Please Stop Laughing at Me

Ryan Myers

Summary

"Yet here I am, sitting in a rental car in a hotel parkng lot in suburban Chicago where I grew up, scared to go to a party in my own hometown. I'm being ridiculous. It's just a high school reunion, there's nothing to be frightened of. They can't hurt me anymore" (Blanco 2). This is how we are introduced to Jodee Blanco, the main charater in "Please Stop Laughing at Me." In Jodee's elementary school years everything was great until she starting volunteering for the school's autistic program. Jodee became very close to some of the special needs students. Everyone at her school didn't like that. Her so called friend Jo Ellen gave her a choice to either stop hanging out with the special needs students or they can't be friends anymore. Jodee chose to be friends with the special needs students. This is the turning point in the story for Jodee. From this point in the book Jodee gets made fun, harassed, and bullied for the rest of the book. The novel ends with her attending her high school reunion. She is finally accepted by her adult classmates and she forgives them.
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Character Analysis

Jodee Blanco is a teenage girl with wavy hair. She is an only child in a loving Catholic family that includes her mother and father. Her grandmother and aunts were part of her life. While popular in elementary school, Jodee soon becomes an outcast in fifth grade because of her honesty and desire to protect others. Jodee always wants to do the right thing even if the right thing isn't the popular thing to do. This desire to do the right thing brings a lot of problems for Jodee. She ends up transferring schools often because of her inability to fit in. Her fifth grade principal told her parents, "She should make more of an effort to blend in. Kids will be kids (Blanco 42)."

Conflict/Resolution

The type of conflict in this story is character vs. society. It is Jodee against her school peers. Jodee is being bullied because she stands up for what she believes in. For example, one Halloween her friends wanted to egg an elderly neighbor's house. Jodee did not want to participate. "I refused to join in because I felt so bad for this lady. I told them what they wanted to do was mean and horrible" (Blanco 42). She is bullied from fifth grade through high school. Her conflict is finally resolved when she attends her high school reunion. They are happy to see her and apologize for the way they acted as kids. "They can't hurt me anymore. I think we may finally even become friends" (Blanco 267).

Theme

The theme of the book is the power of bullying on self-esteem. Jodee thinks the following while she is trying to decide to go in to her high school reunion.


"What if that terrified teenager I used to be, the outcast who came home with cuts and bruises, is still hiding inside of me? Will she come out if one of the popular kids stares at me oddly or snickers? Will my confidence desert me when I see those familiar faces that caused me such pain? Will it hurt so badly that I'll revert back to that insecure person who couldn't stand to look in the mirror because she loathed who she saw" (Blanco 3)?


Jodee learned first hand the effects of bullying. She goes on to establish a successful anti-bullying program for teachers, parents, and students.

Textual Evidence

“The hardest thing about being an outcast isn't the love you don't receive. It's the love you long to give that nobody wants. After a while, it backs up into your system like stagnant water and turns toxic, poisoning your spirit" (Blanco 139).


This is my favority quote because it shows the effects of bullying and how it can mess up a person's life and make them feel worthless and pathetic.

Book Review

I would give this book 5 stars because it could potentially save children's lives that are being bullied. It could also help parents whose kids are being bullied because they would learn the symptoms and signs of bullying. Bullies should read this book so they can see the effects of their words and actions on other kids.
Song About Bullying / Song About Suicide - Close To The Edge By Cameron Brown

Bullying Resources

Citations

Blanco, Jodee. Please Stop Laughing At Me. Avon: Adams Media, 2010. Print.


Brown, Cameron. "Close to the Edge." Online video. YouTube. YouTube, 16 Sept. 2011. Web. 11 May 2016.


Given, Christi. "Girl to Girl Talk: Being Bullied Hurts a Lot." Project Inspired. 7 January 2013. Web. 11 May 2016.


Lattal, Darnell. "Bullying: Unhealthy for Humankind." The Performance Management Magazine. June 2014. Web. 11 May 2016.


Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center. n.p. n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. StopBullying.gov. n.d. Web. 11 May 2016.