There has been a slight change of plans for this week's Freebie Friday - Wednesday evening I found out our visiting author would not be able to get his interview in on time (for which he is forgiven - deadlines truly are hell...)
Also on Wednesday, I received a box of shiny, new TRANCE ARCs. So for today's freebie, I will be giving away another advanced readers' copy of TRANCE. However, due to the nature of today's post, I don't want to run the freebie from the blog this week. Please send me an email (gerb at lindagerber dot com) if you want to be entered for the drawing. (If you are already on the list to receive a review copy, you can still enter to win a giveaway copy.)
What I really want to draw your attention to is a terrible epidemic that is affecting more children and young adults (and adults!) than I think anyone wants to admit - bullying. Yesterday, I joined with a group of YA authors to discuss the death of Phoebe Prince, who was bullied into despair and even mocked after she died. (Please take moment to check out Megan Kelley Hall's blog post about Phoebe. Also, Carrie Jones's blog for more on bullies.)
We are even more appalled to know that Phoebe was singled out, picked on, physically and emotionally pummeled, and NOT MUCH HAS BEEN DONE ABOUT IT. In fact, just yesterday I read a CNN.com article wherein school administrators whined about how they are being unjustly blamed for turning a blind eye to Phoebe's torment. Her misery, they say, was not their fault. They didn't want to see it then and they don't want to own it now. Well, I have news for those administrators - closing one's eyes to a problem does not make it go away. It's time to take a good, long look at the responsibility we all have to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.
And so, to that end, authors Carrie Jones and Megan Kelley Hall have taken the first step and initiated YAAAB - Young Adult Authors Against Bullying. Please join the facebook group here. Together, we will be doing everything under our power to take a stand against bullying.
If you or anyone you know has been affected by bullying, I want to hear from you. If you feel uncomfortable commenting about it below, send me a private email. We want to share experiences and ideas, to discuss possible solutions, to get the word out and shine a big, unforgiving spotlight on bullying until our schools and our society are unable to ignore it any longer. Please join us and take a stand before bullying steals the potential of another person.