© Catch Tilly, 2019
When people ask me about Otherwise known as Pig, I tell them it’s a story about bullying. I tell them it starts with “Stormin punched me in the mouth today” and goes downhill from there. I then reassure them it does have hope and resolution and a sort-of happy ending but that it is a book about violent bullying, and it doesn’t pull any punches (pun intended).
And then, I get one of two responses ...
And then, I get one of two responses. People either start to tell me about bullying they have experienced (and those stories are often worse than what I’ve put in Pig) or they tell me they can’t really believe it happens. One of my favourite responses was a reader who told me “I couldn’t read it and then I imagined the story was set in America. After that I could finish it." It sheds an interesting light on what she thought of America—and how we distance ourselves from horror in order to cope with it.
Unfortunately—though I did take some examples from USA schools— this type of bullying is not restricted to America. For the people who ‘don’t believe this happens’ here are some facts on bullying.
Why don’t people report it?
A statistical study was done on the likelihood of reporting bullying (Cleary, Sullivan, & Sullivan, 2005, p 8). The results showed:
And further facts about high school bullying
Otherwise known as Pig is a work of fiction, but it represents a real-life problem.