The power of literature such as Eric Gansworth’s If I Ever Get Out of Here, Leila Sales’ This Song Will Save Your Life, and Kristin Levine’s The Paper Cowboy, can help prevent bullying by generating important conversations in classrooms, families, and communities. These audiobooks can also provide support to those who experience bullying.
IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE by Eric Gansworth
Read by Eric Gansworth
IF I EVER GET OUT OF HERE is a powerful novel about friendship, memory, and the joy of rock ‘n’ roll. This audiobook covers a wide range of topics including peer pressure, not fitting in, racism, and poverty in a way that is effortlessly woven into the plot. Listeners will easily relate to the well-drawn characters Eric Gansworth has created and they will enjoy his authentic narration. Listeners are given “sharp insights into being an outsider and Gansworth’s intimate knowledge of the prejudices and injustices” as Publisher Weekly wrote in a glowing review.
THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE by Leila Sales
Read by Rebecca Lowman
Inspired in part by the frequency with which teenage suicides have been linked to bullying, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE by Leila Sales follows the story of Elise Dembowski. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey and most importantly, a love for DJing. In a starred review, Booklist praises “Elise Dembowski will not be unfamiliar to readers. The girl most likely to be picked on…honestly and deeply Sales probes the life of a miserable 16-year-old.”
THE PAPER COWBOY by Kristin Levine
Read by Lincoln Hoppe
THE PAPER COWBOY, poignantly written by Kristin Levine is told from the point of view of Tommy, a bully with a tough home life. Kirkus raved in a starred review that THE PAPER COWBOY is “a winningly authentic, realistic and heartwarming family drama.” Set in the 1950’s and based in part on Kristin Levine’s own family history this novel is a perfect balance of historical fiction, which makes it appeal to educators, and it’s full of realistic characters young listeners will relate to. THE PAPER COWBOY will open a dialogue about bullying, abuse, and mental illness, in addition to the Cold War and McCarthyism.
For more titles and information about how to help stop bullying visit www.thebullyconversation.com. You can also listen to thought provoking interviews with Jay Asher, Laurie Halse Anderson and David Levithan. Request a FREE “Kids & Bullying: Audiobooks for Conversation” CD sampler on our Free Materials page.