This book is a collection of essays, short fiction and personal memoirs aimed at helping people to just be their selves and not to try and separate from the crowd simply because of their skin colour, ethnic backgrounds or religions.
Authored by a father and daughter that I think will warm to people. It is probably one of the reasons I was so attracted to this book.
Inside they talk of how if you’re black skinned, some people take a different attitude with you. They argue why should this be the case? Nobody is different from anyone else. We should all learn to love each other.
There is a short piece written by Roger that really left me feeling disgusted with people. He talks about how as a young seven-year-old boy he found himself in a restaurant, walking in there alone. He distinctly remembers how people sitting at near-by tables turned their attention to him or as Roger says “sharp eyes turned and focused on me.”
He knew he’d done something bad in that moment but couldn’t work out what.
Eventually he walked out of the door and moved swiftly up the sidewalk. When a voice shouts over at him Roger is still left perplexed by what was his “crime.” Only later he manages to work it out - he had done something that no black person should and that was to enter a restaurant reserved strictly for white people.
I was shocked to read this and felt really angry. If this is how we Westerners treat others purely based on the colour of their skin then what example are we to set our children? It is no wonder that there is bullying in schools.
The Interview is another piece to read. It tells the story of a short, overweight white female who wears glasses and is very insecure. She goes for an interview and questions come up about how she lives her life. She says she prefers to stay in because she finds it hard to talk to people as they have to make a real effort to like her. This is just because she is overweight. A similar angle to the other story - again showing us how childish we can be when faced with a person who is a little different to ourselves.
There are exercises to try inside if you happen to have been a victim of this form of bullying - or any other.
The reader is instructed to write down an account of any bigoted behaviour you’ve faced. There follows a mini-questionnaire, tick the answers that apply to you. This can really help if you’ve been up against any unwanted attention.
The authors keep repeating, “withstand the lie”. The lie is the one those people tell you who shout names like “nigger” or anything else that they choose to label you. These are all lies.
I found this a really useful self-help book that teaches readers to build up their confidence and just be their selves. Learn not to let stereotypes verbally bully you. Everyone is the same as each other despite what backgrounds you may come from or how you physically appear. We are no different. We all have to live in this same world together so isn’t it better to just get along?
This is definitely a book that should help anyone who has suffered from bullying of any kind or feel they don’t “fit in”.
Roger and Nicole are really good teachers - so let’s practise what they teach and learn to love each other and ourselves.
The above review was contributed by: Jessica Roberts:Jessica is a book reviewer for a local newspaper and has reviewed for a national women's magazine too. She has had various articles published in magazines and has now completed her novel. Jessica currently lives in West Yorkshire and enjoys walking in the dales and woodlands as part of her hobby as well as, of course, reviewing books. To read more of Jessica's reviews CLICK HERE