“Other Kids” – Children’s Book About Bullying, by Christina Engela


OKAKJLY“Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You” – a children’s book about bullying, by Christina Engela (illustrations by Amanda M. Lyons).
 
Many kids today face bullying from their peers. Day after day we see tragic news of children who face bullying, where children die, commit suicide, or are seriously injured, either physically or psychologically. Sadly, the biggest lie schools can tell is ‘bullying is not tolerated here’, because as long as the underlying causes of bullying are not addressed, bullying will occur to some degree.

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A Week Of Bullying Achieves Nothing


Good morning friends, fans (and critics) 🙂

I hope you all had a great weekend as I did!

Over the past week some of my posts on Facebook and the page for my children’s book were bombarded by trolls who spewed their hatred for LGBT people – and me for championing their cause, using a warped, skewed version of Christianity (Dominionism) as a justification for their hate, incitement to kill or otherwise harm them.

They seemed particularly incensed about my children’s book “Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You” which addresses homophobic and transphobic bullying (as well as general bullying). A few even made weak attempts to threaten me and those dear to me. Clearly these people cannot appreciate the irony in threatening and trying to bully someone for writing a book about homophobic and transphobic bulling 😛 … but I suppose we all need to get our jollies somehow, right?

These ‘very intelligent people’ insist that a book which encourages children not to bully other children, but instead to try and accept and understand children they perceive as different to themselves will “turn them homosexual”, and that my book amounts to “a child abuse” (sic). Obviously they are ignorant about the last two decades scientific research which has demonstrated conclusively that sexual orientation and gender identity are the product of genetics and other biological factors – or rather, they prefer to deny scientific fact in favor of flawed and prejudiced religious extremist propaganda.

Those who know me, know that I have little patience for people who have renounced reason and refuse to accept facts – and that I will never be dominated by anyone. I will never sit still or remain quiet in the face of bigotry or simply ‘roll over’ to let them have their way. No. Rather I am the speed-bump that breaks their stride, the fly in their ointment, the frog that gets stuck in the haha bird’s throat and strangles it.

On the first day, I was engaged by 8 trolls who all gave up and then blocked me on Facebook and have been no further trouble. At least another 5 continued for a while, after which I blocked them. Some used fake profiles to spew their hatred on my wall posts.

The goal of these individuals – who appear to have various things in common (they all seem to be friends with each other, and definitely fans of Angus Buchan. A lot of them also seem to originate from Zimbabwe/Rhodesia) leading me to believe that they are part of a group rather than just individuals – appears to be to intimidate me into silence, and to try to coerce me into backing down and letting them and their idols ply their hatred in the world unchallenged. That has clearly failed.

To speak out against injustice, to oppose cruelty – that is my function – always has been, always will be.

Thank you for your patience 🙂

Adult Homophobes Don’t See Irony In Trying To Bully Writer Of Children’s Book About LGBT Bullying


FrontIt’s pretty ironic when a homophobe makes hateful posts intended to intimidate, threaten and insult – on a page about a book which addresses the topic of bullying! 😛 It says a lot – about the mentality of bullies – as well as the very real need for something to be done about bullies.
Fortunately there exist safeguards on this social media platform that allow us to block, ban and report such wannabe online bullies who try to flex their muscles and bombard people they detest with messages of outright hate.
But in the offline world it’s not so easy. And for kids it’s harder to place these attacks into perspective than for adults. Kids take personal criticism and bullying by their peers far more harshly than do adults, and because of this, the consequences can be so much more tragic – to them and to their families. We lose so many beautiful children each year due to suicides resulting from “peer pressure” and bullying.
Scientific research has already shown us that bullies – children and adults – are less educated and less secure in their personal lives because their lack of understanding of others results in fearfulness and paranoia. In my opinion, the importance and significance of this is grossly under-emphasized.
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Worse than some simple ignorance and insecurities are the bullies who lack compassion or feeling for the plight of their victims. These are the true sociopaths and psychopaths one has to be wary of, and our society today is a breeding ground for monsters who see nothing wrong with utterly destroying other people, for whatever reason – be it religion, sexual orientation, patriarchy, power or greed. Such adults don’t just ‘pop’ out of nowhere as adults – they start as children, and so care needs to be taken with all children that they do not become adults of that ilk.
What happens to childhood bullies that don’t outgrow their bullying tendencies? They grow up to be adult bullies who terrorize adults and even children, in schools, in the workplace, and other social arenas. Prevention is better than cure.
Education is a vital tool in this struggle – particularly for younger generations, because their minds have not yet been as tainted by prejudices and hatreds of their forebears.
Supporting this book and others like it would definitely be a step in the right direction. 🙂

New Release: A Powerful Statement Against Bullying by Christina Engela


Now available!

