So Not Okay, #1 Mean Girl Makeover Series   -     By: Nancy Rue
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So Not Okay, #1 Mean Girl Makeover Series

Thomas Nelson / 2014 / Paperback

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So Not Okay tells the story of Tori Taylor, a quiet sixth grader at Gold Country Middle School in Grass Valley, California. Tori knows to stay out of the way of Kylie, the queen bee of GCMS. When an awkward new student named Ginger becomes Kylie's new target, Tori whispers a prayer of thanks that it's not her. But as Kylie's bullying of Ginger continues to build, Tori feels guilty and tries to be kind to Ginger. Pretty soon, the bullying line of fire directed toward Ginger starts deflecting onto Tori, who must decide if she and her friends can befriend Ginger and withstand Kylie's taunts, or do nothing and resume their status quo. Tori's decision dramatically changes her trajectory for the rest of the school year.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.11 X 6.11 (inches)
ISBN: 1400323703
ISBN-13: 9781400323708
Availability: In Stock
Ages: 8-12
Series: Mean Girl Makeover

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Publisher's Description

There is no such thing as neutral.

According to the Ambassadors 4 Kids Club, one out of every four students is bullied—and 85% of these situations never receive intervention. Parents, students, and teachers alike have amped up the discussion of how to solve the bullying problem for a networked generation of kids. 

Written by bestselling author, Nancy Rue, each book in the Mean Girl Makeover trilogy focuses on a different character’s point of view: the bully, the victim, and the bystander. Each girl has a different personality so that every reader can find a character she relates to. The books, based on Scripture, show solid biblical solutions to the bullying problem set in a story for kids.

So Not Okay tells the story of Tori Taylor, a quiet sixth grader at Gold Country Middle School in Grass Valley, California. Tori knows to stay out of the way of Kylie, the queen bee of GCMS. When an awkward new student named Ginger becomes Kylie's new target, Tori whispers a prayer of thanks that it’s not her. But as Kylie’s bullying of Ginger continues to build, Tori feels guilty and tries to be kind to Ginger. Pretty soon, the bullying line of fire directed toward Ginger starts deflecting onto Tori, who must decide if she and her friends can befriend Ginger and withstand Kylie’s taunts, or do nothing and resume their status quo. Tori’s decision dramatically changes her trajectory for the rest of the school year. 

Features & Benefits:

  • Book #1 in a new middle grade fiction series for tween girls
  • Bullying is the topic of awareness in schools and the  media
  • Series will tell the story in three different perspectives: the bully, the victim, and the bystander
  • So Not Okay tells the story of the bystander, a role in which many tweens find themselves

Author Bio

Nancy Rue is the best-selling author of more than 100 books for teens, tweens, and adults, two of which have won Christy Awards. Nancy is also a popular speaker and radio guest due to her expertise in tween, teen, and young women's issues. She and her husband, Jim, have raised a daughter of their own and now share their Tennessee lake home with two yellow labs. Website: www.nancyrue.com Twitter: @NNRue Facebook: nnrue

Product Reviews

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  1. Wman4JC
    miami, fl
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Time to Fight Back!
    June 18, 2014
    Wman4JC
    miami, fl
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    My Comments

    This is my first time reading Nancy Rue, but it won't be my last! The story started kind of slow in getting my attention, but once it got going I was HOOKED. I truly love that this book is from the perspective of Victoria, "Tori" Taylor. She's what I would consider the bystander in this book, but her heart is absolutely amazing and wow, is she smart?!

    It's 6th grade and the rules have been the same since elementary school, stay out of The Pack's way and you won't be bothered.

    The pack consists of leader Kylie, the leader and nicknamed "The Alpha Wolf" (which I thought was utterly clever and even fitting to her character)

    And her friends: Riannon, Izzy, Heidi, and Shelby.

    Tori and her best friends, Ophelia "Phee" and Winnie work have lots of classes together, work together, and support one another through everything. That all changes when the new girl arrives. Ginger's presence changes the ENTIRE dynamics of the school when everyone knows to stay away from The Pack. She tries to befriend them with disastrous results.

    Tori notices what's going on and it sickens her. Then one day they're all in class together and Tori stands up for the new girl, which has very unexpected results. Tori invites Ginger into their group for a class project and the more they research the project, the more trouble brews against them.

    All I can really say about this book is_..WOW. I simply loved how Tori reacted and how she felt compelled to take a stand even though the odds were against her the whole time.

    What I loved about this book: Lydia, Tori's dad's assistant, sitting with the girls while working on their project and the conversations they have together (those were the best scenes!)

    How the girls become the Tribelet and work together to defend Ginger

    Tori's grandmother and the precious relationship they share

    How Tori wages war on bullying, NOT the bullies

    The way justice comes about

    The biggest problem I had about this book (other than the insane unfairness of the bullying) was the mistreatment of Ophelia against Tori. Phee becomes a total brat and continues to give Tori ultimatums. I understood her fear and it was obvious she suffered from her decision, but being neutral and pretending there isn't a problem DOES NOT make it go away.

    Some of the tactics The Pack uses in the story took my breath away in disbelief. Guys are also bullies, but girls are just so CRUEL!! The lengths they went to in order to discourage and gang up on Tori and her friends was completely uncalled for. And none of the teachers noticing? I never experienced anything like that in middle school, but seeing their situation had me cheering harder for Tori. Kylie doesn't realize she's mean?! Goodness, that had my eyes go wide.

    Tori's courage and determination is also unbelievable in a good way. Wow, that girl had my attention all the way as she continues to help her friends do the right thing. I was so proud of her and amazed by her strength. Every method she applies turned out to be Biblical, but there was no preaching in the story at all. There is one scene in church with Tori and her family, but it had me laughing.

    This story is UTTERLY touching and it offers such wonderful advice to tweens on how to handle peer pressure, fitting in, doing the right thing, and responding the right way to unfairness in school. I laughed, I cried, and I cheered for these girls and just LOOOOVED how it ended!! I highly recommend this book and this series for kids aged preteen to high school. It gives hope and shows that you're not alone when facing a bully, no matter what age you are.

    I want to thank the author and Thomas Nelson for sending me a review copy. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
  2. tmurrell
    TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A must read for all pre-teen girls
    June 4, 2014
    tmurrell
    TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Tori and her friends aren't exactly being bullied. But they are not very high on the list with the popular girls. It's more like they're invisible. But when a new girl arrives at school the popular girls begin to make her life miserable. Tori is stuck between ignoring what she sees happening or risk being put in the category with the girl being bullied. Can she come up with a plan to stop the taunts and save her class project or will everything fall down around her?

    This book was extremely well written. Sadly I could really relate, so it was also a bit painful to read. The author did a great job of not only telling the story, but showing ways to combat the bullying. Young girls will be able not only feel like someone understands, but will be left with solutions and tactics they can use to help get rid of the bullies in their school. While the subject matter is heavy, the author has inserted elements of humor that makes the story fun to read as well. I would highly recommend this book to any young girl about to enter middle school.

    I received this book free of charge from Harper Collins in exchange for my honest review.
  3. CTF Devourer
    CTF Devourer
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Is staying on the sidelines really the best choice
    May 23, 2014
    CTF Devourer
    CTF Devourer
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 2
    "Yeah, you're a gang. Mitch the Witch, Winnie the Ninny, Gingerbread, and Victoria my pet."

    "You're breaking everybody's heart by even showing up at school. You reek like moldy gingerbread."

    "Anybody who likes Gingerbread has to be blind. Or stupid."

    "I think there's something wrong with you."

    "I told you - you're dead."

    "Scientists and psychologists don't know anything about what goes in a middle school. If they did, they wouldn't call what we do bullying."

    Book: So Not Okay, #1 Mean Girl Makeover Series by Nancy Rue, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2014

    323708: So Not Okay, #1 Mean Girl Makeover Series

    Genre: Realistic Fiction

    Target Audience: Girls 11-15

    Subjects: Bullying, Friendship

    Summary: The Wolf Pack rules the school. Everyone knows it and just accepts it. As long as you lay low and blend in to the surroundings they won't bother you too much. Sure they're make fun of you sometimes, but nothing too severe, nothing overly prolonged. No one told Ginger that secret to survival though. So she makes an effort to befriend the girls when she starts school at Gold Country Middle School. Of course that only makes it worse and soon there's an actual hate club with lists about why everyone should hate Ginger. Smashed together for a research project in Science, Tori, Ophelia, Mitch, Winnie and Ginger are faced with a question: Why does bullying occur and what (if anything) can be done to stop it? The question goes far beyond a homework assignment. They need to find answers - for the sake of their very survival!

