New Children’s Book Addresses Bullying

Children’s Book Addresses Bullying

Rhonda RobinsonBy Rhonda Robinson9 Minutes

Rhonda Robinson: You have written a children’s book, however, you believe everyone can benefit from it because it teaches certain values. Is it a Christian book?

Amy Burgard: Yes. It is a Christian book.

It is a story of two boys and two girls from four different parts of the world that come together in DC because all of their parents are ambassadors from their own country. And they encounter bullying on the first day of school because of their differences. The way that they talk. The way that they look. All because they are different. The four of them internalized this bullying situation in four different ways with anger, sadness wishing they were back home in their own country, identity issues about what they’re wearing, and how they look.

So there’s four different internal dialogues that they’re having. And Father God sends them each a letter dealing specifically with what they’re dealing with to counteract the negative impact that they’ve received from these bullies. That’s what I mean, as it’s a Christian book.

But I think all of us can take the values of love, identity, forgiveness, and thankfulness, and apply it to our lives. And not just bullying, but across the board. I believe Father God is going to take the book and put it in the hands of nonbelievers and it’s going to touch their hearts. Anyone that picks up the book is going to be touched by Father God, whether they are Christian or not. I dedicated this book to all of God’s children who have had to walk through the darkness of bullying. I truly pray this book will impact our hearts powerfully. So we will live in a world filled with much more love and a lot less pain.

RR: Have you experienced bullying in your own life?

Amy: Yes. Unfortunately, I have. I would say that it started majorly in fourth grade. I had a situation with fellow students that terrorized me all of the school year by threatening that she was going to get me alone in the bathroom and beat me up. And so the idea of every day that thought, of oh my goodness, the next time she gets me alone in the bathroom, it’s going to be bad. So just that terrorizing feeling all through the school year, and then she made good on her promise, unfortunately. She pinned me down on the bathroom floor and beat my head against the floor.

And unfortunately not only did I have her, but that teacher had some bullying aspects to herself. She basically walked in the bathroom saw it, and said, “get up off that floor” and left. She didn’t help me. She had also picked on me a little bit in school because she thought I was too much of a daydreamer, I believe. And so that was a bad year for me. It really kicked back up in middle school, all through middle school. I was bullied.

RR: Bullying, has gotten a lot of media attention lately, but it is not anything new.

Amy: I’ve met so many people just in this short amount of time sure that brings up their stories. And for some reason, fourth grade seems to be a highlighted year and that’s what my students are. They’re in fourth grade. And I’ve had a lot of people tell me fourth was my year and I’m like, wow, that’s interesting.

RR: Would you mind sharing a little bit of your book’s story?

Amy: Sure. There is a special delivery. A dove comes to the porch of one of the girls. They’re all stewing about what happened earlier that day. And this dove comes and gets them one by one and takes them to a very special place, all their own one-on-one. And there’s a special letter for each of them from Father God. Not only is it a letter to encourage them, but there’s also action stuff that he wants them to take to counteract the attack that was on them to lift them above it. So that happens for all four of the children. And then when they come together, there’s just a special thing that happens that lifts them literally up above as a symbolic way of saying when we take these truths and we apply them and do those action steps that need to be taken, we will be lifted above.

RR: Is this read alone for a certain age group? Or is this a book that parents read to their children?

Amy: Well, I actually had something that happened just a few days ago. There’s a place that my husband and I love to walk. We ran into a family, and I gave them a book. And in one instance there was a three-year-old and I thought maybe three-year-olds might be a tad young, but it was not to be the case. The mom took her three-year-old, put her on her lap, and read the whole book to her. And just explained certain things to her that maybe she wasn’t old enough to understand. She sat very attentively and listened to the whole story. So I can now say age three, all the way up. Parents and grandparents will get the book for their children and their grandchildren. And they will tell me that they’ve read the book before they gave it and it touched their hearts. So I would say age three all the way up.

RR: What would you like for our readers to know most about you or this book?

Amy: I would love them to know that someone who has overcome bullying has been given a story to encourage those that are in the midst of bullying or have been bullied to have a special word from God, to their hearts, to lift them above where they’re at or where they’ve been that they can overcome that. And then they can encourage other people with this book. Something special that I have also added in the book is there are four pages, a page each for love, identity, forgiveness, and thankfulness that they can read. There are questions that apply to each of those principles and they can answer those questions or they can help their child or their student to go through each of those principles and ask those questions and get that dialogue going so that they can have a really great conversation about where they are with love and identity and forgiveness and thankfulness.

Order your copy of Lift by Amy L. Burgard