Question: Who is the intended audience?
Answer: Children ages 10 and up. Although this is a children’s book, my advance readers have included adults in their 60s who love it.
Q: What is the book about?
A: The book teaches children about the dangers of drugs and that anyone can become addicted even on their first experience with cocaine or heroin and other drugs. It also teaches them that the human brain does not mature until the age of approximately 24 to 25 and that it’s critical that they don’t even think about doing drugs at any time but especially before the brain matures.
It is a fictionalized version of the death of a young man and several others who saw their dreams and their future stolen from them by doing drugs.
Q: Why are you the best person to write this book?
A: Because I lost my own son to the disease of addiction. He also believed that a person could not become addicted on their first experiment with drugs. We watched him struggle with his addiction for 14 years and we learned a lot about addiction, much more than we wanted to know.
I interviewed many people about addiction from ordinary working moms and dads to experts in the addiction field. I saw what addiction does to the addicted person and their families up close and personal.
Q: How is this book different from other books on this topic?
A: My book is not pedantic and filled with a lot of facts and figures like so many books. This is not a textbook. This is a children’s book. This book is different because the story is told by the sassy but lovable family cat! He delivers a cleverly disguised educational lesson on drugs.
Children may not believe the D.A.R.E. classes or their parents but they do pay attention to what the cat says. The cat will make you smile and he’ll make you sad. He tells the story with humor and also pathos. It is not a gory book, but grabs the attention of the reader and makes them sit up and think. It teaches them that you can die from drugs and it teaches them that it can be a long struggle before they finally succumb to this insidious disease.
The cat talks about kids whose dreams were to be anything from senators and congressmen, to actresses and attorneys or sports figures, only to have these dreams shattered and their lives ended before they even had a chance to really live. The cat is not preachy but is full of himself and endearing and lends charm to an otherwise pithy book on a very serious subject.
Q: Is there anything else we should know about this book?
A: The book is good for young children to read by themselves but the child will also benefit by having an adult read it along with them so that they can giggle at the cat or lament the losses of the children together. The book gives an excellent opportunity for a meaningful dialogue between parent and child. This book would make an outstanding contribution to any school curriculum and in fact it is recommended by a retired school principal among other educators.
Published by Oak Tree Press, October, 2008, and available on amazon.com and my website www.theaddictionmonster.com
Price $12.95, 52 pages soft cover