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Jenny Dalton: Of Butterflies and Bullies

November 10, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Join us on November 10, as Jenny Dalton will discuss and read from her new book: Of Butterflies and Bullies.

The Event

Join us on November 10, as Jenny Dalton will discuss and read from her new book: Of Butterflies and Bullies. Barbara Shoup will lead the conversation. Signed copies of the book will be available to purchase at the talk.

This event is Pay What You Can — Here’s what your Suggested Donation can do for the Indy Reads community:

FREE – This ticket is for attendees that would like to attend this event and are unable to purchase a ticket. Indy Reads values our community and facilitators. We are proud to provide programming to all. Thank you for being a part of our community!

$10 – This donation covers the cost of one attendee to this event. Indy Reads strives to bring the very best programming to Fountain Square and all Hoosiers. Thank you for helping us to keep our quality programs accessible for all!

$20 – This donation covers the cost of two attendees to this event. If you are attending as an individual, your ticket at this level makes it possible for another who cannot afford a ticket to attend. It is only through the generosity of our community that we are able to support programs that enrich the lives of all Hoosiers. Thank you for your support!

Other – “Pay What You Can” really does mean pay what you can. Indy Reads appreciates that every one of our community members is able to support our vision of 100% literacy for all in different ways. Whether you can pay $5 or $50, we are so excited to see you – and thank you for your support!

Jenny Dalton grew up in Indianapolis and earned her B.A. in English Literature from Indiana University-Bloomington. She is a published poet and has worked as a journalist and a copywriter. She lives in Ukiah, California. This is her first novel.

Of Butterflies and Bullies

Molly and her best friend Nicole are thrilled to be included in a gifted program for fifth graders, but almost as soon as school starts in the fall, Nicole makes new friends who pick on Molly and label her an outsider who doesn’t wear the right clothes or say the right things. This is a story about best friends, girl bullies, rich girls, and girls from the other side of the tracks. It’s about friendships, break-ups, and the power of self-knowing. In the spirit of classic Judy Blume coming of age stories, Of Butterflies & Bullies is a sincere story of a 10-year-old girl who learns to find her own strength to carry on during a tumultuous and unexpected experience at a new school.


“Molly reminds us how to be brave and to keep going, even when everything falls apart. This is an unflinching portrayal of the betrayals of middle school, the awkward ache of it, and a girl discovering her resilience. Of Butterflies and Bullies shakes something loose inside so we too remember how to heal.” – Melissa Eletherion-Carr, Branch Librarian

“As I read this book, I was brought back to my feelings and memories of being bullied at that age. Molly’s experiences are authentic and it’s painful to read at times. As she’d go into bad bullying situations, I’d find myself shouting, ‘No, Molly!’ This is a beautifully written story that will stay with me and will touch many.” Jennifer Cockerill, Librarian

“Dalton’s poignant book achingly recreates pre-adolescence, when we are challenged to create our own lifelines, and to find new, solid ground on which we can moor our changing identity. In facing this challenge, Molly reminds us that we all have strong, internal navigation systems, and adolescence is the time that we begin to learn how to listen to them.” — Laura Martocci, PhD., author of Bullying: The Social Destruction of Self and My Bullied Past: Why Does it Still HURT?

“For bright and wholesome Indianapolis fifth-grader Molly Greely, a change of schools brings sudden and unexpected friendship challenges. As she transitions out of her comfortable neighborhood elementary school to one that serves academically gifted students on the cusp of middle school, she’s left feeling socioeconomically disadvantaged relative to her peers, who all wear the latest fashions and go on the most amazing family vacations. Even Molly’s longtime best friend, Nicole, begins to gravitate away from Molly and toward the girls in their class who gain popularity with designer jeans and the casual cruelty so often used to bolster social status by excluding others. Set in the 1980s, Of Butterflies and Bullies will also resonate with moms who grew up in that era. Familiar pop culture references abound. A captivating debut YA novel by Jenny Dalton, and a great pick for mother-daughter book clubs. — Lori Day, author of Her Next Chapter: How Mother-Daughter Book Clubs Can Help Girls Navigate Malicious Media, Risky Relationships, Girl Gossip, and So Much More

“An important topic and conversation starter about how we can support girls being bullied and help them overcome and rise above. I would recommend this book! So great to read.” — Andi Long, Founder, Bloom Foundation

“… beautifully captures the complex, changing lives of preteen girls in this painful but ultimately triumphant novel of friendship and betrayal.” — Barbara Shoup, author of eight novels for adults and young adults and Writer-in-Residence, Indiana Writers Center

Barbara Shoup is the author of eight novels for adults and young adults, most recently An American Tune, and Looking for Jack Kerouac, and a memoir, A Commotion in Your Heart. She

is the the co-author of Novel Ideas: Contemporary Authors Share the Creative Process and Story Matters. Her short fiction, poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in numerous small magazines, as well as in The Writer and The New York Times travel section.

Shoup is the recipient of numerous grants from the Indiana Art Commission, two creative renewal grants from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the 2006 PEN Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship and the 2012 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Regional Indiana Author Award. Her young adult novels, Wish You Were Here and Stranded in Harmony were selected as American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults. Vermeer’s Daughter was a School Library Journal Best Adult Book for Young Adults.

Barbara Shoup graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in secondary education. She taught creative writing to high school students for more than twenty years. Currently, she is the Writer-in-Residence at the Indiana Writers Center and a creative writing faculty member of Art Workshop International in Assisi.

For more information, please email bookstore@indyreads.org.

Indy Reads is a 501c3 nonprofit. Our mission is to empower adults and their families through literacy, English language skills, and job readiness programming. For more information about Indy Reads and the students we serve, visit our website at indyreads.org.


November 10, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Indy Reads
1066 Virginia Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46203 United States
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