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Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy

by, Emily Bazelon 

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Important Dates to Remember:

  • September 17--Book Club Kickoff, 7P, High School Auditorium
  • September 24 (Optional)--Rachel's Challenge, 6:30PM, High School Auditorium
  • September 30 (Optional)--Discussion of Prologue & Part 1 on Facebook/Twitter
  • October 1 (Optional)--Film Documentary, BULLY, Screening at Spring Lake District Library with Conversation to follow, 7P
  • October 7 (Optional)--Blue Shirt Day, World Anti-Bullying Day, Wear a blue shirt
  • October 14 (Optional)--Discussion of Part 2 on Facebook/Twitter
  • October 23 (Optional)--Emily Bazelon Comes to Spring Lake, Details to come
  • October 23 (Optional)--Emily Bazelon Lecture, 7PM, Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids
  • October 28 (Optional)--Discussion of Part 3-END on Facebook/Twitter
  • Week of November 4--EAT WITH EIGHT (Host will contact you)
  • November 11--Book Club Final Launch, 7P, High School Commons

Available locally at The Bookman in Grand Haven and many other venues including e-versions and audiobook.


When I was in 8th grade, I had my own experience with bullying. First, my group of friends fired me, which I can say dryly now, but at the time it was immensely painful. Then I made a new friend, and when she was being bullied, I had the chance to help her by standing up to her tormentors, and I didn’t do anything. I’ve thought a lot about my own cowardice in that moment and it makes me want to figure out how to help other kids do better.

That question led me to write my first book, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. I insisted on that mouthful of a subtitle because the most important lesson I learned from my research and reporting is that as parents and educators, we can’t just fight to stop bullying in schools and communities. We also have to help kids develop a strong foundation—what previous generations called moral fiber—if we want them to behave better in a group. And we also have to help instill in them the value of understanding—and valuing—other people’s emotions.

In order for that to happen, we have to talk about bullying—discuss how much it's happening in our communities, the harms, and the potential solutions. I am so honored that you in Spring Lake are using my book as a springboard for that discussion. It's a book of stories and ideas, and in talking to many many readers since the book came out earlier this year, I've heard conversations that have gone in so many productive directions. I really hope the book works for you! And I can't wait to hear your thoughts about it.

All the best, and with much gratitude and appreciation,


Emily Bazelon Introduces Her Book