By: Alicia Sands Lurry
Students at E. Rivers and Hope-Hill elementary schools learned valuable lessons about cyber bullying and the importance of forgiveness and friendship, thanks to a recent visit by teen author Justine Del Monte and illustrator Brandon Chappell.
During her visit, the 14-year-old Del Monte, who hails from Danville, California, read her three colorfully illustrated children’s books, followed by a question-and-answer session.
Focused on a red-headed boy named Drew, “Drew’s Dancing Drum” spotlights bullying awareness and ignoring the negative criticism of your peers. Her second book, “Drew Meets Boo,” tells the story of friendship and overcoming bullying, while “Drew and the Cyber Bully” shares the importance of being polite while using social media.
“A cyber bully is someone who bullies you online and says bad things about you,” a student from E. Rivers said.
“That’s right,” Del Monte said after reading “Drew and the Cyber Bully.” “Social media should never be unkind or cruel. It should be used to make people happy, not sad.”
Del Monte knows of which she writes. At age 11, she was bullied. She wrote the books to raise awareness about bullying and to teach children the importance of kindness.
“There isn’t much material that’s stimulating for little kids,” she said. “This is something that’s non-threatening they can read and learn how to discuss bullying.”
Del Monte’s visit was sponsored by PBA 30, which is promoting the book during its televised children’s programming. The station is currently airing an animated, one-minute short of the books throughout the week at various times.
Del Monte is currently on a book tour to promote her books, some of which were presented to the library as a gift.
For more information or to read Del Monte’s books, visit: http://www.drewsbooks.com/.