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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Barnes & Noble Throws the Book at Bullies

By Dana Rudolph -

You might stop in for the latest NY Times bestseller or a half-caff, no foam, venti latte at the café. But go to a Barnes & Noble this week, though, and you'll also find anti-bullying materials in preparation for No Name-Calling Week (Jan. 24-28), an annual event sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
The materials for teachers and educators include "book recommendations, tip sheets for organizing No Name-Calling Week events, lesson plans for elementary and middle school students, classroom posters and buttons." Some GLSEN chapters are also participating in in-store panel discussions.
And over on the B&N Web site you can view videos from bestselling children's, young adult, and adult authors — gay and straight — about their experiences with bullying. I particularly recommend the one by James Howe, whose 2001 middle-grade book The Misfits inspired No-Name Calling Week. Howe's "Pinky and Rex" early-reader series also tackles bullying in the volume Pinky and Rex and the Bully.
Publishing house Simon & Schuster, which helped GLSEN create No Name-Calling Week back in 2004, is also the publisher of the now-classic (and much challenged) picture book And Tango Makes Three, about two male penguins who raise a chick together. They have also just published My Princess Boy, a book that was first self-published by a mom whose five-year-old son likes wearing dresses.
Kudos to both Simon & Schuster and Barnes & Noble for supporting anti-bullying efforts and LGBT-inclusive literature in multiple ways that go beyond just having the CEO or employees do an "It Gets Better" video. It's good business and good citizenship.


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