Whether you are a teen or an adult, bullying is a very important topic to discuss. Throughout this quarter, especially in October, we have been focusing on it during National Bullying Prevention Month. Our featured author this month is our very own Selma P. Verde, the author of The Way Series. Let’s learn a little more about Selma.
Sharon, the founder and visionary of Mentoring a Dream, is also an author of young adult novels. Did you know that her penname is Selma P. Verde?
She has been a creative writer since she was a kid, in the form of silly plays and creative storytelling. As an adult, watching the kids around her growing up and learning life’s lessons inspired her to write novels about some of the challenges teenagers go through. Writing is a passion that she can’t let go of.
Her series of young adult novels, called The Way Series, focuses on the challenges that teens face. We are going to talk about two parts of the series which focus on our quarterly theme of bullying.
Shawn’s Way, the second book in the series, is about Shawn, who is the target of one who bullies. Their story is continued from the first book, The Hard Way, as Paul and Josh are dealing with life after juvie, which has led to other serious consequences. While Paul wants to get his life back on track, Josh is just angry and decides to take it out on an incoming freshman, Shawn. This book will hit hard for far too many students (actually 1 in 5), who have dealt with or continually deal with bullying as part of their everyday life.
And “Josh’s Story” is a companion short story to Shawn’s Way which is about Josh, the one who bullies. Normally, we hear about what happens from the perspective of the target of a bully. Not this time. In “Josh’s Story,” we are going to look at what happened from the one who bullies’ point of view. This story is based on characters and storyline from The Way Series, but it is a stand-alone story, and if you are reading the series, it fits well between book two, Shawn’s Way, and the upcoming book three, The Street’s Way.
Here is a little more information about the series.
The Way Series – by Selma P. Verde
So, are you looking for a couple of good teen coming-of-age reads focusing on teen challenges? Check out The Way Series.
Book #1 – The Hard Way
Begins with the story of Paul Jones and his freshman year of high school and now must navigate dealing with pressure from his peers to fit in.
Book #2 – Shawn’s Way
Continues Paul’s journey from The Hard Way but now we meet a new freshman, Shawn Townson, who is forced to navigate being the target of a bully.
Book #3 – The Street’s Way
And The Way Series story continues with the introduction of Mikala Kalani. She is a runaway and homeless teen. Find out more when this book is released next year!
Follow this link to my books tab to learn more about the series and pick up your copies! – Selma’s Books
If you would like to receive a free copy of “Josh’s Story”, join the email list through the form in the footer of the page, and you’ll receive a copy of this brand-new short story FREE!
How does her series help us to understand bullying?
Bullying as a challenge faced by teens and adults alike. There are two sides to every bullying event. One side is why the one who bullies is choosing to bully and the other is understand what the target of the bullying is going through. She addresses both of these pieces in Shawn’s Way and “Josh’s Story”. The two reads listed above focus on opposite ends of the same bullying event.
Selma wanted to create a relatable story for teens to read and learn more about bullying, and to know they are not alone. These novels are a great read for parents and caring adults and remind us about a challenge our teens face.
What can we do to help teens?
Did you know only 20% to 30% of students even talk to an adult about being bullied? So, if our teen comes to us for help, they have taken a big step. When you are faced with this situation, here is some information from stopbullying.gov to help your teen stand up to those who bully.
Coach your teen to confront the one who bullies
If your teen feels confident enough, have them look straight at the bully and tell him or her to stop. Be clear and speak calmly. Let them know you are not playing around. If they don’t feel safe standing up to the bully, tell them to just walk away, find a trusted adult and tell them what is happening.
Coach your teen to talk about how they feel
Have them talk to a parent, teacher, or an adult they trust and to be honest about how they feel. This helps them feel less alone and the adult can help come up with a plan to stop the bullying. Don’t let them face it alone
Reach out to the one who bullies
One of the least talked about ways that adults can help stop bullying is to talk to the one who bullies and find out what is bothering them. Typically the ones who bully aren’t just doing it to be mean to someone. Many of them have things they are trying to deal with and are taking their feelings out on someone else. Let’s not just make a place for the target to talk about what is happening, but let’s make space for the one who bullies too.
According to StopBullying.gov, when adults respond quickly and consistently
Available resources on Mentoring A Dream
If you are looking for more ideas on ways to help your teen navigate being a target of a bully or bullying in general, take a look at our quarterly feature page on my website – Bullying
If your teen is dealing with a challenge other than bullying, please check out our Resourses page for a list of organizations and articles that may help.