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Springfield author tackles bullying in her new book

Springfield author's new children's book
Goldsberry's son, Cale, holding a copy of her new book [Credit: Life Series: First Day Facebook page

The children’s book, written by Michelle Goldsberry, tells the story of a little girl named Maddie who comes across a bully her first day of kindergarten. Maddie has to face a dose of reality as she becomes a big girl and seeks advice from her mom to help her along the way.

Goldsberry believes her book will relate to young kids while providing parents with guidance in dealing with a child’s first bullying experience.

“Bullying and teasing has always been a huge issue and it was prevalent when I was younger and more so today,” she said. “I think anybody that reads it can know how teasing and bullying affects other kids,” she said.

Goldberry’s son, Cale, motivated her to write this book as he begins to have his first interactions with other kids his age.

“Cale is always my inspiration,” Goldsberry said. “He’s four so he’s getting into the kindergarten age and he comes home talking about kids being mean or not sharing and name calling so he was a huge inspiration because I want his class to know about teasing.”  

When it comes to the maturing ages of young kids, Rebecca Benton, associate professor of education and child development at Drury University, wants parents to know that although bullying has changed it still happens often.  

“Parents of younger kids need to understand that bullying is not just physical and it is occurring more often at the younger grade,” Benton said.  

Emotional bullying, especially by young girls and depicted in “Life Series; First Day,” can take a toll on kids, and according to Benton, it all stems from learning how to socialize with each other.

Benton said increased academic work is giving students more responsibility at a younger age, taking away their play time, and interfering with their socialization skills.

“Now that we’re expecting more academic work from kids at very young ages there’s less time for play and really kids learn how to socialize through play… Through play kids learn how to negotiate, how to get along with each other and how to solve problems, but when we take those opportunities away it becomes more problematic”

In order to promote her new book and its usefulness in the classroom, Goldsberry has given copies of “Life Series: First Day” to her son’s classroom teachers.

“If a kid can learn to think about what they say before they say it that would ultimately be my goal,” Goldsberry said.

The book is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Tate Publishing or by contacting her via email at mmgoldsberry [at] hotmail [dot] com.

For KSMU news, I’m Briana Simmons.