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In Fruit of the Vine, we meet Justin, a sensitive, introspective boy whose physical features and personality make him a convenient target for many of his cruel peers. One night, he wakes to find himself on a mysterious island, which is inhabited by a horde of bizarre creatures. Despite his desperation to find out where he is and, more importantly, how to get home, he becomes involved in the plight of Irvino, a beast who is ostracized on this island much in the way that Justin is in his own world. The story ends with a twist as Justin, in helping Irvino, ends up helping himself by making a lifelong friend out of Irvino. In essence, the protagonist of Fruit of the Vine saves himself by saving his savior, but not in typical fashion. Fruit of the Vine is unique from other books in the fantasy genre in that it is meant not only for the grade school-aged fantasy reader, but also for anyone interested in the topic of bullies, and how altruistic qualities can develop in children.
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We appreciate the ongoing controversy in the best way to deal with bullies, both by caregivers and victims themselves. Obviously there is no one great answer that's been reached, as bullying continues to be a major problem. Justin's story, meant for ages 8-12, is mainly about the theme of altruism and empathy and how it can develop in young people. The peers are the ones often present at the time of a bullying incident, and our book is meant to try to spread the notion that children do not have to stand idly by when a peer is being taunted or teased.
Here is what Carol Croteau of Bully Free NH had to say:
"Far too many children try to extricate themselves from a bullying situation with no success. Once they turn to adults for help it is because they have done everything the adults are apt to offer as suggestions. The norm is not the children that can get themselves out of the situation. It is the children that cannot.There is new research that states that middle school and high school targets would prefer their peers to help them rather than adults: youthvoiceproject.com.Stan Davis, such a hero in bully awareness, is one of the researchers in this...What I like about your book is I see it as more of a talking point of bystander intervention rather than bully awareness for parents. The message to kids is that they can make a difference. Of course the adults at school and at home need to support the idea of bystander involvement as not all students feel safe to intervene."
Ellen Weisberg is a cancer researcher at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Principal Associate in Medicine at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA), with a doctorate in pharmacology. Ken Yoffe is a pediatrician (Billerica, MA). He also holds a doctorate in genetics.
Publications include short stories and poetry published in PKA's Advocate (bimonthly literary publication), The Writing Disorder (quarterly online literary journal and print anthology book), and Natural Solutions (holistic health magazine). They have also published six children's books (Galde Press and Chipmunkapublishing), one YA novel (Chipmunkapublishing), and one NA novel (Waldorf Publishing).
They perform as part of a circus troupe that promotes bullying awareness to Boys and Girls Clubs, retirement homes, and nursing homes throughout New England. The anti-bullying children's fantasy, Fruit of the Vine (Chipmunkapublishing, 2010), is being used as part of this show.
Ellen and Ken live in Chelmsford, MA, with their daughter, Emily.
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Book Description Chipmunkapublishing, 2010. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # MB00SB5P27C
Book Description Chipmunkapublishing, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111849912858
Book Description Chipmunkapublishing, 2010. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. 24 pages. 11.02x8.50x0.04 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # 1849912858
Book Description Chipmunkapublishing. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1849912858 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW99.1814831
Book Description Chipmunkapublishing, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 1849912858n