Reviewed by Susan E. Richardson
For too many children back to school time brings dread and fear. Going into the classroom means that other children will taunt, harass, and/or physically abuse them. The problem is widespread and shows no signs of stopping despite school policies and other attempts to end these actions.
Author Nick Vujicic knows about being on the receiving end from bullies. Born without arms or legs, he describes himself as a bully’s dream, and struggled with the resulting depression. In Stand Strong, he now offers teens guidelines for becoming bully-proof.
You won’t find any quick fixes here. The material goes beyond a shallow “self-esteem” model to focus on solid growth in developing firm values, a strong faith, and learning to manage emotions. Other aspects include hints on finding a safe place and people to back you up. As readers walk through Vujicic’s successes and failures they see that both surviving and thriving are possible.
Though focused on bullying, the book goes far beyond that application. Any teen working on the difficult task of growing up can use the author’s guidance to develop a strong sense of self. The fact that Vujicic goes beyond the personal aspect to challenge readers to stand up for others who may be struggling adds to this dimension.
Adults dealing with teens in any capacity will find Stand Strong a useful guide to helping teens develop in all areas. Teens will relate to the author’s personal and conversational style. This one’s a keeper.