After 31 years as a clinical psychologist, I retired and began my second career as a children’s author. This is what I fondly refer to as “the dessert of my life!”
My last book, Hot Issues, Cool Choices: Facing Bullies, Peer Pressure, Popularity, and Put-Downs was a book I had to write. As a children’s author, I do a lot of school visits, and it didn’t take long before I realized that inevitably every class discussion got around to a discussion about bullying.
As the students shared their personal bullying experiences with me, I knew that I had to share their stories with my readers. The stories in my book are fictionalized to some extent, but they are all based on true bullying experiences, and the book is dedicated to a 12-year-old boy who took his own life as a result of being bullied.
School bullying is nothing new and was once considered a character-building rite of passage for our children, but now it’s seen for what it is–a form of victimization and abuse. The results of bullying can be devastating–frequently leaving lasting psychological scars and sometimes even resulting in “bullycides.”
Hot Issues, Cool Choices is a collection of 26 stories depicting various forms of bulling with thought questions following each story. Probably my favorite section is the Trading Places section following each story where the reader is asked how he or she would feel as the victim in that story.
One of my favorite stories in the book is the one “written” by a bully himself who is totally clueless as to how others perceive him. He does not see himself as a bully at all and uses all kinds of rationalizations to excuse his bullying behavior.
It seems that many of our kids these days are lacking in empathy (possibly related to the violence and insensitivity depicted in so many of our current films, video games, etc.), and I’m hoping that my book will help our kids to be more sensitive to others’ feelings. My book is available through all the major bookstores and autographed copies are available through my website.
Sandra McLeod Humphrey is a retired clinical psychologist, a character education consultant, and an award-winning author of seven middle-grade and young adult books. She’s also the recipient of the National Character Education Center’s Award for Exemplary Leadership in Ethics Education (2000) and the 2005 Helen Keating Ott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Literature. You can learn more about her books by visiting her Web site at www.kidscandoit.com and her blog at www.kidscandoit.com/blog/
Book Giveaway: Sandra is offering up four autographed copies of her book, Hot Issues, Cool Choices: Facing Bullies, Peer Pressure, Popularity, and Put-Downs . Giveaway is open to US Residents age 18+. Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter. If it is not working for some reason, leave me a single comment with all the entry methods you did.
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