Monday, December 16, 2013

PICTURE ME by Lori Weber

PICTURE ME by Lori Weber follows the lives of three teen girls each with their own unique issues.  The three teens also represent the bully, the bullied, and the guilt-filled bystander. 

Tessa lives with her mother and younger sister.  She has spent the last five years coming to terms with the loss of her father who was killed in Afghanistan by a roadside IED.  Quiet and reserved, she is friends with Krista, and together they work hard to earn good grades and cultivate good reputations that will ensure they get into good colleges and make something of themselves.

Krista is battling her own demons.  Her mother is a dedicated neonatal nurse who tirelessly works the night shift leaving Krista and her father to manage with takeout menus and evenings filled with TV.  Krista is overweight and very self-conscious about the problem.  She is taunted by classmates but tries to ignore the insults and carry on.

Chelsea is the bully.  She and her posse of girl friends are constantly finding new and more evil ways to make Krista's life miserable.  The final straw comes when they tape an unflattering picture on Krista's locker and wait nearby to watch the results. 

Tessa has had enough and retaliates by attacking Chelsea.  Both girls are suspended but the actual bullying problem is swept under the proverbial rug.  School staff and parents are not aware of the real underlying problem which results in a life-threatening situation for Krista and potential future problems for Chelsea since no one realizes the true source of her emotional turmoil.

Author Lori Weber captures the current controversial issue of bullying in stark detail.  Her characters ring true to real life situations today.  This is a must read for teens, parents, and teachers concerned about bullying.

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