I hope you’re all enjoying the Summer holidays! I’ve not had much time for reading recently, but I came across this on my reading list which I’d completely forgotten about, and thus I decided that I really needed to turn my attention to it…
Rosalind, the lead character of Being Miss Nobody, has selective mutism. On moving to a secondary school where she doesn’t know anyone, she becomes an instant target for the school bullies. With no friends, a terminally ill younger brother and parents under significant stress whom she doesn’t want to burden further, she starts a blog as an alternative way of speaking out against the bullying behaviour. The blog quickly takes off, with other bullied children garnering strength from her posts and starting to fight back, but soon its success takes an unintended turn for the worst…
This is a powerful and, at times, emotional read about finding your voice. It explores the issues of bullying, bereavement and friendship and also, importantly, highlights the potential unintended consequences of using the anonymity afforded by the internet to speak out. Rosalind is a character who has so much on her plate and I defy anyone not to warm to her immediately. The backdrop of terminal illness and loss adds even more poignancy to the story, and there are some beautifully-written, moving interactions between Rosalind and her brother that made me both laugh and cry. There’s a real need for books that highlight bullying in the age of the internet/social media and this story, which espouses the importance of speaking out but reminds readers to think carefully about how they go about it, will resonate with children aged 10/11+. I think it’ll be enjoyed just as much by adults too.
Being Miss Nobody
Author: Tamsin Winter
Illustrator: Emma Trithart
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Paperback: 384 pages