Anything that helps a child to open up and get help could save the child from months and often years of abuse, feeling ashamed or threatened and acting out because they're unable to deal with the bullying on their own.
I spent months writing this children's book and spent a lot of money on illustrations and editing as well as agonized over every page formatting, but when I got this message from a beta reader before the book was published, I knew it was worth every minute.
“I received a copy of this book before publishing to test the story with my seven-year-old son, and I can honestly say that this is by far the best children’s story I ever read to him. He hung onto every word and displayed a wide range of emotions throughout the story such as sadness, fear, excitement, and sheer joy. What I value most is when we finished the book he said to me, “Dad, I wish I had a dog like Peanut.” At first, I thought that he’s just like any other little boy wishing for a dog, but then seeing his unusually sad expression, I asked him why he wants a dog like the one in the story. He said, “Because a dog like Peanut could save me from Connor.” My heart jumped into my throat because I never noticed any sign that my son was bullied. When I asked him why he didn’t tell us before, he said because he thought I would be mad at him not being able to defend himself. This story encouraged him to tell me and we are working on solving his problem together.” ~Brian
Children are often scared to tell anyone that they're bullied because the bully threatens them, or they're ashamed to tell just like Brian's son. Parents, just like Brian, are often not aware of the child's distress and fear, because children can hide their feelings well and often don't talk about what is happening to them. Anything that helps a child to open up and get help could save the child from months and often years of abuse, feeling ashamed or threatened and acting out because they're unable to deal with the bullying on their own.
About the book
Bianca and her best friend, Daniel, grew up together under the watchful eyes of Peanut, Bianca’s St. Bernard. The huge dog was their babysitter, playmate, and bodyguard. They were inseparable, so people started calling them the BFF Gang. When summer vacation came, Bianca and Daniel decided to go swimming in the river when they were confronted by Mark and his cronies of the Wolf Pack Gang. Find out how Peanut told Mark, in his own doggy language, how much he dislikes brute bullies. When Bianca and Daniel finally got to the river and were happily splashing in the cool water, they heard Peanut’s angry bark, and they saw an old woman approaching the riverbank with a basket in her hand. When the woman reached the edge of the river, she took a tiny, meowing kitten out of her basket and threw it into the river as far from shore as she could. The kitten flailed in the air, desperately crying, and then splashed into the water. Find out what happened to the kitten and how the BFFs dealt with Mark’s gang, in this first adventure of the BFF Adventures series.
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Library of Congress Control Number: 2016942093
The BFF Gang
Bianca and her best friend, Daniel, were neighbors in a small town. They shared birthdays and grew up together under the watchful eyes of Peanut, Bianca’s St. Bernard. The huge dog was their babysitter, playmate, and bodyguard. Bianca and Daniel had many friends, but because Peanut never left their side, the kids in school started calling the three of them The BFF Gang.
The first day of summer vacation, Bianca and Daniel were excited to go swimming in the river, near their home. Their parents didn’t worry, knowing both children were strong swimmers since they were babies, and Peanut was trained not to let them swim too far from shore. The dog always stayed on the riverbank, keeping a watchful eye on the children.
“I’m glad school is over,” Bianca said to Daniel as they walked on the sidewalk toward the river with towels on their shoulders. Peanut, as usual, walked with them staying close to Bianca.
“Me too,” Daniel said to his best friend with a sigh. “We don’t have to study or do homework for the entire summer, and I don’t have to deal with Mark. He said he will spend the summer vacation at his grandma’s house. Luckily it is far away in another town.”
“It makes me so angry that he’s getting away with hurting other kids, and he’s been picking on you for the past few weeks.”
“My ears were ringing for days because I hit my head on the desk,” Daniel said. “And the teacher didn’t believe me when I told him that Mark pushed me. It’s best to stay out of Mark’s way. He is very strong.”
“I don’t understand why those boys hang out with that big bully,” Bianca growled under her breath, feeling frustrated. “He gets them in trouble all the time.”
“Mark told Peter that because he is strong and wild as a wolf and nobody can mess with him and his boys, he named his group the Wolf Pack. But I think he got the name from a movie. I guess the boys feel safe with Mark because he’s strong,” Daniel sighed.
