Stand up against bullying! (Discussion and giveaway)

I am happy to be part of the Spread Love, Not Hate Blog hop today!  As a teacher- man have I seen my share of bullying- both from my students AND from other teachers. 
I taught very young students and they aren't even separated from bullies.  I have had girls gang up on other girls- picking on one so much that she hid and cried and feared to come to school. I have had older students deliberately hurt young ones.  What is the worst of all of that?  Adults.  Adults can be some of the biggest bullies out there.  You don't think an adult can bully a kid? Ever been told you are fat by a parent? Not good enough? Not trying hard enough? Not ________ enough?  I think you see my point....  Parents- you are the BIGGEST influence in your child's life- it is your job to make them see how beautiful and precious and loved they are!

Ahem, I got off topic.  I REALLY wanted to talk about bullying in the online book world.  I tend to shy away from drama because I very much dislike being a part of it- it makes me feel unwell.  There has been a ton of drama online in the last month- and I for one am very tired of it.  The book blogging world is a community- a community made of readers, bloggers, authors of publishing houses and independent publishers, agents, publishing houses- there are a ton of parts to our community!  I am so sad to see parts of this community attacking each other- and even more importantly, in public.

Please don't expect me to take sides and say that "it's the authors/ agents fault- they need to be more professional" or "it's the bloggers fault- they are too mean".... because honestly, I agree with both.  I think respect goes both ways- whether it be author to blogger, blogger to author, or even blogger to blogger.  When people get online, they feel more FREE to write whatever they want, and sometimes don't think that the whole world will see it.... that simply isn't true.
The best thing I have ever learned from being online is don't EVER say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.  And if you have a problem with someone- take it straight to them.  Don't tell someone else why you have a problem with another person- take it straight to the source.  

If you have a book blog or are an author, that means you understand and are capable of putting sentences together, you are able to write and express complete thoughts- which ALSO means that as a community we can have discourse about a topic in a HEALTHY way.  If I thought a book was really harmful for teens- my reccommendation?  Start a discussion post- invite the author- KEEP. IT. CIVIL.

Above all- let's share more love and less hate- I think if we got out of our bodies for a minute- and tried to be in another's shoes, we could understand more where other opinions come from and realize that we all need each other.

Giveaway time!  This is really simple:  Post a comment below and join in my conversation- what do you think?  Agree? Disagree?  Have a story to share?  Each time you post or reply to someone else's comment you will get an entry!  Make sure to include your email with your first post!  (And if the post seems "spammy"- like you aren't actually trying to be part of the conversation- I won't count it!)

So what am I giving away?  A book about bullying to the extreme.....  and something very very terrible that happened because of it....

Giveaway ends 2/29/12.  Open to US/ CA only.  13+.

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