Thursday, October 9, 2014

"To This Day" by Shane Koyczan

To This Day:
For the Bullied and Beautiful
by Shane Koyczan

Did you know that October is National Bullying Prevention Month? With this in mind, today we bring you To This Day, a new book featuring Shane Koyczan's anti-bullying poem. You may remember it from the YouTube video that took the world by storm in February 2013.

For another book about bullying, please check out my blog post on Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser.

An authentic rallying cry for anyone who has been affected by bullying.
In February 2013, Shane Koyczan's passionate anti-bullying poem "To This Day" electrified the world. An animated video of the lyric narrative went viral, racking up over 12 million hits to date and inspiring an international movement against bullying in schools. Shane later performed the piece to sustained applause on the stage of the 2013 annual TED Conference.
Now this extraordinary work has been adapted into an equally moving and visually arresting book. Thirty international artists, as diverse as they are talented, have been inspired to create exceptional art to accompany "To This Day". Each page is a vibrant collage of images, colors and words that will resonate powerfully with anyone who has experienced bullying themselves, whether as a victim, observer, or participant.
Born of Shane's own experiences of being bullied as a child, To This Day expresses the profound and lasting effect of bullying on an individual, while affirming the strength and inner resources that allow people to move beyond the experience. A heartfelt preface and afterword, along with resources for kids affected by bullying, make this book an invaluable centerpiece of the anti-bullying movement.

Book Video


The Poem
On his website, Shane Koyczan states: "My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways.
"I wrote 'To This Day', a spoken word poem, to further explore the profound and lasting impact that bullying can have on an individual.
"Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. We can give them a starting point … A message that will have a far reaching and long lasting effect in confronting bullying."
Here is an excerpt from the poem:
I’m not the only kid
who grew up this way
surrounded by people who used to say
that rhyme about sticks and stones
as if broken bones
hurt more than the names we got called
and we got called them all
so we grew up believing no one
would ever fall in love with us
that we’d be lonely forever

Praise for the Book

My Review
To This Day is the book of the YouTube-sensation spoken word poem of the same name by Shane Koyczan. In this edition, the poem is lovingly illustrated by thirty artists from around the world, several of whom contribute anecdotes about their own experiences with bullying at the end of the book. Each artist illustrates a section of the poem in their own style, creating a wonderfully eclectic whole.
The book includes a Preface in which the author shares his own experiences of being bullied as a child. The Afterward tells the story of the poem. A list of resources is also included at the end of the book.
I was first introduced to this poem when my thirteen-year-old daughter brought the YouTube video home from school. She was deeply affected by it, as was I. I think most of us have experienced bullying to some extent, but we often feel like we are the only ones. I had a really bad time going through high school, and I remember thinking that everyone would be better off if I wasn't around. Fortunately, I pushed through and made it out the other side. I went on to be successful in my job and at university, and I now have a wonderful husband and two beautiful (in more ways than one) daughters. So, please remember, you are never alone. You are not the only one going through hard times. If you need help, please seek it out. It will be worth it in the long run. As Shane Koyczan says, "We are graduating member's from the class of we made it."

About the Author
Shane Koyczan is an award-winning Canadian poet, author and performer. He has brought audiences to their feet around the world. Shane is the winner of the US Slam Poetry Championship and Canadian Spoken Word Olympics. He has been featured on BRAVO television, NPR, BBC and CBC radio, and performed at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Enter Clean Teen Publishing's giveaway for a chance to win over $300 in prizes.
This year Clean Teen Publishing have decided to participate in Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying prevention is important to them as it affects many of their teen readers and even their adult readers. (Yes, adults can get bullied too!) Please stay tuned to their blog and social media for upcoming posts from your favorite authors as they help spread the message that BULLYING IS FOR WIMPS!
To kick this month off, Clean Teen Publishing is hosting a huge - gigantic - unbelievable giveaway! They will have additional entry options for this giveaway with each new blog post they send! So make sure to subscribe to follow their blog by email to maximize your chances to win some amazing prizes, including the GRAND PRIZE of a $100 Amazon gift card or Paypal cash.