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Please stop laughing at me : one woman's inspirational story
Jodee Blanco
Adult Nonfiction BF637.B85 B57 2003

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A publicist (and author of The Complete Guide to Book Publicity) who has promoted several bestsellers, Blanco was once a troubled child, tormented by her school mates. In this moving account, Blanco describes how she was first victimized in a Roman Catholic grammar school because she defended some deaf children when they were picked on by hearing students. She gave the names of the ringleaders of this cruel activity to one of the nuns, and was subsequently ostracized by former friends for being a tattletale. After Blanco transferred to another school, she continued a pattern of reporting bad behavior to authority figures and became a true outsider. According to the author, her parents were sympathetic, but they made things worse by forcing her to see a therapist. He prescribed medication that made her sleepy and told her that "kids will be kids." In high school, she was physically abused by students who also objected to her "goody two shoes" attitude. During her teen years, Blanco's emotional problems were compounded by a physical problem that caused her breasts to grow at different rates (later corrected by surgery). Blanco does feel, however, that those painful early years gave her the strength to become a successful adult. Although the text is overwritten in parts, the author's courageous and honest memoir of the years she spent as the victim of her contemporaries points smartly to the inability of adults to deal with issues of serious bullying. (Mar.) Forecasts: This book touches on a topic that has been the focus of a few books this year, such as The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander by Barbara Coloroso (Forecasts, Dec. 16), and together the books could very well spark media attention. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

With these two titles, the genre on navigating adolescence continues to grow but gets no boost. The publisher is comparing Blanco's story with Dave Pelzer's A Child Called "It," but that's inaccurate, for it lacks that book's honest writing. A public relations agent, Blanco writes about growing up a misfit and reject, constantly tormented by her classmates. Never really fitting in, she moved from school to school in the Chicago suburbs, with verbal abuse soon turning into physical abuse. Then, when Blanco was 16, her parents decided to vacation in Greece, and they flew the next day (what about passports?). She met a guy in his "quaint" club and spilled her life story, including problems with her asymmetrical breasts (one huge, one tiny). She then shed her bra so that he could admire her lopsided chest. Back home for breast surgery and her senior year, she was soon driving one of Dad's company cars (!) to school. Though she was a proud, God-fearing "good girl," she turned assertive, even muttering "Screw you!" to one of her enemies. On to New York University, a public relations career, and back to a high school reunion to see all the kids who had tormented her-and more bizarre fodder. With too much in this memoir failing to ring true, and much of it sounding preposterous, readers have no reason to sympathize with the author. In her latest book, consultant and speaker Evans (The Verbally Abusive Relationship) turns to teenagers with the goal of identifying verbal abuse and stopping it, but she is long-winded, repetitive, and self-serving. Too many generalities get in the way of facts here; and lists with examples of abuse and ways to respond are mostly useless. For example, Evans suggests that one fire back the comment, "That's silly talk," which hardly constitutes teen lingo. Verbal abuse always precedes violence, she claims, but this is not supported with facts. The chapters on where to find abuse (in media, sports, the home, and school) could have been lumped into one. Finally, in the text and in the slim bibliography, Evans recommends her own books and her own web site. Libraries are much better off with Rachel Simmons's Odd Girl Out and Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes. Neither of these new books is recommended.-Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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