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Harold Peabody and The Magic Glasses by Dawn Kopman Whidden
Harold dreams of being a hero like his father, a Navy SEAL, but he is what you might call an easy target.
He’s short, he’s almost legally blind, and he’s the new kid in town!
When the biggest bully in school smashes Harold’s glasses and he has to get a new pair, something amazing happens.
Suddenly, Harold can see anyone’s greatest fear.
Do you know what this means? R-E-V-E-N-G-E.
And it has never tasted so sweet.
One by one, Harold is going to make bullies pay. But, in the end, what if Harold becomes the villain in the story . . . instead of the hero?
Reviewed By Lesley Jones for Readers’ Favorite: “In Harold Peabody and the Magic Glasses by Dawn Kopman Whidden and O.M. Faye, Harold is travelling back to his mother’s childhood town in Louisiana after his Navy SEAL father was killed in Afghanistan. Harold hopes they can begin to rebuild their lives and he can finally become a hero like his father. But with his ‘coke bottle’ glasses, Harold is just waiting to be bullied again. He doesn’t have to wait long before the school bully, Jack, and his friends spot him. The gang terrorizes all the children at the school and soon it’s Harold’s turn. The bullies break Harold’s only pair of glasses for fun. However, when Harold gets his new glasses, he realizes they have magic powers, giving him the ability to exact revenge on the bullies one by one. Harold revels in the suffering and embarrassment of the bullies. Soon Harold becomes the bully himself. Now he has a choice to make; does he want to inflict suffering on others or become a hero just like his late father?
Harold Peabody and the Magic Glasses is a powerful story that covers the widespread problem of bullying in schools. The characters are brought to life and each is created with unique personalities. I loved Harold as the main character, a caring and loving boy who is coming to terms with losing his father, and the relationship he has with his mother is so endearing. Mrs Ezzy was a breath of fresh air and certainly my favourite character. There are so many discussion points throughout this story that you can share with your children, not only about bullying but loss and relationships of all kind. I also thought the moral of the story shows that bullies are usually victims themselves, and the scene with Jack and his father is especially poignant. This is a must-read for every child to learn the importance of compassion, forgiveness and how making the right choices in life makes you a better person.”
Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite: “Harold Peabody & the Magic Glasses is a fantasy/coming of age novel for children and preteens written by Dawn Kopman Whidden and O.M. Faye, and illustrated by O.M. Faye. Harold and his mom had come home to the small town in Louisiana where she had grown up. Their lives in California had been abruptly uprooted when Harold’s Navy Seal dad had been killed in action. The shock of his passing had been compounded when they received word that another family needed the apartment they lived in on the base. Jonestown, Louisiana was a far cry from Coronado, California where his dad was stationed, but they really had nowhere else to go. It seemed like at least a thousand kids went to Harold’s school in Coronado. Here the town’s population was only 874; school and life here would be very different.
Harold Peabody & the Magic Glasses is an engrossing and well-written story about a seventh-grader who has not even begun to comprehend the loss of his hero father and whose opportunity to show the school bullies a thing or two presents an almost irresistible attraction. Of smaller than usual stature, red-headed and wearing thick glasses, Harold presents an ideal target for school bullies. Whidden and Faye’s story highlights the difficulty kids face in telling grownups about being bullied, and I would imagine that those young readers who have been treated like Harold will be cheering him on when his magic glasses give him the opportunity to equalize things a bit. But, like him, they’ll also have the opportunity to consider whether that’s who he is, and they are. Harold Peabody & the Magic Glasses offers educators and caregivers a grand opening for discussing bullying and the resources available to kids who are being victimized, all wrapped up in a marvelous coming of age story that addresses loss and new beginnings. It’s most highly recommended.”
Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite: “Harold Peabody & The Magic Glasses is a short work of paranormal fiction written for children aged 8 and upwards, penned by author Dawn Kopman Whidden and co-author and illustrator O. M. Faye. The story focuses on underdog Harold, the title character, who suffers at the hands of school bullies due to his small stature and extreme visual impairment. When his glasses are smashed and replaced, Harold discovers the new lenses allow him to see into the souls of those around him and discern their deepest fears. He sees the opportunity for revenge before him. Now, he has a chance to be brave and powerful like his late Navy SEAL father, but will the power go to his head and put a new, vengeful darkness into his heart?
Emotive and considerate, this is both a fun and moral tale which teaches important lessons about the nature of power, kindness and cruelty. Co-authors Dawn Kopman Whidden and O. M. Faye have done an excellent job in raising important issues through the character of Harold. I was sympathetic to his situation and his grief at first, but even the magical fix provided to him has its own problems and complications which need to be addressed. I enjoyed the other characters that he encountered, and how each of them had issues that can be used as talking points by teachers or parents, but also the characters were well developed in the world of fiction for an enjoyable read. Overall, Harold Peabody & The Magic Glasses is a recommended read for children and their guardians.”
Genre: Children’s Chapter Books, Children’s Sword & Sorcery Fantasy Books
A Child Is Torn (Whitley & Keal Mystery
Book 1) by Dawn Kopman Whidden
When dependable Evan Madison fails to show up for work, police are dispatched to his home. His ten-year-old son, Brad, is discovered inside, unharmed and seemingly alone. He is stoic, sitting in front of the television playing his favorite video game, Super Mario–and he’s covered in blood.
Veteran Police Officer Marty Keal is the first on the scene. With his many years of experience, he thinks he’s seen it all. That is, until he discovers Brad’s not really alone after all. Upstairs in their bedroom lies the brutally bludgeoned and deceased bodies of both Brad’s mother and father. When questioned, Brad confesses to the horrific murders. When Brad is transferred to a local mental health institution for children, Dr. Hope Rubin is brought in to evaluate and treat the child.
