Monday, July 22, 2013

The Bully or the Victim: Leech Mob Novel Questions School Profiling

More than 4,000 teens commit suicide each year because of bullying. Sure, it’s great advice for youths to talk to their parents, teachers, and even the police if they are victims of bullying and school violence. But most kids don't want to admit they’ve been bullied because they feel embarrassed, so they keep quiet. Leech Mob: A Novel about a Connecticut Gang by John Harwood shows how the main character Kelly Hayes chooses to fight back against the bullies, who, in his case, are star students, teachers, administration, and cops.

The novel is set in the early 1990s, before the long term effects of bullying on the victim were acknowledged. Kelly's teachers look the other way, the school administrators do not investigate complaints, and even the city cops “profile” youths before the term was ever used.  Kelly keeps the bullying a secret from his mother, a common response in teens, so she is unaware of the actual problems he faces. He believes that fighting is his only option, and he becomes a problem that the system wants to eliminate. 

Order Leech Mob here:
Visit us on Facebook
Hear the first two chapters on audio book - with artwork and video interviews with author John Harwood: