Ellen Weisberg and Ken Yoffe speak with NCPC’s Robin Young about the concept of “real friends” and the importance of teaching youth acceptance and kindness.
In Fruit of the Vine, we meet Justin, a sensitive, introspective boy whose physical features and personality make him a convenient target for many of his cruel peers. One night, he wakes to find himself on a mysterious island, which is inhabited by a horde of bizarre creatures. Despite his desperation to find out where he is and, more importantly, how to get home, he becomes involved in the plight of Irvino, a beast who is ostracized on this island much in the way that Justin is in his own world.
The store ends with a twist as Justin, in helping Irvino, ends up helping himself by making a lifelong friend out of Irvino. In essence, the protagonist of “Fruit of the Vine” saves himself by saving his savior, but not in the typical fashion. “Fruit of the Vine” is unique from other books in the fantasy genre in that it is meant not only for the grade school-aged fantasy reader, but also for anyone interested in the topic of bullies, and how altruistic qualities can develop in children.
Biography - Ken Yoffe is a pediatrician with a practice in Billerica, Massachusetts. In addition to his M.D., Ken holds a Ph.D. in genetics. Ellen Weisberg is a researcher in the field of leukemia at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. Ellen holds an M.S. and PhD in pharmacology.
Ken and Ellen are members of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. They have authored/illustrated several books published by U.K.-based Chipmunkapublishing and Minnesota-based Galde Press. Their books have been featured on the ABC affiliate, KOMO-TV, in Seattle, WA.
Ellen has published prose and poetry in the literary periodicals, PKA's Advocate and The Writing Disorder. In addition, Ellen has had articles published in magazines, including Natural Solutions, Many Hands, Today the Dragon Wins, NH Mirror, and Working Mother Magazine. She is also an illustrator of e-cards and print cards by Mountain Mist Productions.
Ken and Ellen live in New Hampshire with their daughter, Emily.
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