Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big Fat Loser: A Book About Bullying
My guest today has written a book on a timely subject: bullying. Let's see what she has to say.
1.Why did you choose to write a book on this
My daughter, a school counselor, suggested I
write a book about bullying because she sees it all to often in her dealings
with high school students. As a lifelong educator, I’ve also seen first-hand
how deeply bullying affects children. I believed that writing books on the
topic would help kids and their parents learn how to cope with the problem. Blue Cheese Breath and Stinky Feet: How to
Deal with Bullies, my first book about bully prevention published by the
American Psychological Association, gives children practical tips on what to do
if a bully bothers them.
Since that time, I’ve written Real Life Bully Prevention for Real Kids,
a book for teachers to use in bully prevention programs. Who Says Bullies Rule? offers parents concrete advice on how to
help their kids deal with bullying issues. My latest book, Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser: A Book About Bullying, chronicles
the story of a high school freshman bullied by his peers. It’s set in an urban
high school and features a protagonist who lives with his father and
grandmother in an apartment atop the family business, a funeral home. Elliot’s
parents are divorced and his mother, a would-be commercial actress, lives on
the west coast. When I wrote this book, I tried to put in something for all age
groups: kids, parents, and grandparents. Along these lines, it includes a
sub-plot about Elliot’s grandmother finding love late in life. Out of all the books
I’ve written on the topic, I feel the deepest connection to this one.
2.Do you know anyone who has been bullied?
I‘ve known many friends who’ve been bullied,
and I once experienced a bullying episode in school. I think at one time or
another everyone has dealt with bullying. Even as we grow older, bullying pops
up in our lives. There’s evidence of bullying in the workplace and in
retirement communities. The question is “How can we effectively start to stamp
out bullying?” My books address this question and offer some user-friendly
ideas for kids, parents, and teachers to help kids cope with this major
3.Do you think it's possible to ever stop
I seriously wonder if it’s possible to
eradicate it completely. However, we have to start somewhere. I think the best
place to begin is the home. Parents need to point out the dangers of bullying
others, and they need to keep the lines of communication open with their
children. It’s also important for the extended family (grandparents, aunts,
uncles, cousins, etc.,) to let kids know that they can come to them any time
with a problem. It’s also vital for parents to be constantly aware of their
children’s cell phone and Internet usage to help inform them if their kids are
being bullied or bullying others. It’s not spying; it’s just common sense to
know what’s going on in your child’s life.
4.How do you think schools and parents can
help with this problem?
Parents and schools need to work together to
prevent and stop bullying. If they cooperate with one another in helping
bullied children, they will find answers. The school staff needs to learn how
to identify these kids and how to help remedy situations as they arise. Most
important, parents need to know how to navigate the school system to get
results when their children face bullying. I explain exactly how to do this in Who Says Bullies Rule. The most
important thing to remember is that no one can fight bullying alone. It must be
a team effort.
Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser:
A Book about Bullying
kids at Ralph Bunche Middle School love to pick on Elliot Kravitz-Carnucci. He
struggles with his weight, looks like a geek, makes top honors, and lives above
the Carnucci Home for Funerals in South Philadelphia with his distant,
workaholic father and Nonna, his quirky, overbearing grandmother.
his parents divorced, he splits spending his time with his funeral director
father and his mother Rayna, who dreams of becoming the queen of commercials on
the west coast.
the hands of his peers, Elliot experiences a series of bullying episodes that
escalate from entrapment in a school supply closet to a brutal “swirly” (head
dunk in the toilet) that lands him in the hospital emergency room.
has a small circle of loyal friends and a mentor named Duke, an aging school
custodian, who root for him to overcome his bullying issues so that he can
enjoy his life as a teenager and a budding singer/performer. Can Elliot win his
fight against the nasty bullies, or is he doomed forever? Read this funny, sad,
and crazy book to find out.
breathe–let me out. Somebody help...”
I pounded the
inside of the musty supply closet until my knuckles turned blue. Did anybody
even have the key?
What if they
don’t come? What if I’m trapped here all night?
I could hear
loud voices and laughing, so I knew Kyle Canfield and one of his friends from
the basketball team were there, waiting to see if I would cave in and plead for
blared. Classes changed. Kids stampeded through the halls. Then, silence.
heard someone shout, “I’ve got the key, Doc.”
Duke,” Doc Greely, the assistant principal, said to Mr. Boardly, the man who’d
sprung me loose.
the head custodian, better known as Duke, offered me his arm, and I stumbled
out of the closet. He was as thin as his mop handle, but all muscle–no flab
like me. A scruffy white beard covered half his face.
the closet door shut and bolted the lock. “One of the hall guards reported
noise coming from this area. We came as soon as we heard.”
my shoulder. “Let me know if I can help, Elliot.” I could hear his keys
clanging as he walked down the hall humming “Duke of Earl,” that old sixties
song he loved. That’s where he got his nickname.
“Up to their
old tricks again, Elliot?” Doc asked on the way to his office.
DePino has sold thirteen books for parents, teachers, and children to
mainstream publishers. She self-published her fourteenth book, Elliot K.
Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser: A Book About Bullying because she wanted to give
it a wider forum. Her background includes a BS in English and Spanish
education, a Master’s in English education, and a doctorate in Curriculum
Theory and Development and Educational Administration from Temple University.
The author worked for many years as an English teacher, department head of
English and world languages, disciplinarian, and curriculum writer in the
Philadelphia School District. After this, she worked at Temple as an adjunct
assistant professor and student teaching supervisor.
has also written articles for national magazines, including The Christian
Science Monitor and The Writer.
many years she served on the board of The Philadelphia Writers’
Conference.She holds membership in the
Association of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
new self-help book, 101 Easy Ways for Women to De-Stress, Reinvent, and Fire Up
Your Life in Retirement,appeared on the market in March, 2014.