New Beginnings

New Beginnings - Rebecca Emin This is the story of Sam Hendry… A girl who is about to leave her comfortable environment of primary school and her friends to start at a new school where there isn’t a familiar face that she can count on. She doesn’t really want to go leave her friends and ‘start over’ again, but has little choice in the matter. To make her worst nightmares come true, she is picked up as a target by the bully of the school. As grim as her life seems to be, she soon finds friends and a group that she can belong to. The drama club at the new school gives her a chance to express herself, nurture her talents and a group of friends – the silver lining of her life.

The first and foremost thing about this book is the subject matter that is carefully dealt with – Bullying. As we know that bullying is a real problem faced by many – be it in school or at work place. When at a work place, an adult has more experience and grit to deal with it. But at school level it is a bigger problem because a child is more impressionable and fragile at that stage and bullying can cause some serious damage both physically and emotionally. The author, Rebecca Amin has handled the subject very carefully. While on one hand she has depicted situations very effectively, on the other hand she has also shown that there is a way for everyone to deal and overcome such situations. When a child’s self-confidence is broken, it is very difficult for them to confide in someone and ask for help. But, I feel that even grown-ups should be aware of how it affects a child so as to be on guard and pick out the signs.

Besides dealing with bullying, this book also deals with the everyday life of a soon-to-be teenager. Sam’s life involves her friends, her talent, her interests and her first crush and the plot line effectively covers it all. It was so refreshing to read about life through such innocent eyes. It made me wish to go back to those days of my life. The references to different music and tv shows made me smile to myself.

My only complaint with this book was that I wish that the author had given us a bit more indepth look at the lives of the different characters. Otherwise, this was a very sweet book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Being some 150-160 pages it is also a fast read. I would suggest everyone to read this book – youngsters to realize that there is always a way to deal with bullies and for grownups to be aware of the effect of bullying on their children.