Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author: Jeff Erno
ISBN-13:       978-1-61372-089-9
Pages: 158
Cover Artist: Justin James
Categories:   Anthologies, Contemporary
Book Type:   eBook
File Formats Available:     .epub, .lit, .prc, html, pdf
Price: $6.99 ON SALE NOW $5.59

Every day, all over the country, teenagers struggle with the realities of bullying. Tormented, ridiculed, and beaten—simply for being who they are—these teens face alienation, humiliation, and even the explicit assertion that they have somehow brought this upon themselves, that they should just blend in. Bullied is a series of short stories exploring the world of these teens from several different viewpoints: the victim, the bully, the gay bystander, the straight friend, the concerned parent.
Closeted Bryan wonders why Christian Michaelson doesn't just try to blend in if he hates being bullied so much. Star athlete David isn't a homophobe—after all, he's not afraid of anything. Jonathan, a Christian fundamentalist, must weigh the Bible against peer pressure and what he knows is right when he discovers his childhood friend is gay. Bully victim Chase Devereaux finds an unexpected ally in a brave fellow student. A single mom struggles to accept the reality that her only son is gay. Two tough gay teens are forced to confront their own inner demons when tragedy befalls a classmate they failed to help. And overweight Kirby finds the strength of character to make a friend, which leads to a lifestyle change and a chance at love. Each character grows as an individual as he or she comes to terms with what it means to be a gay teenager in America.
BULLIED is a collection of short stories told from many viewpoints along the spectrum that show the effect of bullying on gay teen boys.  Each story is an emotional journey that makes you feel the emotional pain that the characters experience and to some degree you get an idea what may or may not go through the mind of the person doing the bullying. Mr. Erno has gone to great lengths to explore every charachter’s viewpoint on this hot point issue.  In one story we get to see the POV of a mother who saw all the signs her son was gay but wouldn’t acknowledge them until she discovered he was being bullied to the most extreme point.  Another story took several angles on one character including his own leading to and showing the after effects of the boy’s suicide.  Fortunately it was the only story where one of the characters took their own life but it does happen. It happens every single day somewhere in this country due to bullying by classmates, siblings, parents or all of these.  Sometimes it happens out of pure self-hate because of the unintentional bullying of hateful words spoken by loved ones and the fear a teen has of telling them that he is one of those people that his parents are calling evil, sick, perverted and damned.
This book is a Godsend and should be required reading in every high school in America, taught as a guide book to acceptance and tolerance, not just of others but of one’s self.  I can’t speak highly enough of this work.  There is no sex or anything remotely like it unless consider a few chaste kisses as sex.
Please read this, encourage others to read it, give it as a gift to teens you think may be gay. 
If you are a gay teen or the parent of a gay or questioning teen leave a comment with your e-mail here and I will make sure you get a copy of this e-book.  Please don’t ask if you are just a reader wanting a free book.  I want to be able to provide copies to those who truly need them.  This offer is good through to the last day of April.  After that, well, we will have to see.
I want to say that this book meant a great deal to me and wish with all my heart that it had been around when I was a teen in high school dealing with many of the issues that the boys in this book had to face.  I grew up in a different generation and the recourses for gay teens were still years away.
I know how scary it is to face a bully, to face your family, to face your own reflection in the mirror; today, in the year 2012 you as gay or questions teens have a wealth of resources at your very fingertips on the net, please take advantage of them.
There is no excuse for accepting abuse when there is a network to stop it, most schools have anti-bullying policies or at the very least a few understanding staff members.  If not, go online and find someone to talk to.  There are people who care and who will love and protect you for who you are, if not your parents then an uncle and aunt, a grandparent, or even a friend of the family.  Find that person, tell them who you are and what is happening to you, they will do something about it.


 THE NATIONAL BULLYING PREVENTION CENTER: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/
 STOP BULLYING.GOV: http://www.stopbullying.gov/

 THE TREVOR PROJECT: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

TOLL FREE: 1-888-843-4564

And for parents, family and friends of gay and lesbians teens:
PFLAG: http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2


1 comment:

  1. wonderful review, with lots of great info! Great work Randy!