Tag: bullying

Daniel Barker: Journey to Egypt Author Interview

An Interview with Jenny about why she wrote
Daniel Barker: Journey to Egypt

Why did you write the Daniel Barker series?

I love Roald Dahl and was reading The Magic Finger. After finishing it, thoughts began to bounce around my head. I wanted to write a fun story about a child who had some type of power. Out of that initial thought, combined with an idea that came to me when I was using Twitter, the seed was planted.
I have always loved ancient Egypt with the pyramids, pharaohs and mummies etc. so I thought it would be awesome to have ancient Egypt as the backstory and then the setting for Journey to Egypt. I wanted magic and fantasy in the stories as this genre is fun to write, and I realised as I wrote the books that they were horror as well. This was a new genre for me to write but I had inspiration from Goosebumps.
All of my books have some type of bully or evil character, so Daniel Barker does as well. When I was thinking about the antagonist – the meanie, the thought of having multiple antagonists came to mind. This gave me the idea for the theme of peer pressure. I know from my own experience as a teacher, and from my youth work studies, that peer pressure is a major issue for children in high school.
I also hoped that boys who don’t like reading, might pick up the book and read it.

What is the story about?

The story is about Daniel Barker who receives a Egyptian magical book on his tenth birthday. The book gives him 99 wishes which must be used for the good of the world. He writes a wish by writing a hashtag and then what he wants. All goes well in primary school and Dan the Man is a superhero. He then goes on to high school where he unleashes the Mummy’s blight due to peer pressure and bullying. In this book Dan and Grandma go back to Egypt to try and stop the blight. They visit the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities and the mummies come to life and chase Daniel. He meets Meryatum, Ramesses II’s son. Meryatum takes him to ancient Egypt and it is there the boys encounter many challenges and obstacles, in their quest. This is a story with suspense, horror and heaps of action!

What is your favourite part of the story?

I loved researching ancient Egypt, as ever since I was a girl I was fascinated by the pyramids and the sphinx. I remember hearing about the mummification process and being horrified by it – so of course I had to include that in the story!

What will people get out of the story?

Children will learn about ancient Egypt through the facts I have woven through the story. They will see a boy who is resilient and keeps on going towards his goal, with the help of a friend. And I definitely hope children will enjoy the story and be entertained by it.

Is there a Book 3 coming?

Yes, there will be a third where Dan goes back home from Egypt and tries to resume a normal life at home and school. You will have to wait and see what happens in it but like the other two books it will be full of action.

Where can people buy Daniel Barker from?

Daniel Barker: Journey to Egypt is available as a paperback. It can be purchased from many online bookstores which are listed on my website, and from me directly, via my website.

Daniel Barker: Journey to Egypt Themes

Daniel Barker: Journey to Egypt Themes

Peer Pressure

Wanting to feel part of something can put pressure on a teen to act in certain ways. If they’re doing something they wouldn’t normally do, or are not doing something they’d like to do, simply so that they’ll be accepted by the people they hang out with, they’re suffering from peer pressure.

Peer pressure can influence:
* the way someone dresses or wears their hair
* the activities they get involved in the music they listen to
* the decisions made about using drugs and alcohol
* who they date
* who they’re friends with.

The pressure to act in a certain way can be:
1) direct: someone telling the teen what they should be doing
2) indirect: the teen’s group of friends might do certain activities together that they’re unlikely to do outside of that group
3) self-motivated: putting pressure on the teen to fit in with their friendship group, because of certain standards they’ve set or comments they’ve made.
https://au.reachout.com/articles/what-is-peer-pressure

In Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight, peer pressure is a pivotal catalyst for the turn of events in the story. Daniel is a superhero in primary school and the beginning of high school. Things change in Year Eight, and with taunting, bullying and pressure on him, Daniel goes against the rules set down in the Scrivener book. Consequences await him upon disobeying the rules. In Daniel Barker: Journey to Egypt, Daniel reflects on why he is in his predicament and knows it is because of peer pressure and making poor choices. 

