Books & Literature

Adelaide Author Tackles Childhood Bullying In Self-Published Book

A young Adelaide author has taken teaching young children about how to deal with bullying into his own hands with his debut book ‘A Ferret Named Phil’.

It is an unfortunate inevitability of a child’s early years – bullying. For parents, we often feel powerless against it as well, with the power ultimately in our children’s hands to stand up. This was at the fore of Adelaide author William Reimer’s mind when he created ‘A Ferret Named Phil’ – the ultimate anti-bullying book for our youngsters.

“It’s about a small ferret who overcomes bullying without resorting to violence, and it is all told in rhyme,” says the now 22 year old, who had a busy life working at a café, when he happened upon a story buried within his bedroom drawer. This found treasure was a story he penned for a Year 11 English assignment, well received by his teacher and peers. It had such strong recollection for him that he decided to dive into the exciting world of self-publishing. “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” he said.

Reality set in when he started to seek interest in his book. “Getting a financial institution involved also posed something of a challenge. All of them pretty much said, ‘no, you have no security’. I was so annoyed because I was like, ‘can’t you see what I have here, can’t you see my vision?'”

Reimer embarked upon the successful route of a crowdfunding campaign and website to publish the important little book. Redrafting it 17 times, he hit upon what he felt was the tale of a ferret who stands up against a bullying hawk, beautifully illustrated by James Moore.

“Rather than retaliating with violence, or becoming a bully himself, Phil comes up with a way to assert his own confidence,” he said. Reimer said he and most of his contemporaries had experienced some form of bullying and that he wanted the book to help other children. “I’ve had teachers and principals use it as an anti-bullying resource in their schools,” he said. “I had a boy in year one pick it as his first-ever book report.”

Reimer said he planned to create a series around Phil, a phone app, and even an animated serial. “I really feel like I have hit something special with this book,” he said. Which we can only hope to see in the future, as the anti-bullying message seems such an increasingly important message for our children to be able to learn and relate to.

For parents or teachers interested in finding out more, ‘A Ferret Named Phil’ is available for purchase online at the Liberty Road website.

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