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Hot Buttons: Bullying Edition and Image Edition By Nicole O’Dell Book Review

The Hot Buttons: Bullying Edition and Image Edition is number 5 and 6 in the Hot Button series. The Bullying Edition covered the different real aspects of bullying and what is classified as bullying. There is verbal, physical, social, and cyberbullying that is harming our children’s health and self-esteem. Kids with special needs or disabilities, race, religion practices, and sexuality tend to be bullied more frequently. Nicole looked at the critical reasons behind why cliques bully and one of the shocking reasons is many bullies bully in order to belong to a group and to become popular. She also offered advice if your child is a member of a clique and how to handle if your child is the bully.


Nicole O’Dell shared throughout both books with readers her personal experience with being bullied and the affects it had on her. Before she entered middle school, she was bit by a mosquito and she contracted encephalitis and it made her gain some weight. She was called butterball by a classmate and was teased and bullied because of it. She struggled with emotional damage and she began exercising and dieting to lose the weight. A few years later when she started high school, the same guy who picked on her began to hit on her. She began to believe the lie that body size and appearance makes you desirable and she chased popularity.


The Image Edition instructed parents on comprehending how much pressure is being put on our kids and the expectations to look a certain way. She also explained the concepts of “spark, flicker, flame, and blaze” and how this lead her to being concerned with her appearance and bullying. She was very real in discussing with parents on the importance of being the parent and not their best friend. Satan loves to entice and lie to our teens and he promises acceptance from peers if you lose weight, gain muscle, and look like this celebrity or model. Nicole advised parents to build their child’s confidence with positive compliments and to encourage our children to be genuine and kind to others.  


I would recommend these outstanding books on bullying and image to every single parents, future parents, pastors, youth group leaders, and counselors. This series is an enormous blessing to readers and they will greatly influence and guide parents to assisting their children in dealing with today’s issues. I immensely liked the features of the strategic scenarios and how parents are encouraged to describe the different scenarios and then the teens is supposed to choose the best answer they would do in that situation. I really believe this would be a thought- provoking activity for children. I don’t have children yet, but one day, I plan on having them and this will be a series that I reread whenever that time comes. It has reinforced the need to pay attention to the signs of bullying and signs of negative body image being instilled into our children’s minds. I was shocked most by the statistics presented in these chapters and it opened my eyes to the real essential of reaching out to our teenagers and connecting with them on a deeper level. I appreciated the overview she has even in these books and she has set up the foundation where countless beneficial conversations can occur between parents and teenagers. If you’re looking for a great parenting series, then I highly recommend you read these books!


"I received this book free from the publisher from Kregel Publications book review bloggers program."  



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