Ancient Egypt

The Scrivener book is a present that was given to Daniel’s grandmother by a magus when she was traveling through Egypt. It was then passed down to Daniel’s mother and then to himself.
In Power or Blight there are some references to Egypt with the Mummy’s blight. At the end of the story, Grandma decides that they need to go back to Egypt to stop the blight.

In Journey to Egypt, ancient Egypt comes alive. I did a lot of research about ancient Egypt to ensure the facts I have woven into the story are correct. 

Some fun facts about ancient Egypt:
1) Egyptian men and women wore makeup. It was thought to have healing powers, plus it helped protect their skin from the sun.
2) They used mouldy bread to help with infections.
3) They were one of the first civilizations to invent writing. They also used ink to write and paper called papyrus.
4) The Ancient Egyptians were scientists and mathematicians. They had numerous inventions including ways to build buildings, medicine, cosmetics, the calendar, the plow for farming, musical instruments, and even toothpaste.
5) Ancient Egypt plays a major role in the Bible. The Israelites were held captive there as slaves for many years. Moses helped them escape and led them to the Promised Land.
6) The Pharaoh kept his hair covered. It was not to be seen by regular people.
7) Cats were considered sacred in Ancient Egypt.
https://www.ducksters.com/history/ancient_egypt.

Bullying

As with most of my books, bullying is featured in By Power or Blight. Daniel is called names and taunted, until he explodes. Bullying does not occur in Journey to Egypt, but instead Daniel is befriended by Meryatum, the Pharaoh’s son, Meryatum, quickly becomes friends with Daniel and they share their adventure together. 

Bullying goes hand-in-hand with negative peer pressure.

So what is bullying?

The national definition of bullying for Australian schools says:
Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert).

Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.

Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.

In the story, Daniel is bullied because he is picked on by many children; some like Ethan and his mate have it in for him. Daniel is physically and verbally picked on. After things start going bad, he becomes isolated from his friends.

https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/WhatIsBullying/DefinitionOfBullying

In By Power or Blight, the school does not action to stop the bullying – this is all part of the Mummy’s Blight. But in reality there are policies and procedures that schools need to follow.

These strategies could include:
• teaching and learning programs to develop students communication, social, assertiveness and coping skills
• changes to the school environment to improve teacher supervision, such as removing visual barriers between teacher and students
• increasing supervision of students at particular times or places
• support from a guidance officer or school counsellor
• changes to technology access at school
• timetable or class changes that may be temporary or permanent to decrease the contact the students have with each other
• class discussions of bullying including underlying issues and possible responses for students
• promoting positive bystander behaviour
• disciplinary action against students who bully others
An action plan may be developed for the child and any other children involved. Strategies for use at home may also be included in a plan.
https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/RespondingToBullying/HowAustralianSchoolsRespond

Single-Parent Family

Daniel Barker lives with his mother, his father having left when he was a baby. Mrs Barker still carries some resentment towards her husband and expresses in the story that she doesn’t want her son to become like him.

Mrs Barker has the help of Daniel’s grandmother, who he is close to. Daniel often rings his grandmother to ask her advice, and they have a good relationship. She helps him many times throughout By Power or Blight. In Journey to Egypt it is Grandma who takes Dan to Egypt. 

This theme was chosen as over the past 20 years single-parent families have become even more common than the so-called “nuclear family” consisting of a mother, father and children. Today we see all sorts of single- parent families: headed by mothers, headed by fathers, headed by a grandparent raising their grandchildren.

Life in a single-parent household — though common — can be quite stressful for the adult and the children. Members may unrealistically expect that the family can function like a two-parent family, and may feel that something is wrong when it can not. The single parent may feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of juggling caring for the children, maintaining a job and keeping up with the bills and household chores. And typically, the family’s finances and resources are drastically reduced following the parents’ breakup.

Single-parent families deal with many other pressures and potential problem areas that the nuclear family does not have to face.

Stressors faced by single parent families include:
* Visitation and custody problems.
• The effects of continuing conflict between the parents.
• Less opportunity for parents and children to spend time together.
• Effects of the breakup on children’s school performance and peer relations.
• Disruptions of extended family relationships.
• Problems caused by the parents’ dating and entering new relationships.
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/single-parent.aspx

Difference & Diversity

We all want children to grow up in a world free from bias and discrimination, to reach for their dreams and feel that whatever they want to accomplish in life is possible. We want them to feel loved and included and never to experience the pain of rejection or exclusion. But the reality is that we do live in a world in which racism and other forms of bias continue to affect us. Discrimination hurts and leaves scars that can last a lifetime, affecting goals, ambitions, life choices, and feelings of self-worth.
https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/teaching-diversity-place-begin-0/

Even though in Power or Blight, Daniel is a typical boy, as stated in the Introduction, the gift of his Scrivener power changes things. It makes him different. When I wrote the story I thought an equivalent example for today may be a child’s family winning the lottery, or a child acquiring a physical disability – something that had a dramatic change – something that may be accepted for a while, but then not so much.

Having the theme of difference and diversity in the Daniel Barker series encourages discussions. It goes a step towards children thinking about how they can show respect for others who are different from themselves, and the language they speak.

Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight Book Launch

Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight Author Interview

An Interview with Jenny about why she wrote
Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight

Why did you write Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight?

I love Roald Dahl and was reading The Magic Finger. After finishing it, thoughts began to bounce around my head. I wanted to write a fun story about a child who had some type of power. Out of that initial thought, combined with an idea that came to me when I was using Twitter, the seed was planted.

I have always loved ancient Egypt, the pharaohs and mummies etc. so I thought it would be awesome to have this included. I wanted magic in the story and the things that go wrong in the story to be funny to kids. As I was writing the story, my son peeked over my shoulder, and read some of what I’d written. In shock he said, ‘Mum I didn’t know you’d write that!’ I had to chuckle. His mum is full of surprises.

All of my books have some type of bully or evil character, so Daniel Barker does as well. When I was thinking about the antagonist – the meanie, the thought of having multiple antagonists came to mind. This gave me the idea for the theme of peer pressure. I know from my own experience as a teacher, and from my youth work studies, that peer pressure is a major issue for children in high school.

I also hoped that boys who don’t like reading, might pick up the book and read it.

What is the story about?

The story is about Daniel Barker who receives a magical book on his tenth birthday. The book gives him 99 wishes which must be used for the good of the world. He writes a wish by writing a hashtag and then what he wants. All goes well in primary school and Dan the Man is a superhero. He then goes on to high school. All is great to begin with, but then things change. Kids start bullying and taunting Daniel about his powers. They want him to do pranks which are against the power’s rules. Daniel gives in, unleashing the Mummy’s Blight. Daniel must then try and stop the chaos that ensues. I don’t want to tell you the trouble Daniel gets himself into but it is kind of funny and a little bit of a horror story.

What is your favourite part of the story?

I loved researching the recipe for the antidote that would stop someone from becoming a zombie! It was fun to then write that into the story.

What will people get out of the story?

I hope people see that it is okay to be yourself… it’s okay to be different. Daniel is an only child in a single-parent family and at times the issues involved in living in this situation are raised. The story also shows what peer pressure can do and the trouble one can into when one gives into it. I hope children will enjoy the story and be entertained by it.

Is there a Book 2 coming?

Yes, there are actually two more books coming. In Book 2, Daniel and his grandmother fly back to Egypt to try and find the answers to stopping the Mummy’s blight. You will have to wait and see what happens in it.

Where can people buy Daniel Barker from?

Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight is available as a paperback. It can be purchased from many online bookstores which are listed on my website, and from me directly, via my website.

Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight Themes

Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight Themes

Peer Pressure

    

Wanting to feel part of something can put pressure on a teen to act in certain ways. If they’re doing something they wouldn’t normally do, or are not doing something they’d like to do, simply so that they’ll be accepted by the people they hang out with, they’re suffering from peer pressure.

Peer pressure can influence:
* the way someone dresses or wears their hair
* the activities they get involved in the music they listen to
* the decisions made about using drugs and alcohol
* who they date
* who they’re friends with.

The pressure to act in a certain way can be:
1) direct: someone telling the teen what they should be doing
2) indirect: the teen’s group of friends might do certain activities together that they’re unlikely to do outside of that group
3) self-motivated: putting pressure on the teen to fit in with their friendship group, because of certain standards they’ve set or comments they’ve made.
https://au.reachout.com/articles/what-is-peer-pressure

In Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight, peer pressure is a pivotal catalyst for the turn of events in the story. Daniel is a superhero in primary school and the beginning of high school. Things change in Year Eight, and with taunting, bullying and pressure on him, Daniel goes against the rules set down in the Scrivener book. Consequences await him upon disobeying the rules.

 

Ancient Egypt

The Scrivener book is a present that was given to Daniel’s grandmother by a magus when she was traveling through Egypt. It was then passed down to Daniel’s mother and then to himself.

In Power or Blight there are some references to Egypt with the Mummy’s curse. At the end of the story, Grandma decides that they need to go back to Egypt to stop the blight. It is in the second book that the pyramids, pharoahs, mummies and the ancient Egyptian world is explored.

Some fun facts about ancient Egypt:

1) Egyptian men and women wore makeup. It was thought to have healing powers, plus it helped protect their skin from the sun.
2) They used mouldy bread to help with infections.
3) They were one of the first civilizations to invent writing. They also used ink to write and paper called papyrus.
4) The Ancient Egyptians were scientists and mathematicians. They had numerous inventions including ways to build buildings, medicine, cosmetics, the calendar, the plow for farming, musical instruments, and even toothpaste.
5) Ancient Egypt plays a major role in the Bible. The Israelites were held captive there as slaves for many years. Moses helped them escape and led them to the Promised Land.
6) The Pharaoh kept his hair covered. It was not to be seen by regular people.
7) Cats were considered sacred in Ancient Egypt.
https://www.ducksters.com/history/ancient_egypt.php

 

Bullying

As with most of my books, bullying is featured in By Power or Blight. Daniel is called names and taunted, until he explodes.

Bullying goes hand-in-hand with negative peer pressure.

So what is bullying?

The national definition of bullying for Australian schools says:
Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert).

Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders.

Single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.

In the story, Daniel is bullied because he is picked on by many children; some like Ethan and his mate have it in for him. Daniel is physically and verbally picked on. After things start going bad, he becomes isolated from his friends.

https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/WhatIsBullying/DefinitionOfBullying

In By Power or Blight, the school does not action to stop the bullying – this is all part of the Mummy’s Blight. But in reality there are policies and procedures that schools need to follow.

These strategies could include:
• teaching and learning programs to develop students communication, social, assertiveness and coping skills
• changes to the school environment to improve teacher supervision, such as removing visual barriers between teacher and students
• increasing supervision of students at particular times or places
• support from a guidance officer or school counsellor
• changes to technology access at school
• timetable or class changes that may be temporary or permanent to decrease the contact the students have with each other
• class discussions of bullying including underlying issues and possible responses for students
• promoting positive bystander behaviour
• disciplinary action against students who bully others

An action plan may be developed for the child and any other children involved. Strategies for use at home may also be included in a plan.

https://bullyingnoway.gov.au/RespondingToBullying/HowAustralianSchoolsRespond

 

Single-Parent Family

Daniel Barker lives with his mother, his father having left when he was a baby. Mrs Barker still carries some resentment towards her husband and expresses in the story that she doesn’t want her son to become like him.

Mrs Barker has the help of Daniel’s grandmother, who he is close to. Daniel often rings his grandmother to ask her advice, and they have a good relationship. She helps him many times throughout By Power or Blight.

