The Ink Splat is our monthly activity letter filled with inspiration sparking challenges and resources guaranteed to inspire your creativity. In this Ink Splat, the book and author spotlighted is Ellie Stands Up to the Bully By Julie Dart along with an author interview! Submit a response to a challenge and you may have a chance to be published online! What are you waiting for?
The Challenge: Staying Strong
Sometimes it’s hard to avoid conflict with other people, but it’s important to know how to work through those times. For this month’s challenge, introduce a conflict between two characters and explore the different ways they could resolve it, and the motivations behind their decisions.
Submit your response HERE.
Do a little digging:
As writers, we need to understand the motivations – or psychology – behind our characters. If you need help ironing out the way your character thinks or why they do the things they do, do a little research into psychology and see if it helps!
Ellie Stands Up to the Bully By Julie Dart
Ellie Stands Up to the Bully is about one young girl’s – or rather, elephant’s – difficult experiences in school. Because she’s different, Ellie stands out and the other kids pick on her. But she soon comes to understand that the bully is just misunderstood, and Ellie herself is capable of rising above the bullying.
About the STORY:
Q: Why did you decide to make your characters animals? Were there any challenges that came with that decision that you wouldn’t have with human characters?
A: I had an idea of a yellow elephant with pink hair for some reason, Ellie. I knew she would be the main character but I didn’t know what to do about the other characters, Joey, Roger, and Jessica. I sent out my book to a few of my friends that had children between 6 and 8 years of age to see what they thought of the book and that is when my friend’s daughter, Sophia, came up with the other characters. I agreed with Sophia and then sent the descriptions of the four characters to the illustrator and we began. I never thought of human characters for this book, I just always saw them as animals.
Q: What’s the book’s most important message about handling bullying?
A: To realize that the person doing the bullying is an unhappy person and that you have the power to rise above. It’s not an easy thing to do when you are in the midst of being bullied. I was bullied in middle school so badly that I left school for a month to get help from counselors. When I felt strong enough, I returned and never let someone get to me again. My advise to parents is to notice the severity of the bullying.
About the AUTHOR:
Q: What inspired you to pick the topic of bullying for your story?
A: I was bullied when I was younger by a group of girls for three months straight and it happened every day. As I begin to have my own children, I wanted to help kids to be empowered while going through something like that. Bullying is a horrible thing to go through but with the right people by your side you can find the inner strength to keep going until you see that the people who bullied you are really just unhappy people.
Q: Any plans for future books?
A: Yes! I am working on my next book called, “The Night the Moon was Hiding.” It is a short book that rhymes and has a read along and a song with it that people will be able to download off of iTunes. After that one I would like to finish my book, “The Adventures of Jimmy and his Red Jacket.” Latter I would like to add to a series of books that will include Ellie, Rodger, Jessica, and Joey.
Q: Any advice for young authors?
A: Yes, don’t let anything stop you. If you want to write then write. I was worried no one would like my stories, but they love them. I was worried that I wasn’t smart enough to be a writer because I am dyslexic and the words and letters get jumbled in my head. For this reason I never got good grades in school and really never thought I was smart enough to be a writer. It was because of a promise to my children that I even had the courage to write my book. I told them anything was possible and I promised them that I would be the best example for them to show them that this was true.
Julie Dart studied child development at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Development. Julie was a pre-school teacher and director for 10 years, and adored working with children and helping them to have high self-esteem. Now that her two children are older, Julie is accomplishing this goal by writing inspirational children’s books.
Thanks again Julie Dart!