Chris Pedersen has a way with words when it comes to her main character, Ethan Blecher, in her newly released children’s chapter book, Ethan Blecher Braves a Bully. Any child would find this charming book interesting, humorous, and inspiring. We all need every day heroes like Ethan, who does the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Super heroes are great, but ordinary every day heroes are the stuff we should all be made of.
This is the first book in a series that Chris plans to write and I for one say – Write On! Our children need all the help they can get from positive influences such as Ethan Blecher, who shows the tenacity, courage, and kindness we want our own children to reflect. The book has a moral outcome every parent will be pleased to hear.
What is that moral outcome you ask? Stand up to bullies! And do it in a loving, caring way. I think we can all agree that children aren’t the only ones who could use this reminder. I’ve met a few adult bullies that made childhood ones seem like, well, child’s play!
In Book 1 of this early reader series Ethan’s parents decide to send him to spring camp hoping he’ll make some friends, but the outlook turns terrifying when his nemesis shows up. (Yep- a bully!) The series is printed in black and white, with engaging illustrations by Kate Jeong, who lives in Canada. I personally believe that Kate hooking up with Chris was a match made in heaven, despite being countries apart. Together they are creating memorable characters, through print and pictures.
Each book of the series will examine a different contemporary challenge facing elementary school-aged children today. If I were an elementary teacher, this book would definitely be in my classroom and I would be excited about the series, eager for each stand alone chapter book to be written and read by all the kids in my class, present and future! Ethan should provide lots of opportunity to examine relevant issues, helping students cope with very real challenges in their young lives.
I hope every parent (and grandparent) of young children will also grab this up as the great gift that it is. What better present could we offer a child than a book they will cherish, signed to them with love? Forget that there is a lot Ethan can teach us- he is a lovable and memorable character regardless. Ethan’s predicaments can only bring a smile to your face.
Here are a few questions Chris has answered about her newly released book.
What do you want everyone to know about Ethan?
Ethan Blecher is a fictional character. He is every child during their struggling early years when they confront some of the toughest and more important experiences of their young lives. As a personality, Ethan has insecurities that make him question his choices. He pictures himself as not popular, not able to do things well, picked last, fearful and even fatalistic.
When/where is the story set, and what is the main conflict?
The story is set in today’s timeframe in a medium-size town anywhere in America.Ethan finds himself the focus of a bully in his new school. His parents decide to send him to spring camp hoping he’ll make some friends, but the outlook turns terrifying when his nemesis shows up. Will Ethan’s fearful attitude and shy nature get the best of him or will he muster some courage and stand-up to the bully?
What is the personal goal of the character?
Ethan would say his goal is to stay alive and not die at the hand of the bully. His situation applies to challenges and opportunities facing elementary school-aged children everywhere. Ethan struggles with independence, managing conflict and difficult people, overcoming adversity, responding to inappropriate behavior, finding inner strength, relying on good judgment to solve problems, team work, personal discovery, emotional and creative intelligence, and reasoning.
Thanks, Chris, for your insight into Ethan. I think I either juggle or struggle with all of the above on a daily basis. No wonder I love Ethan so much! Can’t wait to read about his next adventure. I am going to curl up with my favorite blanket and savor every single word Chris has carefully crafted, while admiring those amazing illustrations, compliments of Kate, in Canada.
Ethan Blecher Braves a Bully is available on iBooks and on Amazon in print and ebook. Check out Chris’s blog at: www.healthyjourneycafe.com/
Kathryn Mattingly’s debut novel, Benjamin, was a New Century Quarterly Finalist. Her collection of short fiction, Fractured Hearts, includes 5 Award Winning stories. The novel Journey will be released in 2015. Kathryn is under contract with Winter Goose Publishing and her work can be found through all major booksellers and in the Inspire Bookstore