Bullying has come to forefront of the news. Across America, the reality of bullying has hit headlines with the increasing number of suicides due to being bullied being reported. As a mom who has glimpsed the first hints of bullying toward my daughter on the playground, this is a topic I want to become more aware of.
You Can’t Sit With Us follows a girl named Ginger through her middle school where she is a victim of bullying. The book is written in first-person, so you have the perspective of Ginger. She joins a group of friends who have written a “Code” to help kids know what to do in the face of bullying and encourage bystanders to do something in order to stop it.
Ginger continues to get bullied, to a point where she places herself in exile in order to protect others that she loves. Because of the cunning of the bullies, situations are manipulated in order to get her into trouble. This means she needs to meet with Lydia, the bullying counselor. Lydia is a Christian, a Little Person and she’s gracious and patience. She is the perfect character for this book, a true pillar of strength and wisdom because she has been there.
As Ginger learns how to handle bullies, she’s also learning who she is and why that’s important. A big lesson in the book is that no one else can tell her who God created her to be. God is faithful, He is good, and He is with her. As she grows into a stronger belief in these truths she gathers the courage to take a stand against the bullies – the outside voices who shame & humiliate her.
Yet, she also learns the importance of loving her enemies and what that looks like practically. That loving enemies doesn’t mean you’re best friends with them, it means you treat them kindly & with dignity instead of treating them how they treated you.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even if it was written for a teenager. It gave incredible insight into the mindset of victims of bullying and the mental images of themselves that take a toll on them. It also gave the message loud and clear that God made all of us unique and it in that uniqueness that we are cherished.
“Different is good. Don’t fit in…don’t ever try to be less than what you are and when someone tries to tell you that you are different, smile and hold your head up high and be proud.” – Angelina Jolie (at the 2015 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, she won best villain).
Disclosure: I received this book free of charge from Thomas Nelson Publishing for the purpose of my unbiased and honest opinion. The perspective within this review is solely my own.