And that topic is...bullying. I am sure you know someone who has been bullied. Maybe you were, as a child. Maybe your son or daughter was or is being bullied.
Just days ago, a new edition of my international bestseller, WHALE SONG, was released in a special School Edition. This edition contains a detailed discussion guide at the back. It’s something that any school teacher can use or readers can use on their own.
WHALE SONG explores issues of racism and bullying, among others, and it has been used in schools and book clubs around the world. It is one of my biggest dreams to see my “heart book” in even more schools. One teacher from ESC Trillium in Ontario, Canada, has used this book for novel study for a few years now. You can read what some of her students had to say about WHALE SONG on my blog HERE.
So what’s WHALE SONG about?
Thirteen years ago, Sarah Richardson’s life was shattered after the tragic death of her mother. The shocking event left a grief-stricken teen-aged Sarah with partial amnesia.
Some things are easier to forget.
But now a familiar voice from her childhood sends Sarah, a talented mid-twenties ad exec, back to her past. A past that she had thought was long buried.
Some things are meant to be buried.
Torn by nightmares and visions of a yellow-eyed wolf and aided by creatures of the Earth and killer whales that call to her in the night, Sarah must face her fears and recover her memories―even if it destroys her.
Some things are meant to be remembered―at all cost.
New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice has this to say: "Whale Song is deep and true, a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart...a beautiful, haunting novel."
"Moving...sweet and sad." ―Booklist
"I read Whale Song and loved it." ―actress Jodelle Ferland (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse)
"Tardif again leaves a lasting mark on her readers...Moving and irresistible." ―Midwest Book Review
The Discussion Guide:
When we were young, many of us were inspired by different books and authors. We learned about the invisible walls built by societies, and it’s my goal to tear apart the walls that separate bullies from victims by challenging readers to dig deep.
Here are some samples from the guide:
· Sarah is bullied by Annie in school. Why do you think Annie picked on Sarah so much? What clues are there in the story that might lead you to conclusions about Annie’s life and her “reasons” for being a bully?
· Sarah’s mom told her to find a way to forgive Annie. Do you think this was good advice?
· Have you ever been bullied? How did that make you feel? Have you ever bullied someone else? Why? What kinds of bullying are there nowadays? How can we as a society (or school) prevent bullying?
I also have strong messages for those who have been bullied:
I was a bullied child. I was the chubby redhead in the back row, who was too shy to speak out and lacked self-confidence. I’ve experienced bullying just like Sarah did. Exactly like Sarah did. I did not fight back physically, though I tried to fight verbally. That rarely works out well. I’ve experienced racism too. I was a white child living in a small town, and the native Indians weren’t too happy about the whites. Like all kids, I had my friendship issues, my first love...and my second, and family problems.
But I survived. It gets better.
If you take nothing away from this guide than those two sentences above, I’ve fulfilled another goal.
If you are bullied or if you know someone who was or is, WHALE SONG is the perfect gift. But this novel is about so much more than that. It’s about family, relationships and boundless love. From my heart to yours, I wish you the very best and I hope you read my “heart book” and experience what others of all ages have told me changed their lives forever.
If you’re a teacher, I recommend you bring WHALE SONG into your classroom. It is perfect for any ages, 11-111.
Tell your friends and family about WHALE SONG. If you know a teacher, tell them. Whale Song could be swimming to a school near you in the future. And one of its greatest messages is this: Life gets better. Now that’s something every bully and victim needs to hear.
WHALE SONG is available in ebook edition for only $2.99 at Amazon and Smashwords (more retailers coming soon), and it will be available in trade paperback any day now on Amazon and more.
I invite you to check out my books at http://www.whalesongbook.com and http://www.cherylktardif.com.
Connect with me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cherylktardif