The heroes in this story are definitely younger than I usually take on, but considering the time we’re living in and its challenges, stories that open our eyes and maybe help build some more empathy are welcome. And read the author’s post. It’s helpful for everybody.
Battle of the Bullies by Fenyx Blue released inOctober in the Contemporary, Young Adult genre.
Ebony, Eris, and Emani Robertson have been through so much more than most high school freshmen. When they were younger, they survived a school shooting that killed their friend and left their oldest sister unable to speak. After giving homeschooling a try, they enroll in a promising new academy, hoping for the best.The Robertsons soon discover, however, that their new classmates are anything but kind. A mysterious group of bullies known as the Dimes rules the hallways and spreads fear everywhere they go. All three sisters end up being targets of the gang and have to find a way to defend themselves.The triplets couldn’t be more different, but their loyalty to each other and to their school never fails. Along with diverse group of friends, the Robertsons do everything they can to uncover the identity of the Dimes and restore order to the school.As if their lives weren’t complicated enough, they also get sucked in to a much bigger game—discovering who was responsible for the attack on their old school. Can they bring down the Dimes and bring the murderer to justice, all while trying to make it through ninth grade?
AUTHOR BIO:If author Fenyx Blue actually had a tattoo, it would be a heart. Ms. Blue has written every book with love. Blue is a teacher, coach, mentor, and motivational speaker focused on women and youth empowerment. She has written a young adult novel about bullying entitled Who Failed Johnny?, a poetry book about purpose named The Blue Ink Movement, and a children’s book about the power of a solid father daughter relationship called Worth the Weight.
Fenyx believes in service to the community. After being chosen as teacher of the year for her school district, she continued to mentor teenagers and facilitate discussions about controversial topics like drugs, sex, violence, cyberbullying and mental health. She has been a guest poet for several women’s retreats and workshops and loves the energy she receives from a live audience.
Throughout her years as an educator and youth ministry leader, Blue created Team Bully-Free Forever, a poetry team for her school, and a mentoring group called D.I.V.A.S to address the needs of young people. She is dedicated to teaching the next generation to follow their dreams and feels it is her mission to equip them for the future. Ms. Fenyx Blue is a proud mother of three beautiful children who inspire her to write each day.
Where does your interest in this problem comes from?
Girls are not bullies
Battle of The Bullies was born out of a need to put an end to a few myths about bullying. As a teacher and a parent, I witnessed adults in shock to discover that a female was bullying a male or another female. Many adults were more familiar with physical bullying so they assumed that a girl could not intimate or abuse a boy. Yet, girls were hitting boys and daring them to hit them back. Girls were isolating other girls from special events, parties, or group chats. Girls were starting rumors and spreading lies. I love that we are experiencing a revolution of girl empowerment that has announced to the world that girls have power. I hope that we also teach our girls to use their power for good. The female characters in Battle of The Bullies make both good choices and bad choices like human beings. Some are bullies. Some are bystanders. Some are targets. Some are upstanders. They are girls. They can do or be anything.
Boys can handle bullying better than girls.
When I wrote Who Failed Johnny?, I had found inspiration from one of my students who was considering suicide. He told me that if he didn’t have my club, Team Bully-Free Forever, he may have taken his own life. He liked our talks, the friendships he had developed, and the lessons he had learned about himself through our activities. Boys often hear things like “Man Up!” or “Stop Crying” more than they hear let’s get you some therapy or talk to me about your problems. It is unfortunate because many of my former students learned to hold their emotions inside. These emotions begin to bubble and they eventually explode in the form of fights, profanity, or self-harm. I do not know why mental health is taboo in many communities, but I do know that our boys write lovely poetry and stories to me about their divergent feelings. I hope we one day will have a world that will listen to boys instead of telling them to remain silent.
Parents know everything
I am a parent so I wish that I knew it all. Don’t get me wrong I possess many necessary parenting skills like self-defense, first aid, meal prep, etc. Yet, I wish I could tell you where my twins are at all times, what Social Media they are utilizing each minute, and what thoughts are in their heads. Unfortunately, I give them space and trust them to enjoy some freedom. Therefore, I do not know it all. Parents were surveyed and they did not believe that 1 in 5 students are bullied. Some reported not knowing that their own child was a bully. The fact that we as parents do not know it all should not be shocking. However, what can we do about it? We can know the bullying laws for our state and make sure that our children know them, too. We can research the apps that our kids use and discuss our expectations with them about their Social Media. We can be familiar with the apps for ourselves as well as the terminology and features that are used on each platform. If someone says DM or Snap, we need to know what that means. We don’t have to know the latest TikTok viral video’s details, but we should know what TikTok is and how someone could abuse it. We should know if our child uses it. This involves listening and sharing. When I joined Clubhouse before my twin teens even knew it existed, they said, “We aren’t on there, Mom.” I said, “You aren’t on here yet, but when you do join, I’ll know what you need to know.” I won’t ever know everything, but I know what matters to them.
You can follow Ms. Fenyx Blue @FenyxBlueInk on Instagram and Youtube.
This post is part of a Tour. You can find the schedule here (http://xpressobooktours.com/2020/11/27/tour-sign-up-battle-of-the-bullies-by-fenyx-blue/).
Giveaway:Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
- $15 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Battle of the Bullies, and some book swag