A preliminary investigation shows no evidence of any kind of mistreatment in his past. She must determine the disturbing truth: Is Brad telling the truth? Or is he covering for someone else?
Detective Jean Whitely rounds out the investigative team; and she suspects there is much more to the case than what meets the eye. The happily married mother of two is unwavering in her determination to uncover the real truth about Brad. Was he abused? Or is he the product of an evil seed born to kill?
As the layers of truth about Brad are systematically peeled away, you will be compelled to ask yourself, which is the more dominate factor in contributing to who we are–NATURE or NURTURE?
Series: Whitley & Keal (Book 1)
Genre: Mystery Graphic Novels, Women Sleuths, Crime Thrillers
Faceless (Whitley & Keal Mystery Book 2) by Dawn Kopman Whidden
Fallsburg, New York has a killer on the loose—one who’s leaving their sadistic, telltale marks on innocent victims.
A pretty teenage girl is found dead in the woods, her face horribly mutilated. A few days later, a second girl, also strikingly beautiful, is attacked in a similar fashion. Who would do such a brutal thing—and why? Is there some sort of psychopathic monster lurking out there, preying upon vulnerable females? Or are the victims being targeted by someone they know?
It’s up to two of Fallsburg’s finest; Detective Jean Whitley and her new partner, Marty Keal, to find out who’s responsible. When Jean starts digging up clues, she is startled to learn that the crime has hit uncomfortably close to home. The victims–and many of the potential suspects–are classmates of Jean’s fourteen-year-old daughter Bethany. To make matters worse, Bethany’s behavior has drastically changed. Jean’s sweet, loving child has become a sullen, secretive stranger. How much does Bethany really know about the victims–and the crimes that are taking place? Does Bethany’s hunky, new heartthrob have anything to do with the crimes? And why does the mounting evidence keep pointing to a popular parish priest?
Suddenly deprived of her longtime police detective mentor and friend, Jean is forced to take the lead in this latest investigation while breaking in a new partner. As they dig deeper into the case, Jean encounters threats to her career, her family relationships…and quite possibly to her own daughter’s life. Through it all, Jean and Marty must unravel a multi-layered mystery and put a face on the unseen villain before anyone else ends up dead…and faceless.
Series: Whitley & Keal Mystery (Book 2)Genre: Mystery Graphic Novels, Women Sleuths, Crime Thrillers
Stolen (Whitley & Keal Mystery Book 3) by Dawn Kopman Whidden
Another homicide has rocked the small town of Fallsburg, New York.
In a cabin nestled deep in the woods, two male victims are discovered, both gunshot victims. One is deceased the other one is barely alive. But it is not the murder itself that has detectives Jean Whitley and her new partner Marty Keal frantic to find out the answers of what occurred in that cabin, but it is the identities of the two small children also found at the scene.
One child is quickly identified, but the other, a young boy, remains a mystery. The only one with possible answers is the man who lays critically wounded and unconscious in the hospital, because the unidentified boy either cannot or will not speak.
What happened in that cabin that left one man dead and another barely hanging on…?
Series: Whitley & Keal (Book 3)Genre: Mystery Graphic Novels, Women Sleuths, Crime Thrillers
Keeping Hope Alive (Whitley & Keal Book 4) by Dawn Kopman Whidden
A young couple taking a leisurely walk through the woods are shocked when their quiet, peaceful stroll ends as they come across what is, without question, a human skull.
When Detectives Jean Whitley and Marty Keal are called to investigate, two more bodies are uncovered nearby in shallow graves, but unlike the first, these murder victims have just met their demise. Now not only do the detectives have to discover the identities of all three victims but have to see if the victims are somehow connected or if it’s just a coincidence all three were dumped so close together?
While Jean and Marty search for the answers, Marty’s fiancé, Psychiatrist Dr. Hope Rubin, is working hard to get her patient Brad Madison released from Armistace Hospital for Children, where he has been living since the brutal murder of his own parents, while trying to take care of her own personal business of planning her wedding. But then the unforeseeable happens. Hope disappears and Brad claims he knows what happens. Can the disturbed boy be trusted to be telling the truth and is Hope’s kidnapping in any way linked to the three victims found in the nearby woods?
Marty and Jean’s search for the killer become much more desperate and horrifyingly personal when Hope is kidnapped. Will they find her before it’s too late? Or will she become another victim?
Will the detectives be able to KEEP HOPE ALIVE?
Series: Whitley & Keal Mystery (Book 4)
Genre: Mystery Graphic Novels, Women Sleuths, Crime Thrillers
About The Author: Dawn Kopman Whidden is a native New York author who grew up in the close-knit community of Little Neck Douglaston during the baby boomer era. She graduated from Queensboro Community college.
Twenty years ago, she traded in her days of living in the bustling city for a more serene and tranquil life on a small farm in the town of Bell, located in North Central Florida.
She is retired and shares her life and love with her husband of nineteen years and an adopted stray dog she named Casey. She has also been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren.
STOLEN takes the GOLD IN READER’S FAVORITE CONTEST
The world is full of crazy people. Once upon a time, stories like the ones that Grimm Brother’s wrote were just something that came from their imagination. Classic tales of stepmothers serving her new husband’s children for dinner… (not for dinner, but THE DINNER) Crazy old ladies putting lost children in an oven.
Today the craziest and most inexcusable things happen to the most vulnerable, and its reality not fantasy. I hope that my story never finds its way into a local newspaper…but who knows. Anything can happen and it does.
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