'My sister bought this book for her pansy son...'

(45 Posts)
dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 21:48:38

This is the first line of a reader review of one of my children's books on bullying. The reviewer goes on to say that bullied children are losers who ought to smoke and drink in order to get in with the popular kids. amazon are refusing to take this 'review' down, saying it is neither offensive nor inappropriate. I think their attitude is disgraceful and irresponsible. Please check it out and, if you agree, click 'report as abuse' and then 'report as inappropriate' Thank you so much smile www.amazon.co.uk/review/R21JV40PZC5B9M/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0340911840&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=#wasThisHelpful

DizzyPurple Sat 01-Jun-13 21:55:04

Done! I agree, very rude although the comments written in response to the review are quite interesting!

FullOfChoc Sat 01-Jun-13 22:11:24


dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 22:13:48

Thank you, DizzyPurple. I'm gobsmacked that amazon don't see anything wrong with this review - and on a page for a children's book, which children will certainly be viewing. But I've spoken to three separate content supervisors and they've closed the file, so I think the only way they're going to understand that it is offensive is if enough people complain. I'm surprised their guidelines forbid racist remarks but don't include anything about homophobia - but I can't find where or how to open a discussion with them about that either. Frustrating.

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 22:14:21

Thank you FullOfChoc - much appreciated smile

Movingtimes Sat 01-Jun-13 22:14:56

Have you read his other reviews? I think it is entirely tongue in cheek. See, he has reviewed some clothes hangers here.

Movingtimes Sat 01-Jun-13 22:16:22
LalyRawr Sat 01-Jun-13 22:16:57


Also, I love you a little bit. My sister is a teacher and has this in her classroom. She says its the best book she ever bought.

Movingtimes Sat 01-Jun-13 22:19:03

Uh guys. It's a joke.

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 22:19:47

Yes, I have, Movingtimes - but it doesn't make any difference. Saying offensive things in a 'humorous' way doesn't make them acceptable - it's what school bullies often do - it's the basis of most teasing. I think we should be very clear on this, if we are to give children clear guidelines on what is acceptable behaviour.

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 22:20:48

LalyRawr - I love you too! Thank you for telling me this - it's made my day smile

Movingtimes Sat 01-Jun-13 22:22:00


LalyRawr Sat 01-Jun-13 22:22:24

How does a kid who happens to be reading the reviews know its a joke MovingTimes?

Do you think they will then search for every review by this guy and deduce he is 'ironic'?

Or do you think it will be more likely they will just shut the browser, not buy the book and carry on without help?

I love the idea that you can be a complete cunt then say 'just kidding!' and everything be okay.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 01-Jun-13 22:24:36

I have that book. Ironically the thing it helped with was getting ds to stop trying to hang around with the cool kids who have the 7yo equivalent of alcohol and smoking wives but to make friends with nice kids that he has something in common with.

Movingtimes Sat 01-Jun-13 22:28:33

Lady, I can guarantee you that if I showed my 10 year old that review she would realise it was a joke. It is very different, imo, to the sort of passive-aggressive 'just kidding' that you are referring to - it is clearly intended to be so over the top that you can't miss the joke. Or shouldn't be able to anyway.

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 22:28:57

In a nutshell, LalyRawr! And yay, IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou!

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 22:30:42

So Movingtimes - the term 'pansy' - acceptable in this context? Funny? Something we should want kids to think is funny and acceptable? Switch in some racist terms - are they OK too?

SisterMonicaJoan Sat 01-Jun-13 22:31:45


Doesn't matter it is probably a joke.

If this is "his" humour, then it's not funny in this context.

LalyRawr Sat 01-Jun-13 22:33:15

So because YOUR 10 year old can catch irony/sarcasm, it holds that ALL 10year old can?

Look, I get what you're saying but there is a time and a place for 'funny' reviews. A child's book on how to deal with bullying isn't it. If a child has reached that point, they are already vulnerable. They are already being bullied and feeling like shit.

Reviews like that are neither funny nor helpful.

SanityClause Sat 01-Jun-13 22:37:11

I have reported it, as well.

I have bought that book for one of my DDs and recommended it to other people.

We were discussing a situation today, in fact, and she just thought she'd re-read a relevant bit.

I was bullied at school, and it's really hard to help your DC when it happens to them, because i don't really have any answers for them.

omletta Sat 01-Jun-13 22:37:19

My 10 yo would not take that as a joke.

Homophobia isn't funny, ever.

FullOfChoc Sat 01-Jun-13 22:38:05

We have this book too and it's very good, opens up a discussion and very well written for a child to read.

Smudging Sat 01-Jun-13 22:40:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 01-Jun-13 22:41:39

My son wouldn't have understood that as a joke at all. Lots of bullied dcs wouldn't. They spend so much time with people who take the piss and use 'I was only kidding' as a get out that they lose the ability to read social signals and struggle to trust their own judgement as to what is broadly considered to be humorous. It's nowhere near funny enough for it to be obviously funny, especially to a child and a child who has social problems too. Plus there is that underlying truism that people who get walked over (like them) are failures and unless they change everything they are, they will always be failures.

