Sunday, 6 May 2018

KATIE: WHAT GINGERSNAPS MEANS TO ME...

The story of how CC book GINGERSNAPS helped shape reader Katie's early teens... and still resonates today!


I must have been twelve or thirteen years old when I discovered GINGERSNAPS. I was a year into secondary school and it was not a good time for me. All through primary school and secondary school I endured years of bullying. I didn’t fit in with a crowd. I was the odd one out, the kid who chose books over fashionable clothes and makeup and made friends with the teachers. And when I did find one friend I thought would help me through the bullying, she chose to follow the popular girls instead. But what got me was how alike my story was to the book. 

When I first read GINGERSNAPS I remember I couldn’t put it down. I read it in one day - I stayed up until 3am and at the end I cried so hard my lungs felt like they’d collapse. I would carry the book around with me at school and when I’d get tormented I would hide in the library or the toilets and read your book over and over. I felt everything Ginger was feeling to the point where I felt like she was the friend I never had. I became very depressed as a young teenager, reading GINGERSNAPS helped me get through times when I thought I wouldn’t make it out of that dark hole the bullies had dug for me. Your book helped me learn to stay true to myself even when I feared I wouldn’t be accepted. This book gave me hope. Now, roughly ten years on, I still read GINGERSNAPS and feel so grateful for it. And to my friends, like Emily and Sam who I know will always be there for me and love me for who I am. I do believe this book is one of the reasons I’m still here today.

A few days ago I decided to get a tattoo of the fox from GINGERSNAPS. The idea is based on the last page of the book when Ginger realises there are some things Shannon would never be able to comprehend but that that’s OK. For me, that signifies everything about me that the bullies in this world will never understand and how that it is OK. The fox to me means strength, individuality and courage to be different. On page 60, CC writes about how foxes are hunted by humans, torn apart, and that is exactly how bullying feels; you’re being hunted, torn apart and every bit of happiness in you is destroyed. I’ve always been an animal activist, and vegan for four years, so the fox also has that meaning to me. 

I’d like to add that for anyone going through bullying that it’ll be OK. I know it feels like the world around you is crashing right now and you don’t know if you can survive but you can and you will. It will pass and you’ll be stronger for it. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with friendships, bullying and with their own identity - for anyone who is struggling to find their place in this world. GINGERSNAPS will stay with me forever; I will pass the book on to my children one day.

Cathy says:
Bullying is something I feel very strongly about - it is sadly still all too common in schools across the UK. Reading is a great way to not feel so alone in times like these. Thanks, Katie and keep being fab!! Do YOU have a fave book that helped you through tough times? COMMENT BELOW to have your say...

1 comment:

  1. wow such a beautiful post!
    i really enjoyed this book too!
    and that tattoo looks amazing!

    please check out my brand new blog at

    https://cocoachats.blogspot.com/

    many thanks! xxx

    ReplyDelete

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