Now that Inside Out has hit the stores, I thought I would add just a few words about it.  First, I guess you can say that I did an “analog beta test.”   I read this story without the benefit of illustrations to a middle school assembly and in some classrooms in my hometown.  The response has been tremendous.  To this day, children stop me in town and ask me if inside Out is available yet and tell me how much they liked it – boys and girls surprisingly (despite the focus on female bullying)!  It also demonstrated the unique capability of poetry to engage children – and adults too I think.

The funny thing is, it was only after writing [and reading] this book that I even realized it addressed bullying.  The theme that inspired me to write Inside out that of inner beauty; the bullying in the book was simply a vehicle for this message.  I think the result was a book that addresses bullying in a unique and perhaps subtle way.  There are legions of books available on discouraging bullying and how harmful it is.  I have not seen an approach like this one before.  Our bully takes a forced look at herself on the “inside.”  Yet somehow, the story is still fun and ultimately uplifting.  I hope you will give it a try.

Rick

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