Book Review ‘Bully in the Mirror’ by Shanaya Fastje
(News4us.com) November 20, 2012
Shanaya Fastje is only 13 years old but her list of achievements already rivals many people twice and even three times her age.
She is a musician (with a hit single, “Going Out of Control”), actress, trained martial artist, motivational speaker and author.
Her fourth book, “Bully in the Mirror” is a labor of love born from her research and experiences during her speaking appearances at schools and community centers over the last several years.
In essence, her book is a detailed program designed to help minimize and eventually put an end to the prevalent problem of bullying.
Through her words in “Bully in the Mirror,” Fastje addresses every individual involved in the complex bullying scenario: the bully, the victim and the bystander.
She defines each role, and then offers words of advice to each one, focusing of course on the victim. The aim is to build self-esteem in the victim to the point where he or she realizes that “…the bully’s power is fake.
The power to deal with bullying is within you and only you.” In a casual, friendly tone “Bully in the Mirror” contains step-by-step, interactive exercises as well as true-life accounts of youths who have implemented the tactics successfully, including first-person experiences from Fastje herself.
Awareness and education are a passion for Fastje, and this is evident in her well-researched and applied methods for repelling bullies.
Pre-teens and teenagers will benefit greatly from the empowering message of standing up to bullies, whether they are the victims or bystanders observing someone else being bullied.
However, what makes Fastje’s message so different from all the other anti-bullying campaigns is that the tools she offers don’t just help in a bullying situation.
It’s more than the circumstantial “It Gets Better.” Fastje is promoting the idea that “YOU Will Get Better,” meaning your self-esteem will improve; positive thinking learned through her book’s advice will help you overcome any obstacle in high school and beyond.
Fastje is young yet that doesn’t stop her from exercising her moral compass and expressing her unique voice by standing up to bullies, as she so eloquently does in “Bully in the Mirror.”
If more youths took on their own version of her courage, our society might be able to evolve past the unnecessary tragedies associated with bullying.
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