Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bullying -- Lea Schizas theme for YA and Children's Books

Bullying is something that happens in schools and playgrounds. It can have serious consequences for young children. Bubba and Giganto illustrates this theme on the soccer field.

Synopsis of the story.

Bubba hates it when his dad gets a contract for a new project. That means uprooting the family from one city and moving to another. Attending a new school is a major pet peeve of his. His smart alecky nature attracts the bullies in every school he’s attended.

On the first day of school, Bubba bumps into this rather large student. Fearing a confrontation, he wears his tough guy attitude and waits for the punches to begin. Remarkably, the new student apologizes, and Bubba and David (aka Giganto as Bubba eventually nicknames him) become best friends.

Bubba and Giganto try out for the high school soccer team, and that’s when trouble begins. Bubba knew eventually he’d meet the bullies of the school, and he was right.

In the first initial weeks, Bubba learns about a death that occurred the previous year; faces the bullies on several occasions; helps Giganto practice soccer before tryouts; and challenges the bullies to a scrimmage.

Little does Bubba know Giganto holds a secret - one that will place Giganto in a deadly situation.

I asked Lea about her next project. Again the theme of bullying came up.

I know you've signed on for a new book with 4RV publishing. Since we have so many children's authors visiting our blogs, I think they'd be interested in how you got your idea and anything else you'd like to share about your new project.

My newest contract with 4RV Publishing is a children’s picture book, Libby the Odd Squirrel. I used squirrels because they’re cute but also they are like kids – friends one moment then chasing each other down the street the next.

The whole book is a universal theme: friendships and bullying. My first book with 4RV, Bubba and Giganto: Odds Against Us, also is based on bullying but geared for the 12- 15 year-old age group. Libby is a cute story on one little squirrel’s attempt to make friends, how one squirrel attempts but steers away when the ‘boss’ squirrel approaches, and the turn of events that pits Libby into making a decision that risks her life.

This is typical in children nowadays, a theme they can relate to. Some children try to make friends; but there’s always one in the crowd who is a leader and manipulates others to shun that other child. Children can openly relate to topics they have experienced in their lives that’s why it’s important for writers to keep that in mind.


  1. The themes found in Lea's book are ones that kids know and can understand.

    Thank you for highlighting her book. I'm rather partial to it myself. *laugh*

  2. Lea's book should be used in schools to highlight the problems and solutions to bullying. I hope it takes off.


  3. Very important lesson for children of all ages, Lea.

    If a child is the target of a bully, it is important for them (and their parents) to know, that most bullied children end up fine later in life. Typically, it is the BULLY who has trouble with relationships his entire life.

    I'm glad you are reaching out to families to help deal with strategies for helping out.

    Good luck with the book. I hope it is a wonderful success!

  4. Some of my books touch on the theme of bullying, too. I think kids need all the help they can get, particularly in learning coping strategies.

  5. Bullying unfortunately is a universal problem. And I have seen several times adults shunning other adults much in the same way children do. If bullying is not nipped in the bud at the onset many grow up to lead unsatisfactory lives. Well done!

    Warm regards,
    Donna McDine

  6. Lea's book covers the subject quite well. Hopefully, young people who read it will learn to stand up for themselves and their friends who perhaps are the victims of bullying.


  7. Sorry I missed this post! Lea's book most definitely should be school curriculum. Bullying is a huge problem in schools today, and in my area, carrying a weapon to school to back up the threat is second.
    Best wishes, kim