This theme was chosen as over the past 20 years single-parent families have become even more common than the so-called “nuclear family” consisting of a mother, father and children. Today we see all sorts of single- parent families: headed by mothers, headed by fathers, headed by a grandparent raising their grandchildren.

Life in a single-parent household — though common — can be quite stressful for the adult and the children. Members may unrealistically expect that the family can function like a two-parent family, and may feel that something is wrong when it can not. The single parent may feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of juggling caring for the children, maintaining a job and keeping up with the bills and household chores. And typically, the family’s finances and resources are drastically reduced following the parents’ breakup.

Single-parent families deal with many other pressures and potential problem areas that the nuclear family does not have to face.

Stressors faced by single parent families include:

* Visitation and custody problems.
• The effects of continuing conflict between the parents.
• Less opportunity for parents and children to spend time together.
• Effects of the breakup on children’s school performance and peer relations.
• Disruptions of extended family relationships.
• Problems caused by the parents’ dating and entering new relationships.
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/single-parent.aspx

 

Difference & Diversity

We all want children to grow up in a world free from bias and discrimination, to reach for their dreams and feel that whatever they want to accomplish in life is possible. We want them to feel loved and included and never to experience the pain of rejection or exclusion. But the reality is that we do live in a world in which racism and other forms of bias continue to affect us. Discrimination hurts and leaves scars that can last a lifetime, affecting goals, ambitions, life choices, and feelings of self-worth.

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/teaching-diversity-place-begin-0/

Even though in Power or Blight, Daniel is a typical boy, as stated in the Introduction, the gift of his Scrivener power changes things. It makes him different. When I wrote the story I thought an equivalent example for today may be a child’s family winning the lottery, or a child acquiring a physical disability – something that had a dramatic change – something that may be accepted for a while, but then not so much.

Having the theme of difference and diversity in Daniel Barker encourages discussions. It goes a step towards children thinking about how they can show respect for others who are different from themselves, and the language they speak.

Brockwell the Brave Book Launch

Brockwell the Brave Free Teacher Resources

Brockwell the Brave Author Interview

An Interview with Jenny about why she wrote Brockwell the Brave

Why did you write Brockwell the Brave?

My first book, Ride High Pineapple, was based on myself and my eldest daughter. I wanted my second book to be based on my son. He also has my craniofacial syndrome but I didn’t want to write a boy version of the story. I decided to focus on another of my son’s qualities. He is not your typical boy. My son growing up has been a quiet, gentle and you could say, ‘girlie’ boy. He was always into dressing up, he loved dancing, he didn’t possess any action figures or trucks or cars. He owned ‘girl gender’ toys, loved sparkles and the colour pink. My son is now 14 and has hair nearly down to his bottom. He loves to read, to draw, to cook, video games and his soft toys.

Now one could say this is a product of his circumstances and environment. He has two sisters, so he grew up playing with them, and his friends from kindy upwards have been girls as well, so he has grown up in their world. My son was also banned from playing sport growing up because of his face. And his hair was shaved off multiple times with operations, so there could be a subconscious want to have a long hair. Who knows? But it doesn’t matter to us. We love him how he is.

The story Brockwell the Brave, is set in a fantasy Viking village called Enga. Brockwell, the main character, lives on a dragon farm. Even though the village is a fantasy, everything else relating to the village and Viking way of life, is factual, including the names used. Throughout the story I have inserted the Icelandic language which is the closest modem day language to Old Norse. This added some extra authenticity to the story.

I chose the dragons as my son asked for dragons to be in the story. At the time, he has obsessed with the How to Train Your Dragon series and was collecting the dragons he liked. I was very conscious, not to make my book similar to the films or books.

What is the story about?

