Saturday, October 13, 2012

Anthology Review: Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance

Title: Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance
Editor: Rhoda Belleza
Author(s): Kirsten Miller, Mayra Lazara Dole, Matthue Roth, Sheba Karim, Kate Ellison, Jennifer Brown, Brendan Halpin, Jamie Adoff, Elizabeth Miles, David Yoo, James Lecesne, Josh Berk, Lish McBride, and Zetta Elliott
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, Anthologies
Elements: Shapeshifters, Ghosts
Publisher: Running Press
Format: Paperback, 383 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-7624-4428-1
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Source: Publisher {Running Press}
Rating: 4/5
Purchase Here: Kindle // Paperback

Tagline(s): How will you survive the day?

Summary: Fearful breaths, racing hearts, uncontrollable emotions--both bullies and the bullied live life on a razor's edge. While school can be an endless cycle of whispers and rumors, and home everything but a safe haven, the stream of emails, texts, and tweets has absolutely no bounds. What does it take to come out on the other side?

Fourteen brutally honest YA voices explore the humiliation and urgency between predator and prey. With unique perspectives and hints at hope for the future, these stories speak for the boy sitting next to you in class, the girl whose locker is above yours, or perhaps even for the deepest, darkest corners of your true self.


Bullying has been a HUGE topic the past few years, and no matter how we try to stop it, bullying seems to worsen as time goes by. There always seems to be someone who thinks they are better than someone else, and that they can do whatever they want to those they view beneath them. Though it's near impossible to rid ourselves of bullying forever, and though it may be difficult, there is the hope that those who are being victimized will find the strength to overcome and rise above their bullies.

Cornered: 14 Stories of Bullying and Defiance shows us both sides: the bully and the bullied. We see how some have found strength from being bullied and try to help others in the same position. We see how nationality, sexuality, religion, social standing and other factors can determine which side of the spectrum you're on. Some get stronger, some just can't take anymore, and some become the bully after being bullied themselves. The stories in this anthology are as enlightening as they are disturbing. I definitely think this is a collection of stories every young adult should read.

Some Favorite Stories:

Nemesis by Kirsten Miller
Everyone's Nice by David Yoo
Defense Mechanisms by Elizabeth Miles
Like Kicking a Fence by Kate Ellison
We Should Get Jerseys 'Cause We Make a Good Team by Lish McBride

About these Authors:

Kirsten Miller grew up in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. At seventeen, she hit the road and moved to New York City, where she lives to this day. Kirsten is the author of the acclaimed Kiki Strike books, which tell the tale of the delinquent girl geniuses who keep Manhattan safe. Her latest novel, The Eternal Ones (August 2010) is a twisted story of reincarnation, true love, and sinister secret societies.

Mayra Lazara Dole's Americas Award Commended Title, Down to the Bone, received a starred ALA Booklist review, was nominated for ALA Best Books and made the following lists: Booklist's Top Ten Novels, ALA Rainbow List and CCBC Top Choices. Mayra has worked as a library assistant, ESL tutor, drummer and landscape designer. Her essays, Cuban dialect poems and short stories have been published by Hunger Mountain: the Vermont College Fine Arts Journal of the Arts, and many other digital and paper magazines.

Matthue Roth is a Hasidic author, slam poet, and screenwriter. His first book, Never Mind the Goldbergs, was an ALA Popular Paperback in Religion and a NYPL Best Book for the Teen Age. He's also written a memoir about becoming Orthodox (Yom Kippur a Go-Go), a supermodel spy caper (Candy in Action), and a cover of Ferris Bueller's Day Off starring Russian Jewish immigrants.
His next book, My First Kafka, is a picture book for kids. It's forthcoming in Spring 2013.
By day, he is a video game designer. Matthue lives with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn, and he keeps a secret online diary at

Sheba Karim writes literary and young adult fiction. She was born and raised in Catskill, NY, where she never saw Rip Van Winkle but frequently crossed the bridge that bore his name. She is a graduate of New York University School of Law and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her young adult novel, Skunk Girl, was published in the United States, Denmark, India, Italy and Sweden. Her fiction has appeared in 580 Split, Asia Literary Review, Barn Owl Review, EGO, Kartika Review, Shenandoah, South Asian Review, Time Out Delhi and in several published and forthcoming anthologies in the United States and India, including Cornered, Electric Feather and Venus Fly Trap. Two of her short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She was a 2009-2010 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in Delhi, India, where she conducted research on her current project, a a historical fiction novel set in 13th century India. She is editing the second Tranquebar Anthology of South Asian Literary Erotica for Tranquebar Press, forthcoming Fall 2012. FInd out more at

Kate Ellison lives in Georgia with her husband and two spoiled cats. When she's not writing, she enjoys watching NBC comedy shows, playing video games, and eating ice cream cake. Learn more about her writing, books, and obsessions with all things bright and colorful at her blog, The Southern Scrawl.

