people with hatred, whether we think they deserve it or not, we are letting ourselves become just as bad as they are. No matter how tempting it is to follow the path of revenge, evil only breeds more evil and hate only breeds more hate.

This is a short book and therefore a quick read. There are three books in the series that I know of, so I'm guessing that combined they probably equal one full-length novel. This book ends with a doozie of a cliffhanger, so if you are going to read it, you may as well get the 2nd book, Revenge, at the same time.

Highly recommended for anyone who has ever been bullied and/or anyone who has been a bully. That should include pretty much everyone