Our town is in mourning this week. We lost two children. They attended two separate schools, had two separate groups of friends and came from opposite sides to town. And yet we lost them both. To suicide.

What did they have in common? They were both eleven years old.

Eleven.

Only eleven and the weight of their worries and fears were too much.

Our school district responded by sending crisis counseling teams to the affected schools and making them available to staff and families as well.

This is Thanksgiving week. It is supposed to be a time to celebrate all that we are thankful for. A time to reconnect with family and friends from near and far. But there will be two empty place settings in two family homes in our town this year.

bereav-385x600Death is not something that average Americans are very prepared to talk about. Especially the death of a child. Bereavement Counseling in the School Setting is a book that every school guidance counselor should have on hand.

Author Luciano Sabatini has worked in secondary schools for over 37 years as a teacher, school counselor and guidance director. He also has a private practice in bereavement counseling where he works with the newly bereaved individually or in support groups, and he is an adjunct professor at Hofstra University.

secretKindness-590x600Secret Kindness Agents: And this book on the gift of kindness is one worth reading. And remembering. Author Ferial Pearson, a native of Nairobi, Kenya, is a national award-winning high school teacher and college instructor. For her dedicated work in education and human rights, she has earned the National Education Association’s Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights in 2012, and the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network’s Educator of the Year Respect Award in 2011. She is an Instructor and Instructional Coach in the Teacher Education Department at the University of Nebraska Omaha. She wrote the book after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy as she wondered if a simple act of kindness could change a life. She thought of the school where she taught and the students she guided every day and wondered, what would happen if we started secretly carrying out small acts of kindness in school? Could a modest act of compassion really change the course of a life? She posed the question to her students. They didn’t have the answers but they were willing to find out.

Books have the potential to change the world. One reader at a time.

*** All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing can be purchased on Amazon.com or ordered through your favorite local bookstore. ***

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