Found this via Google Alerts today . . .
Every student at Passage Middle School is reading “Bystanders,” a novel about bullying by James Preller, during the school’s “One Book, One School” initiative. The school spent about $5,360 to purchase 1,100 copies of the book, said librarian Patrice Lambusta.
The school’s 980 students began reading it Sept. 19 and will continue through late October. Lambusta, who kick-started the initiative, said teachers and students spend 20 minutes each morning reading one day and participating in anti-bullying activities the next.
Activities include learning about cyber-bullying, taking quizzes about bullying, and discussions on being a bystander when a peer is bullied.
The Newport News program is a play on the national “One School, One Book” program that is reserved mostly for elementary schools, Lambusta said.
I am honored, and grateful. Thank you for believing in my book, Patrice Lambusta. Now if we can get every school in America to do this, I’ll give up this lonely career to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a catwalk model.
Um, there’s lots on this blog about the book, just click on “Bystander” on the handy-dandy right sidebar under “CATEGORIES.” Or click here for a free sample of chapters 1 & 2.
Now if I can only learn how to walk a straight line . . .
My son and I finished Bystander this weekend and we loved it. We read the book as part of a parent and school book club to be held on November 17 at Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School (grades 5-8), in Long Island.
This is the first book club our school has ever hosted and Bystander was chosen because of its theme to coordinate with October as national anti-bullying month.
I came across your blog and read your post about Passage Middle School
I didn’t know if you were aware that our school was reading your book as well, maybe not on as grand a scale, but it’s promises to be a fun event, taking over zero and half of 1st period. A light breakfast is even being served!
We started the book as a read-aloud and have been enjoying it over the past week or so. We picked it up Friday night after coming home from a Doors concert as a way to wind down (as a Long Islander, do you remember Westbury Music Fair? It’s still alive and kicking!)
We were about half done with the book at that point and within a few pages the story took off like a rocket.
After an hour, around midnight, I wanted to continue and finish the book but I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any more and began slurring my words. My son took the book and said, “Go to sleep. Mom. I’ll finish it on my own.” Which he did, staying up until 1am. Good thing we got back that extra hour of sleep this weekend!
My son couldn’t wait for me to finish the story, and I did this morning. It was no surprise why it kept my son up all night. We have read dozens of books together and Bystander will be one of our top favorites.
Bystander is a great, fast-paced story with well-developed characters and a great message. We especially enjoyed the local references. It is a wonderful read aloud and I can see it appealing to reluctant readers as well. My son’s friends also loved the book. We have already had several good mini-discussions at home while reading the book and I look forward to the book group at school.
I read your interview included in the book. Any other thoughts you have that I could share with the school book club would be appreciated.
Stefanie, thanks for that nice story — I”m glad it happened on Day Light Savings. Of course, I hung out a few time in Bethpage back in the day, just up the road on the Seaford-Oyster Bay.
And yes, I’ve been to Westbury Music Fair many times.
I’m headed to Long Island this week, in fact, visiting a couple of schools in Commack. It’s the only place on Long Island I’ve ever been invited to visit!
(And sure, that’s a hint.)
For more direct communication, it’s best to hit the contact icon up top and email me directly. Thanks for reading the book!