Please Stop Laughing at Me

By: Lauren Valentine

Summary

Jodee Blanco is an everyday, common girl. She is well liked by everyone. At her current elementary school, there is a program for blind and deaf students. She feels like she needs to volunteer and help out. She loves spending time with them. But her friends don’t think that is as cool as Jodee does. She is constantly teased and put down. Jodee decides to get a fresh start and transfer schools.

At Jodee’s new school, she gets along with everyone there. But at a party with her best friend Callie and the rest of her classmates, she confesses to Callie’s parents about the inappropriate things they are doing. Once again, everyone hates her.

Jodee goes through never ending cycles of friends and enemies. She is hated at every new school she goes to. The bullying gets so out of hand that she writes poems about hurting everyone who was mean to her. She never wants to go anywhere, especially school. Jodee says, “I wake up in the morning with a gnawing anxiety,” (Blanco 188). Jodee has to find a way to stay strong through the rough times, and stand up for what is right.

Character Analysis

Jodee has brown curly hair and a condition that makes one breast significantly smaller than the other. She always feels obliged to do the right thing. She says, “I think of other outcasts, like Noreen, who don’t have that kind of support. I wish I could help them,” (Blanco 212). Jodee is often made fun of not for her appearance, but also for her use of broad vocabulary. Other students and even teachers think she is a teacher’s pet for raising her hand during class. She is an only child, so she can't rely on her siblings for help. Her parents are very supportive but can’t fully understand her daily struggles.

Conflict/Resolution

In the novel Please Stop Laughing at Me, Jodee goes through so many different conflicts. She is struggling to stay strong while she is being bullied. Her classmates make fun of her for her body, her appearance, her word choice and for sticking up for the underdog. Not only does she experience character vs. society conflicts with her classmates, but also character vs. self conflicts. She starts to believe all of the things people are saying about her. She is breaking down on the inside. Her only way of relief is writing poems, listening to music and acting. Jodee loves to perform in front of large crowds because it makes her feel alive. Not only is it her love of the arts that helps her, but the support from her parents. Jodee said, "My parents' love has sustained me through the years," (Blanco 213).

Theme

The biggest message that I took away from Please Stop Laughing at Me was putting other's needs before yourself. Jodee always puts other people before her, which is a good lesson to learn. Another theme I found was think about the effect your words will have on others. Jodee explains, "The bullies never remember, but the outcasts never forget," (Blanco 163). Even though she will grow up and will move on, she will always have the scars left behind.

Textual Evidence

In my opinion, the most exciting part of the book was when Jodee went to the two week pre-college. When she was there, she was surrounded by people just like her, who were in love with poems and acting. This was the best part because this is the turning point in the book, when she starts to see light at the end of the tunnel. Also, she meets a guy named TIm, and they both like each other. My favorite quote from the book would be, "I've been blessed. Despite getting knocked down so many times, God keeps putting people in my corner at just the right time who give me the courage and strength to come out for one more round," (Blanco 212). Jodee was bullied constantly, but still considers herself blessed to have her few supporters, like her parents, her friends in Santorini and her friend Annie.

Book Review

After reading the book, I decided to give it a definite 5 stars. It has so many conflicts that made me want to keep reading and reading. It was hard to put it down because it was so interesting. This was one of the most intriguing books I have ever read. I would recommend this book to anyone, from students to parents to teachers. It is beneficial to understand what goes on in the mind of someone bullied.

Bullying Statistics

-1 out of every 4 students have been bullied during the school year

-Only 36% of students who were bullied reported it

-1 out of every 5 students admit they have bullied someone

-4 out of 5 times, a verbal fight will turn into a physical one

Jodee Blanco on CNN

Jodee Blanco is interviewed on bullying

Citations

Blanco, Jodee, and Jodee Blanco. Please Stop Laughing at Me: One Woman's Inspirational Story. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2003. Print.


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"It's NOT Just Joking Around! - A Survivor's Guide to Joking and Peer Abuse :: Jodee Blanco." It's NOT Just Joking Around! - A Survivor's Guide to Joking and Peer Abuse :: Jodee Blanco. Ed. The Blanco Group. The Blanco Group, 2013. Web. 12 May 2016.


Jodee Blanco. Digital image. SP Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2016.


Please Stop Laughing at Me. Digital image. Amazon. Amazon, n.d. Web. 12 May 2016.


"Stop Bullying." Stop Bullying. Ed. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. N.p., 2016. Web. 12 May 2016.


"The Issue Of Bullying." STOMP Out Bullying ::. Ed. STOMP Out Bullying. STOMP Out Bullying, 2016. Web. 12 May 2016.