For Immediate Release
YA author, D.K. Smith was shocked by the astounding rate of teen suicides resulting from bullying. Wanting to send a positive message to bullying victims wrapped in a cleverly told fictional tale, Smith may have created the next hot YA novel.
Los Angeles, California, USA – According to a 2014 U.S. High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 14.8% of students surveyed nationwide admit being electronically bullied (including through e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, websites, or texting during the 12 months before the survey) as reported by anti-bullying website NoBullying.com. The act of bullycide (suicide resulting from bullying) has escalated as well, and at an alarming rate, with the trend expected to continue.
It was only four years ago that author D.K. Smith was awaiting the birth of his niece, Summer, the first grandchild of the family. Thoughts of a new addition spurred Smith to begin creating a children’s book series with characters created specifically for his niece to be. Now four years later the smith family boasts seven grandchildren, but with the joy of an expanding family came the realization that inevitably the little ones would grow up and be confronted with some of the ugly realities of life−bullying and bullycide in particular.
The result was a novel that has drawn comparisons by some to The Hunger Games. ‘Mind Over Bullies: A Mob Forms’ follows Latin female lead character, Margo Rios, a pretty and popular teen from Oak View High School, as she learns just how intense bullying can get. The comparisons to the wildly popular Suzanne Collins Hunger Games novel are likely born from the strong teen female lead and robust cast of other multi-dimensional characters that Mind Over Bullies presents.
The main character Margo, is followed closely in likeability by a group of unlikely heroes that set out to solve a citywide mystery and teach bullies a lesson in understanding through cleverly executed plans and cutting edge technology.
The story is ingeniously told with simultaneously unfolding plots−a mystery involving a counterfeiting ring and of course, that of bullying−that keep the plot moving and the pages turning at a steady pace. The story goes far beyond what a reader might imagine they would encounter in a story of this nature with twists and turns that are unexpected. US based book reviewer Self-Publishing Review called Mind Over Bullies “Suspenseful, shocking, and introspective,” and “an unflinching look at the problem of bullying within a page-turning mystery with an overall message of overcoming adversity.” Advance copy reviewers are already in expectation of the sequel and even a cinematic adaptation of the novel.
Still, even with much positive feedback in advance of the August release of Mind Over Bullies, Smith has kept the original goal in mind. “I recognize that the characters and situations in the book may not represent every bullying situation and that realistically the book won’t change the world, but I do sincerely hope that it sends a subtle message about there being life after bullying. If just one young person can grasp that point from the story, I will be proud. We’ll just have to see how the public continues to receive it,” Smith said.
James C. Brackens