Bullying in schools
“Bullying is a problem for kids in many schools, and is not specific to any social group. This mistreatment exists in various forms and some incidents go unreported because the victim fears further mistreatment if they defend themselves. In some cases, bystanders who witness the event will encourage the bully, or not do anything at all. Bullying is pathetic, and no one should have to endure it.”
This is an excerpt from the back pages of this book from writer/artist/creator, George C. Rottkamp. This book, “Life of Lydie: Bully Blues,” was made to raise awareness of bullying in middle school, and those who are faced with this kind of abuse. Having experienced this personally, there was no hesitation to purchase and read this book. The cartoon-like artwork stands out, because this is labeled as a children’s book, but it can easily be enjoyed by adults of all ages. The bright, vibrant colors give the sense of suburban life, and even though they bring forth a bright atmosphere, the story isn’t quite as cheery.
The story takes place on the morning of Lydie’s first day of middle school. As any typical morning goes for a young student, Lydie gets dressed, eats breakfast, brushes her teeth, and tells her momma that she loves her. Then the moment arrives…boarding the school bus. For some, this is a fun ride until the bus arrives at the school. For others, it’ll seem like the longest road trip ever. Unfortunately for Lydie, the bus ride isn’t a pleasant one, and not only does a boy, Duff, shove her head against the window, but he steals a personal item of Lydie’s. Terrified, she doesn’t fight back, nor does she exchange any words with him.
Lunchtime doesn’t look better for Lydie, as she sits alone at a table. Shortly after, the readers are introduced to another character, Nora, but will she be a friend or foe of Lydie? And what about Duff, will he return the item back to Lydie, or will he keep it? It may be a long school year for Lydie, but future installments of this series will reveal what will happen to these characters.
This is a book that will always have a place in my heart, as I experienced a similar situation in middle school, on the school bus. The message being told in this story is compelling, intelligent, and gets the message across about bullying and what can be done about this. There’s also a section in the back pages of possible solutions. It ends nicely with some concept sketches and some friendly faces that will make readers smile. I rate Life of Lydie: Bully Blues, 4.5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this book to parents whose children are being bullied in school, and to anyone else who wants to read a comic book that tells a wonderful story with beautiful artwork. This is an independent comic that is so well put together, but may not receive the awareness it deserves. Life of Lydie: Bully Blues can be purchased on Comixology HERE.
What can you do?
- Tell a teacher
- Talk to you parents
- Walk away
- Stick together with friends
- Sit in the front of the bus
More Info about bullying protection:
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center
Life of Lydie™ © 2015-2017
**Originally published on April 30, 2015 for Examiner.**