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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Say yes and see what happens

Last spring my friend, Nina Ploetz, asked me to help edit her manuscript. It was a poem she had written for a little boy who had been bullied. I was so impressed with the content that I did not hesitate to say yes. The poem eventually turned into a wonderfully illustrated book titled, I am, I Can, I Will, A Jungle Dream. It is now available on

For a couple of years I had been looking for an appropriate piece for our summer Writing Camp students to edit. My camp co-worker, B.J. Johnson, and I agreed that this was perfect. After obtaining permission from the author we presented the unedited manuscript to our students. Not only did they enjoy trying their hand at editing, they loved the message that the work offered and every single one of them related to the story.

As a thank you to the author the students were asked to write a brief statement expressing their feelings. Miss Ploetz was so thrilled she included their feedback on the back cover of her now published book.

In the words of our students:

Neala P. Nina I like your book. It was kind of like me when I was little. I was teased and bullied.

Ashton G. I loved this poem, it touched my heart. I loved it because the poem helped me think about me being me when I was little.

Jhoana R. This poem was very touching. It tells you to accept who you are and accept your differences. This poem could be read by anyone.

Joseph R. I liked this book. I think this book is good because I relate to this character, in certain ways.

Colin S. I like this poem so much; it made me think that no one is different.

To have their words on the back of a published book was exciting for the students, but they had one more surprise gift coming from my generous friend. They each received their very own signed copy of I Am, I Can, I Will, A Jungle Dream.

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