Novel Helps Animal Loving Kids to Make Good Life Choices
Thursday, April 15, 2010 3:28:00 PM
by Constance M Gotsch
|Learn about book for 9-123 year-olds with dog as protagonist
9 Mockingbird Hill Road
Tijeras New Mexico 87059
E-mail info.artemesiapublishing.com 1-505-286-0892
For Immediate Release
Novel Helps Animal Loving Kids Make Good Life Choices
Artemesia Publishing is offering Belle's Star a youth novel by Farmington, New Mexico author Connie Gotsch. Based on the story of how Gotsch got her dog, Belle's Star emphasizes humane treatment of animals. to 9-to-12-year-olds. It also empowers them to escape bullying and other difficult situations.
The novel won a silver Mom’s Choice Award for 2010, and a First Place for Juvenile Fiction in the New Mexico Press Women Communication Contest also for 2010. Belle’s Star received a nomination for a New Mexico Book Award in 2009.
Darcy, a spunky soccer playing girl, and her Aunt Ellen rescue Belle from abusive owners and offer her love. Belle has never met a kind human. Living with Darcy terrifies her. Other people and animals, including a cat, teach her about trust. Her adventures with these colorful characters help kids face painful issues.
Award winning journalist and retired Farmington elementary school counselor Margaret Cheasebro has designed an activities booklet for Belle's Star, available in downloadable form upon purchase of the novel from Artemesia Publishing.
Using the guide, teachers, families and community groups can work on projects that foster strong community ties. Veterinarians, pet store owners, and animal shelter workers can use the guide to promote pet care.
Belle's Star author Connie Gotsch says, "My dog, Kiri was given to me by a friend who took her away from an abusive owner. In my story, I tried to capture Kiri’s growth into a wonderful pet who offers unconditional love. It is truly amazing how one animal can bring so much good into my life."
Dr Gotsch has published two award-winning adult novels. In 2007 she received New Mexico Press Women's Communicator of Achievement Award. She holds an Ed.D in Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis on educational media from Northern Illinois University, and works in public radio.
To learn more about Belle's Star contact Artemesia Publishing at info.artemesiapublishing.com or 1-505-286-0892.
Excerpt from Belle’s Star
Buster is Darcy’s other dog, and Painter belongs to Aunt Ellen. Bonehead and Toby are Belle’s abusers
He flung dirt at her mouth.
The hair on my scruff rose. How dare he do that?
Water churned. Painter popped up with Buster on his shoulders. Buster gagged and gulped. Painter supported him. Big Toby hurled another rock at them.
Bonehead snatched Darcy’s free hand. “I’ll throw you in the lake,” he growled.
She couldn’t fight him forever. I had to take a risk and help her. But what in dog heaven could I do?
Misty spat in Bonehead’s direction. “If I had claws...” she hissed, teeth gleaming against her gums.
I looked at the white points. An idea exploded in my mind. “Misty! Could you hang on to a person’s clothes with your teeth?”
“I suppose. Why?” She stared at me.
“Then we’ll both attack Big Toby and Bonehead. They won’t be able to help each other. Maybe Darcy, Painter, and Buster can run.”
She arched her back. “You think that will work?”
“I’ve no idea. But we’ve got to try. Come on.”
Sample Discussion Questions Chapter 13
Have you ever had to come to the defense of someone who was being mistreated?
If so, how did you feel about it?
Belle used her herding skills to help save Darcy. Everyone has at least one skill they can use to help others.
What is one skill that you have?
In school there are rules about not fighting.
Is there ever a time when it’s okay to fight?