Bullying has become a huge problem for many children. There are different reasons as to why bullying happens, just as there are varied forms of attack. It can be verbal, physical, mental and even spiritual. I have tried to approach the subject within Harriet and the Secret Librarian, with the main character Harriet having a couple of her own personal bullies to deal with. The characters are based on personal bullies that I had as a 10 year old. I dealt with them differently to Harriet, and hope that what I have written may help some children to reverse their own situations, as Harriet has done later in the book, for a positive outcome. Here's a snippet from one of those encounters, which takes place outside the public library. The antagonist, Belinda, seizes an opportunity to pick on Harriet, thinking that nobody is watching-but she has another thing coming!
Now, today, here was Belinda outside the library, threatening her again. "Where's your broomstick?" Harriet retorted. "And why are you here?"
Belinda narrowed her eyes even more. "I have to pick up Miss Miller's morning tea from the bakery. She said I could be her assistant today. Didn't think I'd see your horrible face." She smiled, showing several rotten teeth. "You'd better mind that crutch, you never know what could happen," she hissed, looking around to see if anyone was watching. "On the other hand, now might be the time to give you that bashing I promised."
Harriet decided to ignore Belinda and walk straight ahead, but Belinda swung around, kicking the crutch from under Harriet's arm with her foot. Down she went, scraping her right ankle. Belinda quickly picked up the crutch, pointing the narrow end at Harriet's thigh, ready to poke her with it. Harriet wondered how she was going to get out of the situation. She saw Belinda holding the crutch high, and pulling back her lips in a horrible sneer.
"How about a few more days off, deadhead?" Belinda threatened.
Somebody is watching, and steps in to help-but it isn't always the case. I hope that I can inspire children, whenever my book is finally published, to deal with their tormentors and not have lasting scars throughout their adult life. Food for thought.