a kid in a beanie holds a sign with the title

I Don't Believe in Popular Kids: Lessons from One Girl's Fight for Inclusion

by Heather Gold Author and Liz Gold Author

Heather, a fifth grader on the autism spectrum, could find no relief from the abuse of her bullies. She did everything we’re taught when confronted with this situation. She tried rationalizing with her tormenters, ignoring them, and seeking the support of her teachers. Nothing seemed to help, and if anything, the situation worsened. If Heather’s story sounds familiar, that’s because kids, teens, and even adults are faced with similar abuse every day. You yourself have probably had your own experiences; you might have even participated without realizing it. 

Written with help from her mother, I Don’t Believe in Popular Kids explores Heather’s fight against bullying along with her journey toward self-discovery. Each chapter focuses on a specific aspect of Heather’s experience, along with coping mechanisms and suggestions on how to deal with situations like pointing out prejudice, loving your body, advocating for empathy, and questioning harmful rules. 

This book serves as a fantastic read for anyone who needs a strong role model or some inspiration on how to become an ally for those in need.

Comments & Reviews


"Teachers, parents, school leaders, and yes, even medical professionals, need to read Heather's book. When Heather shared the experiences in this book with 30 school principals, there were gasps of sadness, tears, and painful silence hanging heavily in the room. Because we all know that as parents, teachers, and principals, we, too, have not stood up when students bully others. We have not stood up when teachers bully children. Sadly, yes, teachers, too, are sometimes guilty of bullying children. We've allowed children to suffer in our classrooms, on our playgrounds, in hallways, and in what should be the safe haven of our homes. It's time to create a world where each child is trusted, believed, honored and affirmed as the precious, unique soul they are. While each of us may carry guilt for our past actions, let's trade that guilt for comfort knowing we'll do what kids need us to do. Starting today. With concrete strategies from Heather."


"Is this zine an inspirational guidebook for concerned parents and bullied children? A welcome light at the end of the hallway for the neurodivergent? Or a poetic book with universal therapeutic appeal? The answer, dear Reader, is 'yes.' I Don’t Believe in Popular Kids contains the tools to help you or someone you love find their voice and advocate for themselves. (And it’s an excellent read, too!)"