Why “Issues” Books?












Writers have choices in how they craft their stories. They can tailor them strictly for an adult audience, with adult words and conflicts. They can tailor them for young children, with uncomplicated plots and results. Or, perhaps, somewhere in between.

For many years now, we’ve seen more of that “in between,” a recognition that young children, certainly “young adults” want to know and appreciate what is going on in their world, with plots that aren’t sugar-coated, and resolutions that aren’t “happily ever after.”

Whenever I read stories to children in classrooms, or demonstrate technologies such as drones, I am often complimented by teachers and parents that I appreciate the kids, answer their questions, don’t talk down to them or over their heads. Rather, I talk to them as I would to anybody, of any age. I have always thought to do otherwise would be a disservice, especially to the kids who are ready for that “spark” of knowledge – and a lot of them are.

This is what I set out to do with my Abandoned Trilogy. The overall theme of each book is, of course, animal care. Do not abuse, neglect, or “dump” your pets! They are feeling, thinking, and above all loving animals who share our lives, our homes, our little blue planet.

The story about hope.
There are also underlying themes, or lessons, in each book. With Prince Tadpole & Princess Clara, we see how a mother and her daughter are transformed by a tiny kitten, a kitten who will always be tiny! We also learn about designer pets, animals that are bred to look specific ways, and to make money for their breeders. But there are always issues – ALWAYS – with these precious babies as they grow older. If there is a moral to Tadpole’s story, it’s Adopt Don’t Shop. The message of this book is so important, all proceeds after costs are donated to Roice-Hurst Humane Society.

The story about joy.
With Good Boy Ben, we see how a man, alone and wandering unnoticed for many years, remembers what it is like to laugh, to care, to cry. We also learn about homelessness. It’s a complex issue, but I do believe our young people are ready to explore it. Homeless people are especially vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and misunderstanding. See the parallel with our pets and other animals? I hope you do when you read Good Boy Ben. There are a couple of scenes that some might find “disturbing” – but they are based on real-life dangers faced every day by our country’s homeless.

The story about love.
The last book in the series, Autumn and the Silver Moon Stallion, will be published November, 2023. It is about a plucky little filly, the teenager who finds her, and Silver Moon, a wild horse who is loved by both of them. It is also about this country’s wild horse herd, and we meet people who are willing to risk everything to save these magnificent animals. But they have enemies, people who want to eradicate all wild horses from public lands, even destroy their 500-year-old history.

Issues stories, issues books. While I hope that each book finds some success, I sincerely hope the over-all messages finds room in everybody’s heart. Thank you for reading!