Extreme bullying can have devastating effects: it can leave a child severely traumatized, their self-esteem destroyed, and in deep despair. Many children who have been severely bullied are unable to attend school, and are deeply scarred by what has happened.
This book reveals these shattering effects by telling the stories of eight children who have experienced extreme bullying and then found their way to recovery at a Red Balloon Learner Centre – a place where children can go to continue their education and recover their self-esteem, confidence and feelings of self-worth. Their stories also act to highlight common issues which often lie behind bullying behaviour such as weight, sexuality, race and religion. Guidance is given on what teachers and parents can do to help a child who is being bullied or a child who uses bullying behaviour, and what the bullied children themselves can do. Also included is a section on understanding bullying behaviour – how to read the signs, why some children may be targeted, what forms it can take, and why children often remain silent.
This moving moving and insightful book is essential reading for all those who have encountered bullying: for parents and teachers, those who have been or are being bullied, and for those who do the bullying and their families.
These true stories show how bullying can wreck an innocent life, but they also show how children can be helped to overcome the trauma and torment. It is inspiring, harrowing and thought-provoking. You will want to read this book if you are a parent or work with children. You will also want to hug the children who told their stories so well - they are wonderful.
Michele Elliott OBE, Founder, Kidscape, UK
Whether you are being bullied, or you know someone who is, you run a school or a classroom, or have memories yourself of experiencing bullying, I am sure you will find these pages inspirational. I know you will be moved by the young people's stories and I would like to congratulate them on their courage, in allowing their experiences to be used to help and protect future generations of bullied children and above all to give hope so that victims can rise above bullying.
From the Foreword by Esther Rantzen CBE, broadcaster, founder of ChildLine and patron of Red Balloon
The Red Balloon approach is illustrated in this book through the personal stories of 8 young people in their own words, along with discussion and comment from Red Balloon. An introductory section explains the approach which can best be described as 'Unconditional Positive Regard' allied with therapeutic and pastoral support woven into a one to one full time educational delivery plan... The lessons from their approach have much to teach us as they put the traumatised child at the centre and re awaken their desire to grasp their futures, learn and grow. The book takes us from the raw pain of the bullied child, through the long recovery process and illustrates how lives are rebuilt.
Bullying Intervention Group (B.I.G.)
All professionals, whether experienced in dealing with the effects of bullying or not, will find Rising Above Bullying: From Despair to Recovery by Rosemary Hayes and Carrie Herbert (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) invaluable. This is not only for the information it gives but the accessible style in which it is written and presented.
"Rising Above Bullying: From Despair to Recovery" covers bullying and its traumatic results, and reveals these results using the stories of eight children who have experienced extreme bullying then recovered through the help of a special learning center's program. Now parents and any working with children can have access to this approach in a title that surveys common issues, what teachers and parents can do to help a kid who is being bullied or one who is the bully, and how to teach kids survival skills to cope with bullies. The blend of practical advice and survival keys makes this a winner!
The Midwest Book Review
The eight case studies of bullying in this book are compelling reading. In their own words, young people describe their intense suffering, but also the help they got through Red Balloon. The value of these testimonies is deepened by the thoughtful professional commentaries provided. In addition there is useful advice for teachers, parents, and children, and a description of the Red Balloon philosophy which has proved so helpful for bullied children who are failed by the school system. This is an immensely valuable book which shows the reality of very severe bullying but also has a message of hope which it is vital to disseminate.
Peter K. Smith, Head of Unit for School and Family Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Rosemary Hayes is a children's writer, a reader for an authors' advisory service and runs creative writing workshops for both children and adults. Dr Carrie Herbert is founder and Chief Executive of the Red Balloon Learner Centre Group, a qualified teacher and Educational Consultant.
This is an informative guide for all parents, teachers and counsellors - who I think would find encouragement that there are strategies and ways of working in schools that can help.
Counselling Children & Young People
This deeply moving book manages to be affirmative and positive... Each, heartbreaking "story" is told in the first person, followed by a practical commentary explaining how the child was helped, what eventually happened to him or her, together with advice or readers dealing with similar situations... This book will be read by teachers and social workers and used in CPO session. I also think the first person accounts, or extracts from them, could be useful in PSHE and drama lessons and as an assembly resource both at primary and secondary level.
The SL, Susan Elkin
The devastating impact on the future wellbeing and life chances of a young person, and the choice we have to liberate those affected, is admirably demonstrated through the voice of those who have experienced the effects of bullying and triumphed. I hope this gives pause for thought, renewed commitment, as well as hope.
The Rt Hon David Blunkett MP - former Secretary of State for Education and Employment
For two decades Carrie Herbert has been in the vanguard of the fight against bullying: not preaching; not devising the well-meaning strategies, charters and initiatives that too often threaten to swamp schools and teachers while achieving little; but working with schools and workplaces and, above all, working with damaged young people to put their lives back together again. And she does.
[Rising Above Bullying] describes how the Red Balloon often acts as 'emotional intensive care' to rebuild, slowly and painstakingly, the shattered confidence and self-esteem of a bullied learner: other people and places could do the same, but too rarely do so. The book provides answers, but not easy ones, because there are none of those. Instead there is honest but uncompromising advice. The book's forthrightness makes it a hard read at times. It also makes it, all the more, a vital and powerful one.
Bernard Trafford, Headmaster, Royal Grammar School, Newcastle, UK
A timely, important and eye-opening book, which gives teachers access to the thoughts, feelings and experiences of children who have been bullied. As someone who was bullied, and who became a school refuser, this book struck a chord with me -- it gives an insight into what school really feels like for a bullied child. The practical advice and guidance will be of great help to all those working in schools.
Sue Cowley, teacher, writer and trainer, and author of Getting the Buggers to Behave
This is not a book I would normally review for healthy books, but it is so good, so to the point, so necessary that I am making an exception... It is a book that belongs in every school, and it should be read and used by parents too. Common sense is the main theme, and the strategies herein should be in use everywhere so that children no longer have to face the grim fact of being bullied.