“Yes, he is strong and a big bully,” Bianca huffed. “When the three of them beat up poor Billy in the bathroom, Mark laughed and made fun of Billy because he cried. And Mark’s dad didn’t even make him apologize to Billy when Mark was suspended and his dad went to pick him up.”
“Luckily, Peter ran to the principal’s office and got help when the others cornered Billy in the bathroom. If I ever did something like that I would be grounded until I’m thirty.”
“Yeah, me too,” Bianca said angrily and then continued, “I don’t know the other boys, but Peter is a nice kid, and he’s smart, too. Why is he hanging out with Mark?”
“He’s scared of him, and it seems like he looks up to him, too,” Daniel said with a sigh. “He said that his father told him to make friends with the strongest kids because he is so small. He got his wish because Mark is the strongest kid. I like Peter, but if the others want to hang out with Mark, it’s their business.”
“Yes it is, but we should…” Bianca started protesting when Peanut’s soft growl interrupted her, and then they heard Mark’s mocking voice behind them.
The Wolf Pack Gang
“Oh, look! The BFFs are going for a swim with their stupid mutt!” Mark yelled.
Bianca looked back and saw Mark standing by the fence, surrounded by three smaller boys.
“The loooovebirds,” chuckled Scott, one of Mark’s skinny friends, wearing a purple shirt. He looked at the husky boy with admiration.
“They think they’re better than us just because Danny boy won the spelling bee and her girlfriend came up with that stupid science project,” Mark growled.
“Yeah,” Aiden, the boy in green shirt, agreed. “They’re not better than us.”
“Stupid geeks,” Scott said as he looked at Mark for approval.
Mark sneered and raised his arm. Two of his cronies happily gave him a high five one by one, except one. Peter pushed his glasses up on his nose nervously and shifted his weight from one foot to the other.
“Oh, no!” Daniel whispered. He kept walking as he angrily yanked the towel off his shoulder and swung it over his other shoulder. “I guess Mark is staying home for the summer. Just great!”
“He won’t try to hurt you,” Bianca whispered back. “He’s afraid of Peanut.”
“I know,” Daniel replied angrily. “Mark is a coward. He picks on kids who are smaller than he is and can’t defend themselves. He picks on me only when Peanut is not around.”
“Hey!” Hearing Mark’s angry shout, Bianca and Daniel turned back and looked at the group of boys.
“Hey,” Mark yelled again. “What are you two whispering about?”
“It’s none of your business!” Bianca said angrily.
“Yeah?” Mark yelled. “I’m going to tell my dad that you’re walking your mutt without a leash. He’s a policeman, you know.”
Bianca’s blood boiled with anger, and she lashed out at Mark. “Yes, we know that, Mark. You told us many times, but your dad knows that Peanut wouldn’t hurt anyone.”
“He’s just a big, dumb dog that should be locked up. Who gave him that stupid name, anyway?” Mark cackled.
“Leave us alone, Mark,” Daniel shouted angrily.
“Or what?” Mark pointed his round chin forward but cowered back when he heard Peanut’s bark that sounded like thunder. The huge dog took a step toward him.
“Peanut! No!” Bianca yelled.
The giant dog stopped and looked back at Bianca with a twinkle in his eyes, and then he looked at Mark again. A low, threatening rumble escaped the dog’s throat as he opened his mouth showing his sharp teeth.
Mark’s usual arrogant expression changed. He looked frightened and flattened his body against the fence. The three boys slowly inched their way farther away from Mark who held onto the fence and didn’t move.
When Peanut saw how scared the boy was, he held his head high with a satisfied look on his face and turned his back on Mark. He kicked a few times with his hind legs toward Mark, showering him with dust and small gravel.
Bianca giggled and whispered to Daniel, “I swear Peanut can tell how he feels without words a lot better than most people with words.”
Daniel looked at her questioningly when he heard Mark’s shaky voice.
More in the book:
For libraries and schools from Ingram:
Library of Congress Control Number: 2016942093