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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: "To This Day" by Shane Koyczan

An authentic rallying cry for anyone who has been affected by bullying.

In February 2013, Shane Koyczan's passionate anti-bullying poem "To This Day" electrified the world. An animated video of the lyric narrative went viral, racking up over 12 million hits to date and inspiring an international movement against bullying in schools. Shane later performed the piece to sustained applause on the stage of the 2013 annual TED Conference.

Now this extraordinary work has been adapted into an equally moving and visually arresting book. Thirty international artists, as diverse as they are talented, have been inspired to create exceptional art to accompany "To This Day." Each page is a vibrant collage of images, colors and words that will resonate powerfully with anyone who has experienced bullying themselves, whether as a victim, observer, or participant.

Born of Shane's own experiences of being bullied as a child, "To This Day" expresses the profound and lasting effect of bullying on an individual, while affirming the strength and inner resources that allow people to move beyond the experience. A heartfelt preface and afterword, along with resources for kids affected by bullying, make this book an invaluable centerpiece of the anti-bullying movement.
*(summary courtesy of Goodreads)

My Review:
Although not my usual fiction novel, this was an amazing poetry book about bullying. The poetry is spoken word, specifically, and as a lifelong Shel Silverstein fan and former victim of bullying, I felt that I must put this book on my blog. It's a little tearful (at least it was for me) and has an incredibly great message for everyone.
While reading, I was reminded of my childhood and how much of what those bullies said still affect me today. Although I am told that I am pretty and I have a size 4 hour-glass figure, it's hard for me to believe because I still remember being called ugly and fat and still hold that insecurity. The sad thing is that bullying doesn't stop at grade 12, it continues at college, the workplace, where you live etc. It's everywhere, just a bit more subtle-sometimes.
The illustrations portray the feelings of inadequacy very well and I loved some of the quotes in the book. On a side note, I never understood why people said the age-old saying "Sticks and stones...". Also the author has a YouTube video performing the poem, so check it out!

Favorite Quotes:
"I told her 'Whenever I'm sad my grandmother gives me karate chops', this led to a full scale investigation and I was removed from the house for three days..."
"I'm not the only kid who grew up this way, surrounded by people who used to say that rhyme about sticks and stones as if sticks and stones hurt more than the names we get called, and we get called them all"
"So broken heart strings bled the blues as we tried to empty ourselves so we would feel nothing. Don't tell me that hurts less than a broken bone; that ingrown life is something surgeons can cut away; that there's no way it can metastasize; it does."
72 pages
Expected publication: September 2nd 2014 by Annick Press

Rating:  🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔
Recommend?   Everyone has been bullied at some time in their life. I
                             strongly suggest a read.

(ARC courtesy of Net Galley and Annick Press)


Natalie Maddock said...

ive seen the video of the poem a while ago. it was really good! im glad you read this book though

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