Book Review, Bullying, YA Fiction

School and My Bully Experience by Frank Minichetti


The story opens in the year 1965. Joseph Minnow is a good natured, extremely timid 13-year old. Given these personality traits, Joseph soon discovers he is the perfect target for bullies, like Butch Barotti, his first bully encounter. However, being bullied is not Joseph’s only concern, he also has to deal with the dreaded Sister Superior, who rules her class with an iron fist. Despite her diminutive stature (four foot, five inches tall), Sister is terrifying. Wearing a black habit, her eyes are dark black, like you see on some stuffed animals, and her voice is a high-pitched shrill comparable to the mythological monster “the Banshee”. The students called her “TNT”.   

After graduating from 8th grade, Joseph encounters new challenges in high school. In fact, the young man must deal with a whole new wave of bullies. He is presented with the opportunity to face his fears and overcome his shy and timid personality by standing up to and fighting his nemesis, the bully Xavier Steele (alias Xman). This is Joseph’s first fight, which leaves his friends and classmates shaking their heads in disbelief. He experiences other firsts as well, his first dance, first class trip, first job, first girl/boy party, and more importantly to a young boy his first girlfriend and first kiss.  

School and My Bully Experience tells the story of Joseph Minnow as he goes through adolescence into young adulthood. Eventually, the story morphs into the present time when Joseph becomes a father and works as a substitute teacher. As an adult, Joseph realizes that bullying has reached epidemic proportions and discovers that his daughter has also become a victim. 


My sincere hope is to raise awareness about this serious problem and to provide guidance regarding what can be done if you or someone you know becomes a victim.

Have you ever been bullied?  Mr. Minichetti’s book is not only the coming of age story of Joseph Minnow, but it contains statistics on bullying, what is bullying, as well as what to do if you are being bullied.

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, genders, cultures, societies, etc.  Reading Joseph’s story about being bullied in Catholic School and later in high school, it brought back memories. I was bullied by a group of girls in sixth grade to which I confronted the leader and clearly told her what I thought of her, and I was left alone after that.  Let me tell you, girls are just as bad or worse than boys as you will see in some of the stories listed in this book. In fact, I believe the nuns in Joseph’s school were bullies as well.  

Though Joseph experiences bullying in the 1960’s, it is still a very serious problem today. Particularly, cyberbullying used in social media and the internet. It seems cowardly bullies hide behind anonymity and won’t face their victims. 

Mr. Minichetti describes how bullying can have a negative impact on your life both from the victim’s and bully’s point of view. From depression to anxiety and sometimes suicide. In addition, the author provides shocking statistics, noteworthy advice, and many important references to informative and helpful websites about bullying.

If you have ever been bullied or seen someone who has been bullied, give this very important book a try. I recommend this book to people of all ages.


School and my Bully Experience

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Frank-Joseph-MinichettiI, Frank Joseph Minichetti was born in Camp Kilmer, New Jersey in an army hospital because my father, Romeo, was serving in the United States Air Force. I received my elementary education at Saint Joseph School in Lodi, New Jersey. Much of my early years were spent at my grandparents and uncle’s Florist, where I enjoyed spending time with them and learned to appreciate the importance of family and flowers.  When I was thirteen-years-old my family moved to Fairfield, NJ, where I attended West Essex High School. After graduating from high school, I went on to Seton Hall University to study political science and business. After college I landed my first job, working as a Systems Analyst for a major bank. After a career in banking, I worked for an internet-based recruiting company and held the position of Director.

Throughout my career I wrote business and technical documentation and content for various websites; however, I finally fulfilled my life-long dream of writing a book (s).

Currently, I work as a substitute teacher, enjoying my interactions with students. My favorite subject is Language Arts, of course. 

I’m a passionate reader and writer.

When suffering from writer’s block, I can be found at the Jersey shore, sitting on the beach, gazing at the ocean for inspiration. One of my favorite things to do — dog sit for my daughter’s toy poodle, Peanut.

Peanut’s favorite food: Anything edible. Peanut’s favorite activity: Running free in my backyard. I have a daughter (Kris Ann) and a son-in-law (Peter). I live in Bergen County, New Jersey.   

Follow Frank on his website and Twitter.