Featured on a Television interview
Saturday, February 07, 2009 10:20:00 AM
by Madonna J Wise
|Our latest book was featured on a television interview in the Tampa Bay area.
Zephyrhills, Florida - Bullying is no longer just in a school hallway or playground, students are being bullied on the bus, through text messages and in e-mails. A Pasco County mother and her teenage daughter take on the bullying issue by writing a book to help families tackle the problem.
The characters in this new book may seem childlike: there''s Kachina the horse, Justin the bull and Jeremy the platypus. But the message the characters send about bullying is real to both kids and teens.
"To not let people treat you badly. A lot of people think they deserve it and they don''t. It shows you can be yourself and be accepted for it," says 14-year-old Rachel Jervis Wise.
Rachel and her mother Madonna Jervis Wise teamed up to write, "Kachina and the Bully." It''s about a 7th grader who moves into a new town and school.
"Kachina goes through the situation as a bystander, as a target, considers retaliating as a bully, then she becomes a peer helper... like a peer counselor," explains Madonna.
The book''s main character Kachina gets her name from Rachel''s childhood horse. "She was the alpha horse in the barn. When you have an alpha horse, she''s the role model for the other horses," says Rachel.
One illustration in the book stands out to Rachel. Kachina comes across Justin the bull as he''s bullying Jeremy the platypus. "This is a scene when she''s (Kachina) deciding how to deal with it. ''Am I going to be a bully to help deal with it, stay a victim or stand up for myself and others?'' The other is Jeremy the platypus. He''s being beat up by Justin the bull, the bully."
Kachina chooses to take a stand and talk it out. "If you''re not part of the solution, then you''re part of the problem. You should stand up for other people they deserve it like you do," says Rachel.
It''s a solution Rachel says brings change in the bully. "He begins to like Kachina. He respects her more, she''s one of the few people that stands up to him and he learns about what he does to people and how it affects them."
Madonna is an educator and licensed mental health counselor, she offers her expertise. "We feel prevention is key, we focus on empathy skills, communication skills and social skills."
Rachel -- a 9th grader -- offers real life experiences. "It''s actual kid experiences, things that have happened."
Madonna says Rachel helped keep the book real, "She''ll say ''Mom, that''s not how it happens. This is the way kids talk, this is the way it works out.''"
At the end of each chapter, teachers and parents have follow up questions for discussion and a list of vocabulary words for kids to learn. "We hope families read and discuss them," says Madonna.
The mother and daughter team started thinking about the book two years ago. Madonna says her daughter''s compassion for other kids helped give the book life.
Rachel''s goal is for kids who are bullied not to feel alone and for the bullies to get help, "I wanted to help kids that had to deal with bullying. I feel if I can help one kid from feeling badly about it it''s a success for me."
"Kachina and the Bully" goes on sale next month; the cost is $27.99 and will be found on Amazon.com.
Rachel and her mom plan to visit schools and speak to students about bullying. She hopes to start a series of books around the Kachina character dealing with issues important to kids.
This is the second book Rachel as co-authored and her mother''s fifth book. You can learn more about the Wise mother and daughter team by clicking here.
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