C.V. Smith, an educator for over 30 years, has woven timely and important themes of anti-bullying and tolerance toward all into this historical fiction novel. Laced with a touch of mystery and magic, the reader’s interest is held while simultaneously learning about African-American slavery and WWII. Choices, caring, and commitment all build to the twist ending, proving love to be the greatest force of all. The wide appeal of the novel contains something for every child, ages 9-13, and adult, alike.
The idea for Nettie Parker'sBackyard came to me in a very vivid dream, and whereas most of my dreams go unremembered, this one was definitely unique. Its powerful detail and message ended with a revelation that has affected my own personal beliefs, further compelling me to write the book. My research took me down some fascinating avenues as I discovered such things as the Gullah language in the Sea Islands, the Kindertransport, sand fly fever, and the role African-American soldiers played in WWII. Nettie's character was based on that of my granddaughters; thus, some of her best virtues are those of trust, love, and friendship.
I have been a teacher and para-educator for over 30 years, most of which were spent in classrooms where students were just beginning to think for themselves and about themselves. The book is written for ages 9-13, the time when youth questions everything. Adolescence is starting and many children feel insecure about themselves, their relationships with peers, or even their own families and home life. These insecurities manifest themselves in various behaviors; some children withdraw into themselves, while some overcompensate for their fears by bullying others. I have witnessed that when bullying begins, even if innocently meant with only an off-handed word or two, prejudice often follows not far behind. I wrote this novel hoping to illustrate to children that bullying and intolerance toward race, religion, or the physically challenged have no place in our world. Certainly, with tools such as the internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc., the world is becoming smaller in many ways, and so the ill-effects of prejudice are felt even more strongly today than in the past. I believe that my book inspires readers to see that what matters is the "core" of each person, and that acceptance of others and their differences truly means enriching themselves. I further believe that more must be done to inhibit bullying; not doing so only enables the passing of prejudice from one generation to the next.
Secret head start for the GiveAway for those who have read this guest post. Come back on the 31st and enter again, this gives you twice the opportunity to win.
All Treat and No Tricks!
Five Books Will Be Given Away, One Hard Copy and Four E-Books
Entries will be accepted October 31 to November 6, 2011