OKAKJLY.jpg Paperback ($24.94)     Kindle ($10.00)

Published: Aug 08, 2016
Pages: 36
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Dimensions (inches): 8.5 x 8.5

“Join a lovable group of children in a delightful romp through an explanation of diversity, understanding it better, encouraging them to be compassionate towards others, regardless of who they are.

Many kids today face bullying from their peers based on differences in race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.

In a world where bullying and intolerance of diversity is becoming increasingly a problem, it’s important to teach children – and adults – compassion for others.

This book was written to inspire kids (and the adults who read it with kids) who are bullied for being different without focusing too strongly on the bullying angle.

Christina Engela is an author and long-time human rights activist with experience in dealing with various types of bullying.”

Reviews:

Author and activist Christina Engela’s ‘Other Kids are Kids Almost Just Like You’ is a small gem, a humorous, non-didactic children’s book that sings the joys of difference, whether it be race, sexual orientation or just the pride of individuality. With delightful illustrations by Amanda M. Lyons, ‘Other Kids’ teaches a gentle lesson about the serious issue of bullying.” – Alex S. Johnson, Author.

Background:

Let me start off by saying that I do not write stories for children. This was a fluke, a karmic train-smash, a collision of circumstances and contrasting feelings both fortuitous and cataclysmic… etcetera, and so forth.

That said, this story is special to me – mostly because of the message it presents to not only young minds, but also to the parents, teachers, adults and young adults (hopefully) who will read this story to the children in their lives – and the children themselves. It’s also because of the topics it addresses – bullying, intolerance, diversity and acceptance of each other as people.

This is what my editor said to me: “I’d put it in the 5 to 6 yr old range but that’s the age we need to teach kids to be kind so perfect!”

The overall idea is a positive ‘up’ theme and the book was written to inspire kids who are bullied for being different without focusing too strongly on the bullying concept or on harping on the transgender bullying angle – even though the concept for this story was suggested based on someone I know having a young pre-teen child experiencing a lot of the harassment and emotional trauma of growing up transgender.

The illustrator (Amanda M. Lyons) delivered a set of 20 beautiful images.

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August Update


You may have been wondering what I have been up to lately… and as usual, the answer is ‘up to no good’! Since my former publisher and I parted ways in May, I have re-released all of my previously published works, including three titles in the Galaxii Series and over the past few weeks, four in the Quantum Series. I am currently busy finalizing the cover artwork and illustrations for “Innocent Minds”, a rather unusual little story that falls somewhere between sci-fi, humor and children’s stories… because it is a children’s story for adults!

What is a ‘children’s story for adults’? Well, it’s a pseud0-children’s story with some more mature content  and humor aimed at adults… with illustrations.

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Resistance Is Futile! :P


Some of you might remember I once did a short story (with illustrations) for kids… or rather, a story for parents NOT to read to their kids… I called “Innocent Minds” my “one attempt to write a children’s story”… well, recently I was persuaded to attempt a REAL children’s story for ACTUAL kids. Wow. That was intimidating.

Those of you who know me well, know that while I like kids in general, I am quite uncomfortable around them. You see, I don’t really ‘get’ them very well. Last night, as I worked on the surprisingly complex, and misleadingly simple text for the book, it occurred to me why this was.

You see, children are honest. Absolutely, unequivocally honest. Whether they love you or hate peanut-butter or can’t stand a pair of shoes… they are 100% honest about it. They haven’t learned to lie yet, to hide their feelings, or to live complex lives where they have a hundred-million thoughts flashing through their heads at any one moment, about a thousand different things, distracted, diffused, and watered-down.Their feelings are pure – not in the sense of ‘good’, but in the sense that they are ALL about whatever their focus is at any particular time, and their emotions are in every word, every motion, and in their eyes.

When you can feel people’s emotions, and when you can deal with adults on a daily basis, it can be a little intimidating when you are confronted with total honesty at full power. Resistance is futile.

And so, with this in mind, last night I wrote the text for my first REAL little story for children.

It’s called “Other Kids Are Kids Almost Just Like You”. An artist is already busy working on the illustrations – and I promise, this one has no guns, or any violins in it – not even a tiny one. Apparently it’s surprisingly good – and I say ‘surprisingly’ because well, frankly, when people ask me if I want kids, I usually tell them “No thanks, I still need to drive”.

Perhaps in future I might think a little harder first, and then say: “Perhaps a little is okay.”

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