    Notes: So NOT Okay, the first in the Mean Girls Makeover trilogy, Nancy Rue addresses the issue of bullying from the perspective of the bystander. The next two books address it from the issue of the bullied and the bully. In this first book, the bullying situation is set up and the bystanders become the bullied as they support the one who was the primary target for the bullies. A sort of mentor tells the girls that "You can't stay neutral and expect this to just go away. If you do nothing you're partly responsible for the consequences."

    The spiritual elements are surprisingly less in this story than in others from this author. The mentor is portrayed as a Christian and makes a comment about prayer a couple of times and at the end of the story tells Tori that all the methods they developed for dealing with the bullies came straight from the Bible. The author has said that the story is building up towards a stronger spiritual emphasis.

    This book is part of an entire anti-bullying movement that the author is leading. Please visit the So NOT Okay website and her personal website for more information and to join the movement.

    Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 2/5

    Reviewer: J:-)mi

    Esther 4:14 - For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

    2 Timothy 4:2 - Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
  4. Fitzysmom
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    May 16, 2014
    Fitzysmom
    If you are living and breathing then you've probably encountered bullying in some way. The time has come for us to begin to fight back against the mean girls!

    Nancy Rue has written an amazing trilogy that addresses the topic of bullying in a unique way. Each of the three books will look at the topic of buyllying from a different perspective. The first book So Not Okay, centers around shy sixth grader Tori Taylor. Tori represents what it is like to be a bystander to bullying.

    Tori is sweet and just wants to stay out of the limelight. She is no match for the overbearing Kylie. In fact she goes out of her way to avoid conflict with Kylie. When Ginger comes along and draws Kylie's fire, Tori is caught in a dilemma that too many of our girls face each day.

    I have long been a fan of Nancy's writing, and I have to say this is some of her finest work. She does an amazing job of giving voice and emotion to this pervasive topic. Every tween or young teen girl should read this. Yes it is a work of fiction but I'm sure you will immediately see the powerful message of these fictional girls. The damage of bullying can be long lasting and we need to do whatever we can to put a stop to it.

    The next two books in the series will address bullying from the perspectives of victim and bully. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the story. I hope you will join myself and others in declaring that bullying is #SoNotOkay!

    I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
  5. Lala
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Definitely A Must Read for Tweens!
    May 14, 2014
    Lala
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I am beyond thankful and appreciative that Nancy Rue took the time to write this novel! I teach a group of elementary girls every Wednesday night at my church and each one of them said they had been bullied! It was very eye-opening to read SO Not Okay and have a better understanding of what my girls have gone through! Talk about heart-breaking!

    SO Not Okay hit on so many topics concerning bullying that not only will it leave people aware of how it happens, but what the "victim" can do! I actually plan to print out the same code that the girls used in the book for my own girls (see the picture to the right)! What makes the code even cooler is that all of them are based on the Bible!

    The novel itself was a great read, but it was also very hard to read through as well. I have never personally been bullied and seeing the effects of bullying on Tori and her peers was hard to cope with. As a parent and teacher I don't want to be a random bystander, but want my kids and "students" to know they can come to me as a trusted adult. After reading I also have a better understanding of helping my children understand in how not to be a bystander as well.

    Overall, I highly recommend this novel to tweens you are getting bullied and even parents/teachers/family members who want an "inside scoop" of what their child or someone else is going through as well as how to handle it! As Nancy points out through this entire novel that by sitting back and doing nothing we are just like the bully, but God can give these children and parents the strength to make a bold stand for Him!

    I give SO Not Okay a 5 out of 5 stars (definitely in my top 10 reads of this year!)!

    *(I received an ARC copy from the author in exchange for an honest review! All thoughts expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review!)*
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