So Brockwell is twelve, and lives on a dragon farm. His family raises dragons from eggs to be the working animals in the village, like bullocks in the olden days. He loves the babies but is scared of the older dragons which his father wants him to feed and care for. He also likes to do the ‘female’ jobs like going to the village markets to buy the food. Brockwell’s secret desire is to be a healer and he often sneaks off to the village healing hut to help out. Brockwell’s best friend is a strong girl, Ingrid. Mr Ness, Brockwell’s father, believes she’d make a better son then he is. The village bully, Colden, picks on Brockwell as he is a soft target. One day, Brockwell’s father goes on an expedition to rescue an injured wild dragon. He would bring the dragon back to the farm. When Mr Ness doesn’t return, Brockwell goes against his mother’s wishes, and goes with Ingrid and her brother, to find his father. He is given a magical dragon’s tooth which belonged to his grandfather, to protect him. Along the way Brockwell must face his fears and encounters many obstacles. I cannot tell you the ending. 🙂

What did you enjoy the most about writing the story?

I really enjoyed researching the Vikings way of life. I learned a lot! I enjoyed researching Old Norse names for the names of the characters. And I loved creating my own type of dragons and deciding what they would be used for in the village. I wanted them to be unique and the babies adorable.

If you could own a dragon, what would it look like?

Hmmm, my dragon would be hot pink, with scales that shine like the colours of the rainbow. It would be more cute than scary. It would probably also have a silver heart on its side, as I love anything with hearts.

What would people get out of the story?

Brockwell the Brave provides an insight into the world of the Vikings and teaches some of the Icelandic language. The story is a fun adventure with a magical component. It challenges gender stereotypes of both boys and girls. It teaches a child it is okay to be themselves, and that they can face their fears.

Where can people buy Brockwell the Brave?

Brockwell the Brave is available as an ebook and a paperback. It can be purchased from many online bookstores which are listed on my website, and from me directly, via my website.

Brockwell the Brave Themes

Brockwell the Brave Themes

Gender Roles & Stereotypes

Gender stereotypes are generalisations made about how males and females should behave and what they should like and do. The claim applies to all people of that gender. These roles are inacccurate, as each human being has individual desires, thoughts and feelings, which are not dependent on being male and female. Therefore, gender stereotypes are simplistic, but many people believe them.

For example, all males:

• wear blue
• like to play with cars and trucks when they are boys. They don’t play with dolls, only action figures.
• like to work on cars
• like rough sports
• do dirty jobs, not secretarial work
• enjoy outdoor activities such as camping and fishing
• do not do housework and they are not responsible for taking care of children
• do not sew or do crafts
For example, all females:
• wear pink
• like to play with dolls
• are not as strong as males
• like caring roles
• love to sing and dance
• like to wear makeup and look pretty
• do not do dirty jobs
• like to wear high heels, frilly clothes and dresses

These stereotypes may be true for some males and females, but they are not true for all. And it is this fact that is brought to light in Brockwell the Brave,.Brockwell Ness is described as a quiet, gentle boy who likes to spend time at the healing hut. He is a carer by nature. Brockwell also likes to go to the markets and buy the food for his mother. These are not what boys do in the Viking village, and Mr Ness, Brockwell’s father does not cope well with this. He doesn’t like that his son is different and likes to do ‘women’s work’.

In the story, Brockwell’s best friend, Ingrid Gulbrand, is a strong female. She still does tasks considered to be ‘women’s work’, so is more accepted. There were some female warriors in the Viking era, so she was not totally out of place, like Brockwell was.

The story brings to light that boys and girls are individuals, and their gender is only a part of who they are. Their genders do not define Brockwell and Ingrid as people.

 

Facing Fears

 

If you find yourself avoiding situations, places or activities, anxiety and worry may be the cause.

In the story, Brockwell has two fears, One is his bully, Colden, who picks on him constantly. And the second is the juvenile and adult dragons that Brockwell is expected to feed.

Brockwell found it very hard to face his fears. He would experience worry, panic attacks and avoid the situations which triggered them.

The solution to fear, is facing what makes you anxious. Brockwell faced Colden and the dragons, and found that he was able to deal with them both.

