Dr. Bill Page would rather teach than do just about anything else any day of the week.
“During my career I was an educator and administrator in elementary, middle and high schools, as well as college, for 33 years,” Page said. “During that time I enjoyed serving as a Boy and Cub Scout master, and a Sunday school teacher. Through all that time, I have seen just about everything children can experience, both positive and negative, and helped these kids solve what many today see as practically unsolvable problems. For the most part, I didn’t have any special technology or divine wisdom. All I had was the head on my shoulders and the heart beating in my chest, and for 33 years those were the only tools I needed.”
Page, a PhD who in retirement became a children’s book author known as Billy D, said that he has dealt with the absolute worst kids in his school and the best ones, too. In most cases, he said that they were one and the same, just on different days.
“It doesn’t take a PhD to figure out why a kid bullies another kid, or why that kid lets the other one bully him,” said Page, author of the children’s book Boy Scouts, Bullies and Indian Creek (www.billydbooks.com). “Both kids are scared of something. The kid who is being bullied is afraid of getting beat up, and the bully is afraid of most everything. The secret is being able to connect with them and figure out what both kids are afraid of and helping them face and defeat those fears. The heart of the matter is really one of the most basic truths I know: every child is special. If you want to prevent problems, then parents and teachers simply need to remind kids of this fact on a regular basis. If you tell them often enough, they’ll begin to believe it and feel it, too.”
But as much as Page is an idealist, he also knows he has to channel that idealism to kids through some harsh realism.
“I put the characters in my books through some paces,” he said. “They encounter the challenges of responsibility, honesty, self-pride, peer pressure, sibling rivalry, and race relations. They experience the consequences of drug use, over-confidence and facing ridicule. On the other hand, my characters also see the benefits from loving people, befriending them and cooperating with others. My characters are grounded by events that are true-to-life, so that the kids who read them, who are also dealing with the realism in their lives, can relate, understand and learn.”
In that way, Page believes kids who read his stories can unconsciously see the parallels in their own lives, and learn the same lessons his characters learn in his stories.
“Is the bully somehow less special than the bullied?” he asked. “Or are both simply good kids in a bad situation who need to see that their lives can be better if they only see how special they are and the difference they can make in other lives? We all need to know where we keep our strength, the parts of ourselves that help us overcome adversities. If our children don’t learn where those places are when they’re kids, they won’t know where to find those places as adults.”
About Bill “BillyD” Page
Bill D. Page, PhD, a.k.a. BillyD, is a graduate of Marion High School, Northern Iowa, Michigan State and St. Louis Universities. He has published two books for children ages nine to twelve, and has others for children two to six near completion. Dr. Page has been a teacher at all levels of public education from elementary through graduate school in Manson and Marion, Iowa, Lincoln Park, Michigan and adjunct professor for Western Michigan University. He lives with his wife of sixty-three years in Muskegon, Michigan. They have three children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He and his wife are proud to state that there have been no divorces in their immediate family, which has accumulated 181 years of marriage.
My Take on the Book
This is one book in the series known as IT HAPPENED IN MARION SERIES
There are three main characters who are the scouts in the book and they are Peter, Bobby, and Darius. The two bullies are the Fabor brothers whose names are Alex and Jerome. Alex and Jerome are constantly bullying the other boys and causing problems in this story.
The book is full of events that the boys are involved in throughout the summer vacation. I will retell several of the events in the book, but in order to understand the entire story and how the Fabor brothers eventually change their actions and attitudes , you will need to read the entire story from beginning to end.
Darius is an African American young man who works in a bakery while school is out for the summer. He is friends with Bobby and Patrick, who are brothers. Darius and Patrick are good friends and often go swimming together. One day on their way home from swimming two police officers stop the boys who were riding on Darius's moped. The police are disrespectful towards Darius and take him to jail . Patrick's father bails Darius out of jail. Later in the story you will learn that Darius received a full apology from the policemen and the police department for their actions.
Darius , Patrick , and Bobby attend Boy Scout camp. Patrick is a counselor. The boys are involved in learning to camp, cook, appreciate nature, fish, and more. While the boys are camping some mysterious events occur. Bobby is pushed and someone steals his camera and watch. Later Bobby has his I Pod stolen and a laptop is missing from camp too. In many of the instances where something was stolen, marijuana butts are found at the scene. No arrests are made as the thief is quick to steal and run off.
A new girl, Loyce, moves into the neighborhood and she and Patrick become quick friends. Her father works for the IRS, or so he says he does. Actually as the thief begins to steal from homes in the community and they finally arrest the culprit, you will find out that Loyce's father is actually working for another part of our government.
The thief is caught. Alex and Jerome admit to be part of the events that led to the stealing.
I have left out so many other exciting parts of this story. It is a book that is fun to read and a mystery until the end. I think your reader in the house will enjoy this book and may possibly want to look into the other books in this series too.
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