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Bad Behaviour  : A Memoir of Bullying and Boarding School - Rebecca Starford

Bad Behaviour

A Memoir of Bullying and Boarding School

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Published: 1st March 2015
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Published: 1st March 2015
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It was supposed to be a place where teenagers would learn resilience, confidence and independence, where long hikes and runs in the bush would make their bodies strong and foster a connection with the natural world. Living in bare wooden huts, cut off from the outside world, the students would experience a very different kind of schooling, one intended to have a strong influence over the kind of adults they would eventually become.

Fourteen-year-old Rebecca Starford spent a year at this school in the bush. In her boarding house fifteen girls were left largely unsupervised, a combination of the worst behaved students and some of the most socially vulnerable. As everyone tried to fit in and cope with their feelings of isolation and homesickness, Rebecca found herself joining ranks with the powerful girls, and participating in various forms of bullying and aggression.

Increasingly horrified at her own behaviour, Rebecca soon found herself excluded from this group and subjected to bullying herself. Bad Behaviour tells the story of that year, a time of friendship and joy, but also of shame and fear. It explores how those crucial experiences affected Rebecca as an adult and shaped her future relationships, and asks courageous questions about the nature of female friendship. Moving, wise and painfully honest, this extraordinary memoir shows how bad behaviour from childhood, in all its forms, can be so often and so easily repeated throughout our adult lives.

Read Caroline Baum's Review

If you were bullied at school you will recognise some of the group sadism in this candid memoir. Starford was fourteen when she was packed off to a private boarding school in remote Victorian high country bushland. At night, the teachers left the students to themselves which is when the mischief escalated. Starford does not attempt to excuse her own collusion in group cruelty and toxic dynamics, caught up in the maelstrom of female hormonal surges and desires. It's a brutal, unflinching, gripping story.

About the Author

Rebecca Starford is the co-founder and publishing-director of Kill Your Darlings and an editor at Text Publishing. She has written for Guardian, Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Australian newspapers. She was a founding member of the Stella Prize steering committee. Bad Behaviour is her first book. Rebecca lives in Melbourne.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Bad Behaviour
 
4.0

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Reviewed by 3 customers

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5.0

Could not put this down

By 

from Newcastle

About Me Everyday Reader

Pros

  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Easy To Read
  • Engaging characters
  • Page-Turner
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Bad Behaviour:

      This memoir is utterly compelling - I read it in a single sitting. I'd recommend this for readers of all ages because I think everyone can identify with the characters in this story, and what they are grappling with.

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      5.0

      Utterly compelling

      By 

      from Sydney

      About Me Casual Reader

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • For All Parents
        • Gift
        • Older Readers

        Comments about Bad Behaviour:

        This is a fantastic memoir - a honest, unflinching account of girls' friendship in a remote boarding school. The writing is beautiful, the story confronting, but I think this is a book for all readers of all ages, especially parents who are thinking of sending their kids to private school. A must-read.

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        2.0

        Pedestrian, did not live up to it's title

        By 

        from Melbourne

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

          • Disappointing
          • Not What I Expected

          Best Uses

            Comments about Bad Behaviour:

            This is a book that simply did not live up to it's title, very run of the mill.

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            ISBN: 9781743319574
            ISBN-10: 1743319576
            Audience: General
            Format: Paperback
            Language: English
            Number Of Pages: 272
            Published: 1st March 2015
            Publisher: Allen & Unwin
            Country of Publication: AU
            Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3