About 2 weeks ago, I shared my review of Creeps – a powerful and emotional story about bullying. While the blog tour ended up being pushed a week later, I’m thrilled to still be a part of it, closing up the tour with a guest post by the author, Darren Hynes as well as be the first to share with you all the exclusive premiere of the book trailer. Thank you so much to Penguin Canada/Razorbill for the honour!
For guest post ideas, I offered up the idea for Darren to share a personal bullying experience. This is his story.
Dean wasn’t the most popular kid. Shy and awkward, he wasn’t quick at making friends. Girls didn’t pay him much attention, so he spent most of his time alone. He had curly hair and wasn’t good at school and he spoke with incredible speed, almost like he was afraid that whoever was listening would grow bored and walk away before he had a chance to finish.
In ninth grade a new kid came to our school. He was from the states and he had long hair and tattoos and everyone was afraid of him. He didn’t speak much and didn’t care for authority and spent a lot of time in the principal’s office. He preyed on weak kids – those who wouldn’t stand up for themselves. Kids like Dean.
One afternoon in Industrial Arts class, the teacher stepped out for a moment and the new kid told everyone to gather round because Dean was going to eat sawdust. Dean said no at first but the new kid threatened to beat him up, so Dean walked over and got on his knees. The rest of the class gathered around watching, no one with guts enough to speak up in Dean’s defense.
“Okay,” the new kid said to Dean. “Eat it.”
Dean reached down and picked up a handful of sawdust from the floor and went to put it in his mouth, but then stopped.
The new kid grabbed Dean’s neck and told him again to eat it unless he wanted a good beating after school instead.
I remembered looking into Dean’s face at that moment and seeing the humiliation, the sadness. Most of my fellow classmates couldn’t look. A few others laughed, thankful I think they were not in Dean’s position.
At that point Dean opened his mouth and put the sawdust in. The new kid laughed and told Dean to chew and swallow, which Dean did. Then Dean was made to eat more and he did because I think he just wanted it to be over.
Shortly after, the teacher came back in and wanted to know why everyone was out of their seats, but no one said why, so we all sat back down and waited for the bell to ring.
At the end of the day I tried to find Dean but he had already gone. And in the days that followed I tried to talk to him about what happened but Dean seemed oblivious, as if it never happened and I got to thinking it was perhaps his way of coping.
He always looked a little sadder after that.
Thank you to Darren, for sharing such an intense and deeply affecting moment from his childhood. It’s sad to think that so many of us have been in one of those positions in our school life – whether it’s as the bully, the one being bullied or one of the ones standing by and watching it happen.
And without further ado, I’d like to present the premiere of the book trailer for Darren Hynes’ Creeps.
So what did you think? I love the rawness of the video, the lack of background noise gives it so much more of a personal sadness. It reminded me of the videos posted online by bullying victims, and sadly becomes well known after it’s too late.