Brockwell felt he could only deal with them because of the dragon’s tooth he was given by Mrs Gulbrand. Did this tooth really have power or did it give Brockwell the inner belief that he could stand up to his adversities?

Here are five tips for facing fears:
1. When you are trying something new, or something that you have been worried about, it is normal to feel panicky – don’t let this stop you.

2. Taking deep breaths can help calm you when you are feeling anxious.

3. Try not to leave a situation because you are anxious, instead leave when your anxiety has begun to fade away.

4. Set yourself some goals, and reward yourself every time you reach your goal.

5. Have family and friends support you.

 

Bullying

Bullying is the purposeful attempt at controlling another person. There are many ways this can happen. For example, verbal abuse such as tone of voice or teasing, threats and name calling; physical bullying; and exclusion. Bullying is usually not considered a once-off occurrence, but involves multiple instances.

In Brockwell the Brave, the village bully, Colden has it in for Brockwell. He teases Brockwell by calling him, ‘It’s Brocky Ness who wears a dress’. Colden also physically hurts him. We see this in the markets. Brockwell is scared of Colden and Colden knows it. This fear means that Brockwell is under Colden’s control which encourages Colden to keep on being mean. We find out at the end that Colden is hurting and being a bully is making him feel better about himself. This is a common scenario.

So why does bullying happen?

There are a variety of reasons:

• Cultural causes – a culture that likes power, winner and violence
• Institutional causes – if a home, school or workplace allows bullying
• Social Issues – when being a bully gets more attention from others than being well behaved
• Family Issues – where children are not loved or suffer abuse or neglect
• The Bully’s Personal History – children who have experienced rejection are more likely to bully
• Having Power – people with power may use it in the wrong way
• Provocative victims – people who are annoying or aggressive may be bullied

Bullies can change while others remain the same for their entire lives. In the story, Colden does change, when Brockwell identifies what is causing Colden to pick on him. In the end of the story they become friends.

 

Resilience

Resilience is what gives people the psychological strength to cope with adversities. It is the mental strength that people are able to call on in the tough times. It will carry them through without falling apart. Resilient people face their difficulties head on.

We see this in the story when Brockwell is dealt with many hardships on his journey to rescue his father. He falls over in the forest, nearly drowns in the creek, tumbles down the hill, encounters a bear and dragons. All of these would be enough for anyone to give up and let someone else do the job. But not Brockwell. He taps into his inner mental strength and continues on.

At the end of the story, Brockwell emerges stronger. This is what often happens when people are resilient.

Mentally strong people also tend to have the support of family and friends. In the story, Ingrid and Gosta were with Brockwell. At one point Gosta did ask if Brockwell wanted to give up, but Brockwell by that time, was determined to find his father, and declined the suggestion.

Here are some factors that are associated with resilience:

• Holding positive views about themselves and their abilities
• The capacity to make realistic plans and stick to them
• Feeling like they have control over a situation and are able to make choices to influence the event
• Being a good communicator
• Viewing themselves as fighters rather than victims
• Managing their emotions effectively
• Being able to problem solve

In the story we see Brockwell problem solving on the way home. He also feels that he has control over the situation. And finally after his father has been rescued, and he is home, Brockwell receives an impressive reward. an you be like Brockwell and face your fear

Brockwell the Brave Information

Brockwell the Brave

Middle Grade Novel
Ages 9 – 12

136 pages

Publication Year: 2016

ISBNs:
978-0-9945341-2-5 (pbk)
978-0-9945341-3-2 (e-bk)

RRP $15 AUD paperback
RRP $4.14 AUD ebook

The Story:

Twelve-year-old Viking, Brockwell Ness, lives on a dragon farm in the village of Enga. He would prefer to be at the healing hut rather than at home with the scary juvenile and adult dragons or around the village where Colden picks on him. When Brockwell’s father doesn’t come back from a mission to capture an injured dragon, he has to make a decision. Will Brockwell be able to face his giants?

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