1. Interesting. I don’t remember bullying being such an issue when I was that age – it was around, just something to be avoided when possible. I wonder if it’s gotten worse, or just become trendy for authors to focus on?

  2. As a homeschooled child whose church had very few children and who engaged in few extracurriculars (read: didn’t spend a lot of time with people her own age), I certainly don’t identify with the bullying theme.

    I haven’t particularly noticed bullying itself as being on the rise (although my coworkers frequently comment on the current “thing” about bullying by saying “Do they think bullying is new?” and telling stories about their own bullying experiences from 15-40 years ago)–but I have observed that children seem to get clique-y at much younger ages than they did “in my day”. And that is a theme (that goes side-by-side with bullying) that I can identify with: being an outsider.

    I never experienced cliquishness until I got into junior high and high school, when I started going to a new church with lots of teens. Then, I was not particularly disliked as much as I was forgotten. I was different than the others (I was homeschooled, bookish, and would rather debate theology or philosophy than talk about TV shows that I hadn’t watched.) Perhaps this same cliquishness was present in children all along and I never observed it, but I certainly observe now that children can get clique-y as young as second or third grade–having their friends that they “hang out” with and leaving anyone else to fend for themselves.

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