Since October is National Bullying Prevention Month, I want to share with you the real story that inspired my character, Violet Holt, the bully of my middle grade novel, Sour Lemon Strikes Out. Moms and dads, kindness must start with us! If our children see us treating others with hate, disrespect, and rudeness, they will do the same! Let’s teach our children to Be Kind to others, even if they don’t deserve it. Love and kindness will always win over hate.

This story is for any girl or boy that’s dealing with a bully right now. I want you to know that you are loved and your voice will be heard!

My niece, whom I refer to as Cara, was adopted as an infant into a wonderful, loving family. A happy child, Cara always had a smile on her face and lit up every room she entered. With her bubbly personality and carefree sense of humor, Cara made friends everywhere she went. An accomplished gymnast, she was rarely right side up, doing cartwheels in the yard and back flips on the mat.

Each year, her family celebrated “gotcha day”, a tribute to the day Cara became their forever daughter. Cara knew she was loved and wanted by her family. Cara’s beauty, with long black hair that flowed to the middle of her back and dark eyes that twinkled when she smiled, got her noticed by a boy in sixth grade. But Cara was completely unprepared for what came next. She became the victim of a jealous girl. A bully.

It began as name calling that progressed rapidly when the girl didn’t get the desired effect she expected. Cara simply ignored the silly name calling, so the girl got personal. Each day the bully chose different tactics to see what would sting the worst. She started with Cara’s looks. “Why don’t you have eyelashes? You look like a freak.” The words stung. Bad. And Cara immediately went home asking for mascara.

But the bully didn’t stop there. After several weeks of making fun of Cara’s appearance, the bully tried enlisting her friends for help. Fortunately, the girls ignored the bully, yet not one of them spoke up or told a single adult. Then, the bully hit Cara where it hurt the worst. She inserted doubt in Cara’s mind, feeding her the worst possible lie. “You know your real mom didn’t love you. That’s why you had to be adopted.” That was the final straw. Cara come home in tears and told her mom everything. Because Cara spoke up, the school administration took swift action and stopped the bullying. But the wounds the bully inflicted led to feelings of doubt in Cara’s mind.

Did my biological mother really not want me? Did she not love me? Am I even lovable?

What made this twelve-year-old girl so angry at Cara? Jealousy over a boy. That’s it. And the crazy part is that Cara didn’t even like the boy! Bullying is real and you can help stop it. Here are some suggestions:

  • The most important thing to remember if you are being bullied is to speak up! Do not stay silent! Tell a parent, friend, teacher, coach, or counselor.
  • The second thing to remember is you are loved and you are lovable! Do not believe what the bully tells you about yourself. He or she is jealous and is trying to hurt you. Do not let him or her!
  • If you see someone who is being bullying, speak up! Either tell the bully to stop, or go to a trusted adult.
  • If you have a friend who is a victim of bullying, listen to their feelings, and reassure them that those things are not true. Remember, the bully’s goal is to hurt and they will try whatever tactic works. Remind your friend that they are special!
  • Choose to Be Kind when dealing with others, even if they don’t deserve it. Try being kind to the girl who sits by herself at lunch. Try being kind to the boy who says mean things in class. Kindness is contagious and kindness can help prevent bullying!

Moms and dads, please share this story with your kids! Start a discussion and ask how they can help prevent bullying. Then, share your stories with me! I’d love to feature you on my blog!

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Julane Fisher is the author of The Sour Lemon Series, Southern fiction for middle school teens. Her debut novel, Sour Lemon and Sweet Tea, is a humorous portrayal of life before cell phones and social media, emphasizing positive family values. Her blog, 2Wrds, is a collection of encouraging and inspirational stories. Julane lives in north Georgia with her husband, twin boys, and their two mischievous Labrador retrievers. Learn more at