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Book details
  • Genre:JUVENILE FICTION
  • SubGenre:Social Issues / Bullying
  • Language:English
  • Pages:186
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098391089

The Only Way Out

A bully, a victim and a bystander whose lives will never be the same

by Katie Kuperman View author's profile page

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Overview
Kaitlyn and Rebecca are next door neighbors and the best of friends. The two young teens can't wait to attend high school together! What they don't know, however, is that danger the likes of which they never could have imagined looms ahead. Just moments after they begin their exciting first day, Rebecca becomes the victim of choice for Chantel, a young, rough-edged bully at Leacrest High. What starts as a seemingly insignificant altercation outside the school cafeteria eventually escalates into physical, mental and emotional attacks, both in the flesh and online. But no one knows the depths of what she's going through – not even her best friend, Kaitlyn. One sunny afternoon in March, tragedy strikes and a horrible incident takes place, of which Kaitlyn is an unfortunate bystander. Rebecca is cornered and fatally attacked by Chantel and four other students in the schoolyard. In the hospital, a medical examination reveals a terrifying secret that Rebecca has fallen prey to self-harm over the last few months, and now the people closest to her are forced to deal with the discovery. After emergency brain surgery, just a few days later, Rebecca dies of her injuries. Kaitlyn is swallowed whole by feelings of sadness, anger, accountability and guilt. She removes herself from society and becomes diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Battling depression and unable to participate in any of her regular day-to-day activities, it is a dark and sad time. That is until Kaitlyn's silence is finally broken. A revelatory experience catapults her into a new life chapter – one that is signified by speaking up, because now she knows this is the only way out: for her, for victims, for bystanders and for bullies. Kaitlyn begins a powerful anti-bullying movement called, Time to Talk, which honors Rebecca, tells her story, and encourages students to talk. Who knows how large an impact she can make…only time will tell.
Description
Kaitlyn and Rebecca are next door neighbors and the best of friends. After eight years of elementary school at separate institutions, the two young teens can't wait to attend high school together. What they don't know is that danger the likes of which they never could have imagined looms ahead. Just moments after they begin their exciting first day, Rebecca becomes the victim of choice for Chantel, a young, rough-edged bully at Leacrest High. What starts as a seemingly insignificant altercation outside the school cafeteria eventually escalates into an alarming physical assault against a locker. Trouble brews thicker when Kaitlyn finds out about the locker incident and is eager to talk to their parents and report Chantel to the school principal. Embarrassed, mortified and appalled that her best friend would even think to put her in such a position, Rebecca could not disagree more and makes Kaitlyn promise not to tell a single soul. For fear of letting Rebecca down and scared of losing their friendship, reluctantly, Kaitlyn agrees. The next few months are plagued by a whirlwind of confusion, secrecy and lies. As the two girls cozy up to separate social circles and become engulfed in their first-love relationships, they begin to drift apart. When Kaitlyn reaches out to make plans, Rebecca says she's with her boyfriend, but behind the scenes she tells her boyfriend she's with Kaitlyn. No one is the wiser until tragedy strikes. One sunny afternoon in March, Rebecca is cornered and fatally attacked by Chantel and four other students in the schoolyard. A horrific scene of which Kaitlyn is an unfortunate witness and bystander, this marks the beginning of the end for poor Rebecca. She is raced to the closest hospital where she never regains consciousness. A medical examination reveals a terrifying secret that Rebecca has fallen prey to self-harm over the last few months, and now the people closest to her are forced to deal with the discovery. After emergency brain surgery, just a few days later, Rebecca dies of her injuries. Kaitlyn is swallowed whole by feelings of sadness, anger, accountability and guilt. She removes herself from society and becomes diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Battling depression and unable to participate in any of her regular day-to-day activities, it is a dark and sad time. It isn't until her parents force her out of her bedroom on a day trip that Kaitlyn snaps out of her debilitating mental state. An unexpected event takes place that puts her in front of an elementary school where a young boy experiences a bullying episode of his own. Kaitlyn calls out and tries to get through to him but it is only once she finds her voice and reports the incident to the school principal that she truly realizes what must come next. Kaitlyn's silence is broken. This revelation catapults her into a new life chapter – one that is signified by speaking up, because now she knows this is the only way out: for her, for victims, for bystanders and for bullies. Kaitlyn begins a powerful anti-bullying movement called, Time to Talk, which honors Rebecca, tells her story, and encourages students to speak out and speak up. While her new journey brings to the surface even more baffling and disturbing information about perpetual and deeply troubling cyberbullying attacks that Rebecca was forced to endure when she was alive, Kaitlyn presses on. She is determined to bring change to her school. And she does, one student at a time. Who knows how large an impact she can make…only time will tell.
About the author
Katie Kuperman is a passionate writer, entrepreneur and mother. Situated in Toronto, Canada, Katie lives with her family and is the owner and principal copywriter of Striking Content, a content writing and strategizing business. Her life is rich with a breadth of experiences ranging from competitive sport and travel, to academics and entrepreneurship, to motherhood and the pursuit of dreams. Katie writes with intent and purpose to make her readers feel, learn and do. It is her hope and her vision that, through her writing, she may be the ink that dots the lives of others in a positive and meaningful way.
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