Jennifer Brown is a two-time winner of the Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award (2005 & 2006), Jennifer's weekly humor column appeared in The Kansas City Star for over four years, until she gave it up to be a full-time young adult novelist. 
Jennifer's debut novel, HATE LIST (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009) received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA "Perfect Ten," and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. HATE LIST also won the Michigan Library Association's Thumbs Up! Award, the Louisiana Teen Readers Choice award, the 2012 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award, was an honorable mention for the 2011 Arkansas Teen Book Award, is a YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback, received spots on the Texas Library Association's Taysha's high school reading list as well as the Missouri Library Association's Missouri Gateway Awards list, and has been chosen to represent the state of Missouri in the 2012 National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Jennifer's second novel, BITTER END, (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011) received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and VOYA and is listed on the YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list and is a 2012 Taysha's high school reading list pick as well.
Jennifer writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.

[Brendan Halpin] I'm a writer and a teacher. I've written memoirs, novels for adults, and novels for young adults. I don't know if my interest in and talent at writing YA comes from my experience as a high school teacher or my immaturity. Either way, it's good.
I live in Boston with my wife Suzanne and our three children and our dog, Cooper.

Jaime Adoff was born in New York City but grew up in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from Central State University in Ohio, where he studied drums and percussion. Moving to New York City in 1990, he attended the Manhattan School of Music and studied drums and voice. Jaime then went on to pursue a career in songwriting and fronted his own rock band for eight years. He released two CD's of his own material and performed extensively in New York City and throughout the US.
Jaime is a highly sought after speaker, presenting across the country on teen issues, diversity, YA literature and Poetry. His Rock n Roll school visits have been knocking the socks off students and teachers alike, for years. Jaime has worked with students from Kindergarten through High School and even college and graduate students as well. Giving them all a "backstage- all access- pass" into the life, creative process, and works of one of the most groundbreaking, unique and innovative voices writing for children and teens today.
Jaime Adoff is the son of the late Newbery Award-winning author Virginia Hamilton and renowned poet Arnold Adoff.
Jaime lives in his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio, with his family.

Elizabeth Miles is a children's developmental and psychological author, mother of 4 children - two of whom, both boys were diagnosed with ADHD before they were 10 and are now well into their late teens and attending college to study business and graphic design, respectively. In her spare time she enjoys painting, walking in the hills with her family and Labrador Charlie and watching the occasional crime drama.

David Yoo's first collection of essays, The Choke Artist: Confessions of a Chronic Underachiever (Grand Central) is out June 19, 2012. He is a graduate from Skidmore College with an MA from the University of Colorado-Boulder. His first novel, Girls For Breakfast (Delacorte) was a Booksense Pick, an NYPL Books For the Teen Age selection, and a Reading Rants Top Ten Books for Teens choice. He lives in Massachusetts, where he regularly plays adult soccer and Sega Genesis and teaches fiction at the Gotham Writers' Workshop.

[James Lecesne] For over 25 years I've been telling stories. Whether I'm writing, acting, producing or trying to create social change, it's usually the story that got me involved. But in the process of getting things done and trying to make the world a better place, I've also been telling the story of my life. This website is my best effort to provide the general gist. But my hope is that you find something here that will inspire you to live your life more fully and continue to tell your story.

Josh Berk is the author of THE DARK DAYS OF HAMBURGER HALPIN (Knopf 2010), named a best book for teens of 2010 by Kirkus Reviews and It was also awarded a Parent's Choice Silver medal, a starred review from School Library Journal, and a perfect 10 from VOYA. Reviewers called it witty, sardonic, delightful, and "a genre-bending breakthrough." (SLJ) His second comedy/mystery YA novel is GUY LANGMAN: CRIME SCENE PROCRASTINATOR (Knopf 2012). Kirkus says: "Hilarious wit and serious gloom blend seamlessly as Guy wades through the year after his dad's death..." Josh has also written a series of baseball-themed mysteries for younger readers. Look for STRIKE THREE, YOU'RE DEAD - the first in the "Lenny & The Mikes" series in 2013.
Josh has previously been a journalist, a poet, a playwright, and a guitarist (mostly in bands known for things other than fine guitar-playing). Visit for more information or for too much information.

Lish McBride was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. It rains a lot there, but she likes it anyway. She spent three years away while she got her MFA in fiction from the University of New Orleans, and she liked that too, although the hurricane did leave much of her stuff underwater. Her main goal in going to college was to become a writer so she could wear pajamas pretty much all the time. She enjoys reading, movies, comics, and preparing herself for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Currently, Lish lives happily in Seattle where the weather never actually tries to kill you, with her family, two cats, and one very put-upon Chihuahua. She is slowly building her garden gnome army.

Born in Canada, Zetta Elliott has spent the past fourteen years studying, writing, and teaching in the U.S. Her poetry has been published in the Cave Canem anthology, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, Check the Rhyme: an Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees, and Coloring Book: an Eclectic Anthology of Fiction and Poetry by Multicultural Writers. Her novella, Plastique, was excerpted in T Dot Griots: an Anthology of Toronto's Black Storytellers, and her essays have appeared in The Black Arts Quarterly, thirdspace, WarpLand and Rain and Thunder. She won the 2005 Honor Award in Lee & Low Books' New Voices Contest, and her picture book, Bird, was published in October 2008. Her first play, Nothing but a Woman, was a finalist in the Chicago Dramatists' Many Voices Project (2006). Her fourth full-length play, Connor's Boy, was staged in January 2008 as part of two new play festivals: in Cleveland, OH as part of Karamu House's R. Joyce Whitley Festival of New Plays ARENAFEST, and in New York City as part of Maieutic Theatre Works' Newborn Festival. She currently lives in Brooklyn.
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