Don't Peak at High School - From Bullied to A-List
Edited by Fiona Scott-Norman
Don't Peak at High School, edited by Fiona Scott-Norman, contains a compilation of short and candid recounts written by famous Australians about how they were bullied at school and how the experience gave them the strength and motivation to be successful in their chosen career paths.
Once I began reading, I simply couldn't stop because it was downright inspiring, honest and heartfelt.
Recollections from famous Australians in the book include current Federal Finance Minister Penny Wong, Adam Boland (creator of Channel 7's breakfast program Sunrise), Charlie Pickering, Kate Miller-Heike, Marieke Hardy and many more.
Unfortunately, bullying can happen to anyone no matter who you are. It usually happens to those who are seen as different and who don't fit into what is deemed socially acceptable.
For example, Penny Wong was bullied because of her Asian background, Paul Capsis was bullied because of his Greek heritage and for being ‘girly', and Brendan Cowell was bullied because he was on television commercials.
Bullying can have adverse effects for victims, especially on their self-esteem. But this book shows that being bullied doesn't mean the end of the world for your self-confidence. Simply put, it can sometimes help to make the individual stronger and motivated than ever.
The authors in Don't Peak at High School explain very clearly but eloquently how being bullied changed the way they think and gave them the extra push to rise up and to be what they want to be. They provide helpful tips for victims with similar circumstances.
For example, Paul Capsis suffered constant bullying to the point where he almost jumped out from the window of his third-floor classroom. Being bullied helped him to learn to defend himself, he says. "It gave me a real sense of survival, of not giving up; I wasn't going to allow people to stop me. That's come to be useful."
I highly recommend grabbing a copy and having a read of this book. It's extremely poignant and inspirational. If you want to know about the difficulty of surviving in the playgrounds of primary and secondary school, this is the book to read.
This book is a fantastic read for those who are experiencing or have experienced bullying. It is also a must-read for those who need some advice on helping victims of bullying. After finishing the book, I've learnt that when people undergo one of the most difficult and traumatic experiences of their lives, it doesn't mean that there's no way out - it's possible to find light at the end of the tunnel if you believe in yourself and trust your own judgement.
To all the authors and contributors to this book, I acknowledge your resourcefulness and bravery. Congratulations on all your success! Thank you for speaking out and sharing your stories to make a difference.
4.5 out of 5.
If you are experiencing bullying and you need help or someone to talk to, check out youthbeyondblue's Bullying Fact Sheet (new window) or call either Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Help Line on 1800 55 1800.
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