Hello my friends,
We've all heard about the butterfly who flaps her wings, which over space and time creates the tsunami and how the ocean is simply an accumulation of single droplets of water and without each individual there wouldn't the lapping waves...
As a writer this is so empowering.
One person influenced by a book of hope can go on to end Apartheid.
One girl influenced by a book called A Tree Grows In Brooklyn can grow up to be a television host who motivates millions to pick up a book and read.
One author who reads Where The Red Fern Grows as a child remembers how that book created complete escape, wonderment and adventure and the burning desire to do so for someone else enables him to carve out characters, places and wonder to transport readers in the same manner.
I originally set out to provide what I'd hoped would be hours and hours of laughter and the simple entertaining mysteries of childhood on the printed page, illustrated just enough that the reader would get a sense of place. I think I have accomplished that according to the feedback I get, particularly from teachers and youngsters.
BUT, when you visit as many schools as I do to entertain, you become increasingly aware of the fact that childhood is not all fun and games and some serious matters NEED to be addressed by safe adults. I have been privy to some heart-renching stories about the kids who put a brave face on the pain. Kids need a vent. Kids need to know they are not alone. Literature is one of the best devices to deliver the message. I feel compelled to do be a part of that!
I wanted to share some new developments in the GP (Gabriel Peters) world. Go Ask Mom - Stories From the Upper Bunk was originally published in 2006 and is presently SOLD OUT and temporarily out of print with the exception of online sites such as amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/GO-ASK-MOM-Stories-upper/dp/1889191175/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296657180&sr=8-1, because it is the plan to have my agent sell my entire series (as well as the upcoming comic book spin-off to a larger publisher) which is very gratifying to me because I always envisioned my career going toward the middle grade chapter book.
My series is popular primarily with 3-8 graders, which in this category is a wide range. Presently The World According to Gabe - Stories From the Upper Bunk is doing very well (especially in the middle school category) and particularly with boys who "don't like reading" as is The Gabriel Book of World Records - Stories From The Tree house. I'd be happy to personalize a book to your reader http://justinmatott.com/books.htm
Gabe begins his adventures in my series as a kid who is bullied by brother and some boys at school. He is able to overcome his adversities using his brain when in the shadow of brawn. (The chapter included here is the newly designed and illustrated book, which hasn't been see out there yet.)
Once Gabe finds his confidence, the series then follows the adventures of a clan of boys (soon girls) who experience many things, both good and bad, just like all of us. Interestingly enough the chapter I am including herein (newly illustrated by the AMAZINGLY talented David Schiedt) deals with some very heavy things in the midst of an otherwise adventurous, fun book which I get constant teacher feedback about. I have had many teachers who have read aloud Go Ask Mom in the classroom tell me that this particular chapter has opened up understanding and dialogue which is helpful and one teacher told me there was a young girl in her class who after hearing this chapter read aloud in her classroom came to her and the school counselor and admitted to abuse in her own house and was helped as a result to get out of a bad situation. Imagine the gratification I felt, that the days and nights I wrestled with whether or not to include such a "heavy" topic in my otherwise "fun" book were ALL worth it, if only for one girl.
I need YOUR help. If you feel compelled at all to help spread my words in a way that will influence more than the current little corner of the world my work has addressed, please add your reviews to public sites, such as amazon.com, twitter my website, twitter my facebook fan page and this blog. Word of mouth is STILL the very best way to spread the news about books, music and other forms of entertainment that touch us personally. In return, if you have a message, a book, a story you are trying to get out there into the world to create your own tsunami, I will do the same for you.
I will be deeply thankful for your help and so will that one child who needs to hear a story of hope and laughter that perhaps my particular voice and style will deliver.
If you click on the page images they will open up large enough to read.