A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story | SLJ DVD Review

redstarA Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story. 78 min. Spanish subtitles. Dist. by Tugg. Edu.tugg.com. 2015. DVD and Blu-ray $95. $375 PPR. ISBN unavail.A Brave Heart The Lizzie Velasquez Story

Gr 6 Up –Lizzie Velasquez, born with a rare condition that prevents her from gaining weight, among other symptoms, was bullied as a child because of her ailment, but with the support of her family was able to grow into her teen years with few psychological issues. She even became a middle school cheerleader. Then in her teen years, while perusing YouTube, she discovered a video called “The World’s Ugliest Woman” and, upon viewing it, found that it was a video of her. She was devastated and read all of the horrific comments associated with the video—not one was positive. But rather than give in to the cyberbullying, she fought back, and she continues to battle against bullying in all its forms. Her story came to prominence through a TED talk, and she is now a motivational speaker, traveling throughout the United States (and internationally) and speaking and lobbying in favor of a federal antibullying bill. The documentary is compelling. Director Sara Hirsh Bordo helps viewers see Velasquez as a likable person making connections with bullied students everywhere she travels and also through her vlog on YouTube. She also captures Velasquez’s close relationship with her family. VERDICT This documentary should be seen by middle school and high school students as part of a school’s antibullying curriculum.–Ann Brownson, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL

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