kid’s books: stop bullies

Do you write kid’s books filled with positive messages and good role models? What would you do if your brother was being bullied? You might ask your parents to talk to him, or you might mention something to the teachers. But Matthew Kaplan did more than that when he knew his younger brother, Josh was being bullied at school. Matthew noticed his little brother, Josh was being bullied on the internet. Instead of being his usual, cheerful, confident, self, Josh was becoming quiet and isolated. Matthew started a group called the Be O. N. E. Project. In this case O. N. E. stands for Open to New Experiences. One of the most important things this group does is encourage something called positive peer pressure. Matthew’s group encourages children to include everyone in team activities. Matthew believes it’s important to teach kids that it’s “cool to be kind.”

Matthew wants to remind everyone that if someone is a bully, that doesn’t label them as a “bad person.” Instead, the bully is displaying bad behavior, which can change for the better. Matthew would like people to remember that words are powerful and can hurt others. One of the things Matthew does often is give children a chance to express their feelings. Sometimes a kid will come forward and explain he thought he was “a loner” because he didn’t have friends. But the program showed him how to relate to others. After that, it was not unusual to have several kids from the audience apologize for their actions and ask to become a friend.

Matthew was chosen for the “Hero for Change Award.” How did he feel when he learned he was the recipient?

“I was so surprised. There are so many kids out there doing great things for their community. To be a role model is awesome. My mom and I were screaming a little bit [when we got the news]. It was just a really cool moment.”

When I write kid’s books, I love to share important life lessons with readers. My award-winning kid’s book, Tails of Sweetbrier, stresses the importance of never giving up on your dreams. You can succeed, even against the odds. It’s a true story of my journey from a handicapped child to a horseback riding champion. It won the silver medal in the Feathered Quill Book Awards this year. But it’s also fun to write entertaining kid’s books where the animals are the main characters. They talk to readers and are quite ┬ácomical. My 3 fictional books are: Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, and Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes. I hope you love reading my kid’s books.

copyright Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, 2014



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