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 22:42:01

Thank you SisterMonicaJoan. And you know, LalyRawr, that's the point exactly. This review is not the same as the reviewer's other efforts at humour because it includes abusive content about vulnerable children and gay people. It takes exactly the same kind of attitude as the playground bullies my readers are having to cope with, day after day. That's why I'm so incensed amazon can't see anything wrong with it.

The joke is accompanied by only ONE star, so highly unfunny for the author, I would say.

SanityClause Sat 01-Jun-13 22:45:50

Wow, dreamwriter I misunderstood your post. I didn't realise you are the author.

This book is fabulous.

It has really helped my DD, and I have recommended it to others.

Thank you to you for writing it. flowers

Charlie01234 Sat 01-Jun-13 22:46:42


dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 22:48:36

'Homophobia isn't funny. Ever.' Halleluyah to that. Thank you SanityClause for reporting it, and FullOfChoc for telling me you like my book. Smudging, I took a couple of years out of my regular writing to write some books about bullying when one of my own children was bullied at school. It's a serious problem that every adult has a responsibility to take seriously, but many don't unless their own child falls foul of bullies and they understand exactly what it means.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 01-Jun-13 22:50:12

I didn't realise you wrote it either. It's brilliant. I've recommended it to loads of people. Ds got it 2 years ago and now has loads of really lovely friends and no 'so called friends'. He likes who he is now and doesn't try to be someone else.



shufflehopstep Sat 01-Jun-13 22:51:19

If you click on the reviewer and read some of their other reviews, this person is clearly a troll who writes ridiculous reviews for their own amusement. Please write this on your complaint if you report them so that they can be identified as such.

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 22:51:30

QuintessentialOldDear - that's irritating, but we get used to taking it on the chin. I've never asked amazon to take down a review before, and it's the content of this one that really offends me. SanityClause - I've never had a bunch of virtual flowers before - I'm sooo happy my book has helped your DD. That's what I wrote it for. Charlie, thank you. Much appreciated

bico Sat 01-Jun-13 22:56:29

dreamwriter I've reported that post on Amazon, absolutely dreadful. It may be meant as a joke but if ds read that review he would be really upset.

I bought your book for my ds (8) who was going through a difficult time at school recently being bullied by an older boy. I think your book is wonderful. Even though it was a difficult subject to deal with both ds and I found your book amazingly clear and it gave him the tools to deal with his situation at school. He also used the tools to help other children who were being bullied. Thank you.

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 22:56:29

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou - it's lovely to hear that. I had to trawl through masses of books to find some useful ideas that might help my child to handle the bullying, but I was lucky because I had the time and researching stuff is part of my job, so I wanted to make them much more easily accessible to other families. They were life-changing for us, and for the 5-10% of children who get bullied for a prolonged period however highly their school scores on anti-bullying policies (Childline research) I might even go so far as to say they could be life-saving

Movingtimes Sat 01-Jun-13 22:57:27

OK, I take your point, but to be honest when I read it I thought it was so obviously a satirical parody of aggressively alpha-male homophobic attitudes that nobody could possibly take it at face value. If you believe that they could, then I can see why you would be upset.

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 22:59:08

Thank you Bico - I think a lot of children would feel upset or confused to read this review by an adult on a respected site. I'm delighted your ds found my book helpful. Really chuffed smile

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 23:00:24

Thank you, Movingtimes. Respect to you.

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 23:01:43

Shufflehopstep - that's a good point. Will do.

Movingtimes Sat 01-Jun-13 23:09:37

Also, dreamwriter, I hadn't realised you were the author. I can imagine I would feel very pissed off with the review if the book were my baby so to speak. It is lovely to see it has helped so many DC on here though.

dreamwriter Sat 01-Jun-13 23:16:41

Well it's not really about my book, Movingtimes - I don't think the review will put people off buying it, because there are plenty of very positive serious reviews from parents whose children have found it useful. I'm outraged that amazon can't see anything wrong with the content of the review, and I know how some of the children who email me would feel if they read it.

I reported the review because it was not really a review just an "in" for the review writer to spout his ill judged opinions.

dreamwriter Tue 04-Jun-13 19:55:53

Thank you QuintessentialOldDear - amazon's reviewer guidelines do state that you should be reviewing a product and not shouting from a soapbox. tbh I think we're learning that the guidelines are a waste-of-space

chryssa Sun 23-Jun-13 22:49:54

Dreamwriter I clicked on the link, and it didn't work. I hope this means that the review has been removed? What is the title of the book? As the mum if a very "interesting" little boy I would love to read it with DS1.

duchesse Sun 23-Jun-13 22:59:34

That has to be a mumsnetter writing those surely? One of the reviews by the sameperson includes the words "Kerry Katona's nork".

And this one is funny.

chipmonkey Mon 24-Jun-13 00:07:20

A lot of children who are bullied have mild to moderate ASD traits and can take things literally and not get jokes. I have read funny reviews on Amazon before and laughed but people need to be sensitive when reviewing a book on bullying.

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