Books and Publishing, Business, Entertainment, Free News Articles, Product Launches

Dallas Teen Publishes Award Winning Children’s Book Promoting Disability Representation

DALLAS, Texas -- Just in time for National Bullying Prevention Month, "Mr. Gringle's Magical Wheelchair" (ISBN: 978-1612543154) by Natalie Gonchar, is a new book scheduled to release on September 24, 2019.

The book has already won the Gold Mom's Choice Award - a national award honoring excellence in family-friendly media, and it's currently being reviewed for the Schneider Family Book award by the American Library Association (ALA).

Dr. Joan K. Blaska, a retired professor at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, and author of "Using Children's Literature to Learn about Disabilities and Illness," praised the book as a positive example of inclusionary literature.

"We need more inclusionary books where a character who has a disability is included, but the story is not about the disability," Blaska says. "The main character of this book is a girl who happens to have a disability. The topic is bullying, which is a problem in all of our schools. We've needed a book for children to foster conversations about bullying."

The book's main character, Lisa, along with her friends, work to confront bullies, Billy and Joe, who take allowances, steal snacks and generally, push people around. Lisa has a run-in with one of the boys and her wheelchair breaks, but her kind neighbor, Mr. Gringle, gives her a new one. This one is colorfully painted and according to Mr. Gringle, "brims with magic." Lisa is skeptical at first, but quickly realizes something is definitely different. She has a new-found power; she can now face these bullies and inspires other kids to do the same.

The book is available for online purchase through Barnes & Noble's website. All proceeds benefit charity.

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About the Author:

Natalie Gonchar is 17. She is a journalist contributing articles to local and international newspapers and is an active advocate for disability representation. She is the President of the junior board of Big Dreams Children's Foundation. In both 2018 and 2019 Natalie received The President's Volunteer Service Award.

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Photo Caption: Cover, "Mr. Gringle's Magical Wheelchair."

Photo Caption: Natalie Gonchar, author, "Mr. Gringle's Magical Wheelchair"

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Education and Schools, Free News Articles, General Editorial, NonProfit and Charities

Parents and Teachers Speak Out as ‘Autism Acceptance Ambassadors’ for April Autism Awareness Month

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- April is Autism Awareness Month, celebrated worldwide. Geek Club Books, an autism nonprofit, is challenging the observance with their Autism Acceptance Ambassador Initiative. The initiative mobilizes parents and educators to actively get out and move the public from "awareness" to "acceptance and inclusion" in support of individuals on the autism spectrum in their communities.

Across the country, parents and teachers will be speaking to groups-their local schools, libraries, boy and girl scout meetings, and homeschool co-ops-telling their stories using Geek Club Books Autism EDU tools throughout the month of April. The tools were developed to capture and engage the public's attention, ignite their curiosities and inspire discussions.

"The Women's March demonstrated the power of women and families standing in solidarity for a cause," said Jodi Murphy, founder of Geek Club Books for Autism. "We need to be actively speaking out telling our personal stories to help people make a human connection to autism. Participants in our Acceptance Ambassador Initiative will create a positive impact in local communities that will lead to more caring and compassion for those with autism."

"We are going to educate others about autism because we don't want them to be afraid of it," said Charlotte, age 12 and her mother, Cate Luther. "Kids with autism are not so different. They just want to be loved and accepted like everyone else."

"It is important to spread awareness, understanding and to dispel myths about individuals with autism," said Trisha Katkin, Teacher and Founder of "Every person with autism is different and unique. I joined Geek Club Books Acceptance Ambassador Initiative to inspire change through teaching school professionals and parents how to best assist their children with autism."

One of the most vulnerable populations is the autistic. Misunderstood and often socially awkward, they are subject to bullying and isolation. Many in the community and school system are unfamiliar with the needs of autistic individuals and struggle to interact with them effectively. Geek Club Books Autism Acceptance Ambassador Initiative finds local parents and teachers who want advocate and educate for positive change.

About April Autism Awareness Month:

Congress adopted April as the national awareness month for autism in 1984, which originally began as an awareness campaign by The Autism Society of America in the early 1970s. Today the month is an opportunity for autism organizations to draw the public's attention to the diagnosis and separate fact from myths and misperceptions.

About Geek Club Books:

Geek Club Books, is 501(c)(3) autism charity with an autism education and empowerment mission. They produce interactive digital comics, enhanced e-books, curriculum, digital media and webisodes to change perceptions and end stigmas surrounding autism. The nonprofit partners with clinical advisors and educational specialists. A team of autistic adults collaborate and contribute their talents to everything the organization produces.

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