I’m slowly opening the blog up to guest posts, because I really like featuring people of talent that you may not know of yet. I met William on FB in a writing group, and since I also write children’s fiction (and was bullied mercilessly as a preteen), his title caught my eye. So I’m going to leave it to him to tell you why he wrote his children’s title Short or Tall Doesn’t Matter at All.
October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness month. A friend just told me today, on Facebook, that I should promote my book on bullying with October in mind. Instead of a flat out promotion, I would like to write about why I wrote, Short or Tall, Doesn’t Matter at All.
The back story is that I am an obsessive grandparent. I dote on my grandkids. My oldest grandson was enrolled in both before school and after school programs due to both his parents working. After I retired, I had the time to be able to meet his school bus after school in order for him to come home with the other kids. This allowed him more time to hang out and enjoy his friends. I became a regular feature at the bus stop and got to know many of the parents and kids in the neighborhood.
That is how I met Rachel. Rachel is a delightful and diminutive young lady. At the time she was the shortest girl in 5th grade. Walking home from the bus stop she confided in me her frustration with short jokes, being picked last for games because she was the smallest and the general treatment she got from some of the bigger kids. She wasn’t being physically bullied but she was being bullied emotionally. I was dismayed at how this constant reference to her size was demeaning her self esteem.
I wrote her a story and illustrated it myself. (I am not an illustrator and it showed.) I printed it out on my inkjet, folded and stapled it and presented it to her at the bus stop one afternoon. We sat on the wall in front of her house and we read it and discussed it. I received my primary feedback from this book at that very moment when I got a hug, a kiss and “I love it!” from Rachel. The next day I got a hug and a kiss from her Mom who told me that Rachel was really tickled with her book. She encouraged me to get it published.
Being a regular at the bus stop got me invited to a neighborhood New Years Eve party. At that party, Rachel’s best friend’s mother, pulled me aside and told me that she had seen a remarkable improvement in Rachel’s self esteem. She asked Rachel’s Mom what she attributed that to and was told that my book had put her on a path to feeling better about her self.
The next day, New Years Day, I started getting the story into production. I have a friend, Jan Button, who is a fine artist. I talked her into illustrating the book. She took copious photos of Rachel, her street, her school bus and then painted what she had seen. I put everything together and published it through CreateSpace.
In my mind the book is a success because it helped one child feel better about her self. My hope is that Short or Tall, Doesn’t Matter At All might make other children feel better about who they are. If it helps one child who is a bully recognize their actions are hurtful that is a bonus.
Thanks, William, for that wonderful story and a great reminder that bullying of any kind is NOT okay. If you’re interested in the book, you can find it on Amazon:
If you need information on bullying and how to prevent it, you can find the link to the National Bullying Prevention Center HERE
The history of Bullying Prevention Month can be found HERE
Find resources provided by the NCTSN HERE