I feel privileged to be hosting my first blog interview today. My guest is Kat Magnoli, and she tackles a very important issue in her series.
So, Kat, what is the name of your book series?
The book series is called The Adventures of KatGirl
What are your books about?
The stories are about a girl in a wheelchair who uses her super hero powers and flying wheelchair to fight against bullying of children who are faced with a physical challenge. She also helps those who are being bullied not give into the thought that they can’t live out their dreams.
Sounds just like what a lot of kids need. What made you decide to write them?
I started to hear more and more about bullying in the media and as a child had many experiences with being bullied. I also noticed kids of all ages would stare at me when I would wheel by, and that inspired me to give them a character in a wheelchair they could look up to instead of fear or feel sorry for.
That is different. Tell us about your heroine. What makes her special?
I would say that what makes her a hero is not even necessarily her ability to fly but her personality itself is remarkable. KatGirl always has a good disposition and is willing to help anyone.
Having been a victim of bullying yourself, what do you wish you could have done at that age?
I wish at that age I could have had more self confidence to stick up for myself; a lot of the time I just allowed people to hurt me and did not say anything . I would just take it and cry. Now I am not saying I would have liked to say mean things back because I certainly do not agree with that, but I do wish I did tell them how their words made me feel and that I did not try so hard .
I certainly understand that. As an adult, what do you think is the best way to counteract, or even prevent, bullying?
I think that there are 4 steps in counteracting or preventing bullying. 1) Kill em with kindness , the nicer you are the sillier they feel, and if that does not work you move on to step 2) tell them how their words make you feel. 3) ignore them;, cut all communication with those who hurt you. If that still doesn’t work you move on to 4) telling someone who can intervene with the situation. Now I want to make clear I was never physically bullied so these steps I am referring to would only work with verbal bullying. In the case of physical, skip straight to step 4 IMMEDIATELY!!!Have you had instances where you’ve met up years later with those who mistreated you? How did that turn out?
Yes I have and it’s interesting; I felt as if I could stick up for myself more. For example I ran into someone one night when I was out with friends and he was flirting with one of them. He actually turned me and said “come on Kat tell her I’m a nice guy .” and I replied “I don’t think you want me to get involved in this conversation.” and just wheeled away. Another important thing I always remember is I once experienced when I was little all the girls picking on me in my class and at lunch I had no where to sit, so again I started to cry. Then all of a sudden a boy named Bobby stood up and yelled at all of them and told me I could sit with him . Then years later I ran into him and I said thank for you that day. Of course he did not remember but I did and always will. Which is another important thing–I feel children have to learn that if someone is being mistreated, you don’t have to join in; you can be the one who sticks up for them and it will be more meaningful than you could ever imagine.Those memories of good people can definitely warm your heart. How can someone teach non-bullying, or how not to be a victim of it?
I think the best way to teach non-bullying or to not be a victim is to definitely know your audience and be creative in your approach, especially when dealing with little kids. You don’t want to be too shocking and scary for the young ones but you want to show real life scenarios of bullying in a way that they will understand. Also you could read books (hint hint) or uses puppets or maybe put on little skits–anything that will grab their attention and keep it. Also you could have a discussion with the older kids who might be able to express better what they have been through.
Good ideas! What are some signs that a child is being bullied?
I am not sure exactly how to answer this. I mean there are several signs.
1) If they are being excluded by their peers
2) If you see them being targeted in any way, physically or verbally.
3) If you notice them coming home with bruises.
Also their behavior is an indicator if they show fear to go to school or be around certain kids.
1) If they withdraw themselves from activities.
2) If their grades are not what you know they are capable of.
3) I know for myself I became increasingly defensive so tha
t may be an indicator as well.
These could all be signs of a child being bullied. There may be many more signs because every case is different but these are some of the signs with the exception of bruises that I displayed as a child. So I would tell parents and teachers to look for any signs that show a change in behavior or physical features.Are you planning any more books in the series?
Yes there has been talk of a few more additions to the series but unfortunately I am not sure when they will be available However, when I know you will be one of the first to be told 🙂
Terrific! Looking forward to them. Thanks for being on here today, and I hope your message gets broadcast everywhere. It is so important!!
If you are interested in purchasing the trilogy please go to www.realspecialeducation.com for an AUTOGRAPHED copy!! (IF YOU PURCHASE ALL 3 YOU GET A FREE KATGIRL PUPPET!)