Words Wound: Delete Cyberbullying and Make Kindness Go Viral by Justin W. Patchin and Sameer Hinduja
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Initial reaction: Excellent resource for teens in defining what cyberbullying is, how to approach it, and ways to encourage positive interactions in their cyber life and real life endeavors.
Narratives like “Words Wound” are definitely needed in the scope of today’s society to highlight an issue that’s coming of more prominence and concern in the digital age. It’s a cruel coincidence that I ended up reading this after a major case of cyberbullying was reported in the news, with a 12-year old who committed suicide after two others (12 and 14 years of age respectively) had bullied her for well over a year, even after she left her old school.
I appreciated the organized and open way that Justin W. Patchin and Sameer Hinduja discuss cyberbullying through this entire narrative. It provides stories from teens who have been bullied, concrete definitions of what cyberbullying entails, the resources one can peruse to get help and how to encourage positive affirmations in day-to-day living. The book doubles as both informational and an interactive worksheet where teens can transcribe their thoughts and experiences through each chapter. The resource is open to both examining bullying from a victim’s perspective as well as towards those who may be bullying others but not realize the impact of what their actions entail – and I really appreciated that it takes on the depth of the matter from multiple angles.
I think if there were one thing I wish this narrative could’ve included in retrospect to make it more thorough (and I could say this about a lot of bullying/cyberbullying guides in general), maybe there could’ve been a more expanded context on the differences between what bullying is and isn’t from a conflict standpoint. There are a lot of dialogues that go about bullying/cyberbullying in general (both among teens and adults alike) that really don’t always knock down where the term may be used inappropriate as to the context of the conflict that arises. The authors definitely touch upon it in mention in this book, but I think exploring more of that would help people better able to differentiate what is/isn’t bullying and bring more dialogues to the table on that note as well, so that we can better able respond to not only bullying/cyberbullying as an issue in itself, but also deal with conflicts between people in other contexts that need to be addressed just as much, but in different ways.
And I love that this book encourages open, honest discussion on the matter. It’s a great resource and I would certain recommend it as a resource for teens or those who are parents of or work with teens in general.
Overall score: 4.5/5 stars
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Free Spirit Publishing.