HOT OFF THE PRESS: FEETSPEAK!
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
With the help of Writers Republic, I have self-published the first story book of the I AM A CHILD trilogy! It’s Hot Off The Press: FEETSPEAK!
I wrote these three stories several years ago with a muse on my shoulder guiding me with ideas, verbiage, imagery, and, significantly, a common thread ~ the resilience of children faced with tragic circumstances.
The kindness and care of loved ones, the understanding and flexibility of community as well as the beauty and solace of nature contributed to the healing process of each character.
Before I tell you how each of these three elements play a part in the story of FEETSPEAK, I want to share with you why I wrote these stories.
Why I Wrote These Stories
Thirty years teaching Early Childhood and Elementary school children from all over the world on at-risk campuses confirms my belief in the uniqueness of each child.
Many of these children suffered life-altering tragedies from loss, displacement, hunger, and neglect. Their ability to overcome these challenges with their resilience continually astounded me, as a child who grew up in a comfortable, middle-class environment.
They inspired me to create the stories in the I AM A CHILD Trilogy.
So, briefly, this is what the story of FEETSPEAK shares with you, Readers….
All children are born into an ancestral heritage, rich with tragedy, joy, and a touch of magic.
No two stories are alike, yet encouraging an appreciation for cultural diversity, creative problem solving, and ecological respect as well as protecting the timely development of the contemporary child are daily challenges faced by parents and educators.
In FEETSPEAK, a young child, traumatically mute after her parents are killed during a rainstorm, communicates by selecting different shoes to wear.
Living near a pond and its creatures on the Midwest Plains with her maternal grandmother provides Cinnamon with comfort and understanding.
However, when an engaging French family with a young girl her age moves into the house down the road, Cinnamon must learn other ways to share her thoughts and express her feelings with her new friends.
Soon to enter First Grade, will she be ready to participate and learn in this totally new environment?
You may now be wondering ~ how do those three elements: loved ones, community, and nature influence the healing process of a traumatized child? Please note my stories are just that ~ stories of fiction. Of course they are idealized, but in my experience, these three factors in people’s lives can be extremely influential and effective.
The Loved Ones of FEETSPEAK
My young heroine shares her story surrounded by her loving family. She lives with her grandmother. She frequently visits her uncles and aunt.
Her close neighbors become constant friends and company. Their kindness, acceptance, and care provide the six-year-old child with new experiences to help her explore other places outside the quiet world she has escaped into.
Some of these “other places” are very new and, somewhat, uncomfortable to her, but her family and friends, as well as the community members she encounters help her overcome her reluctance to engage.
An Understanding Community of FEETSPEAK
When a variety of life’s circumstances enter and disrupt Cinnamon’s routine existence with her family and friends, she slowly begins to understand the necessity of living outside her sheltered world. She even begins to enjoy the diversity of the experiences.
Meeting new community members like doctors, teachers, shopkeepers, and entertainers, among others, open up different vistas for communication. She is definitely intrigued, although hesitant. The community continues to engage with her in spite of her uncertainty.
And, perhaps, the most powerful of all the environmental elements is the constancy of Nature.
The Constancy of Nature in FEETSPEAK
I spent many hours ~ I LOVED it!~ researching the flora and fauna of the several environs described in the story, FEETSPEAK, as I did in the other two stories of the I AM A CHILD Trilogy.
Most of the story takes place during the Spring, Summer, and early Fall with one Wintry exception. The majority of the setting takes place on the Plains of the USA’s Midwest and special care was given to a little pond near the small wheat farm Cinnamon lives on with her Grandmother.
A respectful graciousness is shared by all the characters in the story for the beauty and gifts Nature gives.
Country living is shown to be bountiful, yet challenging. A willingness to work and respect the land is threaded throughout the story of FEETSPEAK.
A brief exploration of the USA’s Blue Ridge Mountains and the maple woods of its Northeast are, also, part of the scenery.
Part of my publishing package with Writers Republic includes a whimsical, engaging website, which gives me opportunities to Blog about FEETSPEAK and include many Book Study activities.
My Author’s Website
This website is extremely easy to navigate. The Navigation Bar includes an animated Home Page ( it’s delightful ! ), an About the Author (ME!) link, an About the Book link with a summary and buttons to click for places to purchase and view book pages, my Blog link, and a Contact Me link for all your questions, comments, concerns, and requests.
FEETSPEAK is available in hardback, paperback, and digitally.
Here’s the link: http://eashields.com/
I’ve already posted several Blogs (surprise!) and there’s LOTS more to come. Read on….
As an educator, one of my VERY FAVORITE teaching opportunities involved a Book Study. Teased by my teammates for going on and on with activity after activity focused on ONE class-read novel, I just handed them the FAT Unit I created that went on and on into the wonders of a well-written novel.
“The possibilities,” I’d remark with a grin, “are ENDLESS!”
And it is with the same enthusiasm, I have created and developed MANY activities for you and yours to explore and choose while reading FEETSPEAK.
Some, not all, of course, of the Book Study activities include:
- learning new Vocabulary Words
- analyzing Comprehension Elements
- using Graphic Organizers
- investigating Characters and their Traits
- exploring the Power of Colorful Descriptors
- transferring Verbal Imagery into Drawings
- writing Letters
- cooking up a Recipe or five…
- discovering Nature
Believe me ~ there’s MORE!!
The Blogs I have published so far:
- WELCOME !
- CHILDHOOD MUTISM
- HELPING YOUR GRIEVING CHILD.
The next Blog is FEETSPEAK’S STORY SEQUENCE.
Most activities will be a digital download.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this Info~Blog for Hot Off The Press: FEETSPEAK! as much as I enjoyed writing it. It’s my latest (and, maybe, my greatest) “endeavor” !
I hope you will visit me @: http://eashields.com/.
Tell me what you think on my Author’s website Contact Me link.
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