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Barbarians at the PTA    by Stephanie Newman Amazon.com order for
Barbarians at the PTA
by Stephanie Newman
Order:  USA  Can
Skyhorse, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Carrol Wolverton

Most of us have dealt with bullying at some time in our lives. This fast-moving novel deals with the issue on the grade school and adult level, particularly as it involves the parents. The story is good and the psychologist narrator gets her situation right eventually. She is unnerved that it is happening to her and her child.

Bullies exist on all levels, as becomes apparent in the novel. They occur with kids on kids, groups on groups, adults on adults, and with various interlacing between. Fortunately, it is now a frequent topic of discussion, and some resolution is often possible. Kids need help with this and parental guidance. Parents need to be very aware of what's going on with their children. Advice repeated more than once is to 'let them work it out.' That's easier said than done. Keep the communication open.

The ironic part is that bullying continues well on into adulthood. It's seen in clubs, church groups, and in the workplace. Some people need to feel somehow better or more influential, and will consciously or subconsciously move to achieve that higher feeling or place. If they feel threatened, a person of perceived lower ranking may be in trouble. Men are as guilty as women.

This novel deals with the bullying issue on the elementary school level but becomes very adult as the situation evolves. I found it brought back old memories, good and bad. I'm grateful to have had lifelong friends I could always talk to. Good friends make all the difference. I look forward to the movie.

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