“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Meowoof A new book by Jeff McNair

Meowoof is a new book from Jeff McNair. It would be great to give to a young person who feels different in some way, someone with a disability, or parents of a child with a disability. It is juvenile fiction so it is easy reading and fun. But there are very deep ideas behind the engaging story. Great also for a discussion group interested in discussing differences in people.
Here is the description that goes with the book.

Meowoof invites you into a world of dogs! Of course it is filled with licking, sniffing, biting and chasing. It is no doubt a fun and amusing place to visit. But life is not without its challenges. 

Barney, a beagle, and his mate Inky, a dachshund are just a young couple looking to start a family and live a typical life. But there is something unusual about one of their pups. He is like no pup they or any other dogs have ever seen before. Skip and Rosie, friends of the family do their best to support them as does His Howliness, the leader of the Moon Howlers, but they are up against attitudes deeply held by doggy society. Barney and Inky find out how those around can change when someone is not like everyone else. Those who understand the experience of being different will fearfully whisper about how dogs are taken over by the Grumble, an evil living inside of everyone. How does one battle against something everyone has inside of them? Dogs like Skip and His Howliness refuse to be put off by differences in others and will bear their teeth and fight the Grumble. But the Grumble is not that easily defeated. 

What is it to be different? What happens to you and those around you when you are not like everyone else? You are different. In a truly unique way, Meowoof begins a story about those who are different and what their lives are like.  
  • If you are a little different you will see yourself in this story. 
  • If you love someone who is different, you will more fully understand your experience. 
  • And, if you struggle with those who are different, perhaps you will begin to understand why.

You can soon purchase Meowoof at Createspace by clicking on this line.
Or you can purchase it at Amazon.com by clicking on this line.


Jennifer Ceja said...

MeoWoof, gives an interesting perspective on interactions between people in this case fictional characters with and without disabilities. I think unique approach is valuable encourages a conversation regarding some of the struggles each of us face on a day to day basis. Whether or not we have a disability. If you do have a disability there are unique struggles you are faced with that are hard for others (without disabilities) to understand. MeoWoof’s value help you understand both sides of the coin. On one side is about understanding someone like the “pup like no other,” and on the other side is a character like “His Howliness” who fights the evil Grumble by growling at it. Since the book is written with a young reader in mind, this is an excellent segue to creating a conversation about disabilities either with your own children or your students. By exposing children to these difficult concepts, you better prepare them for situations or experiences they may encounter later on in life. This book can also be used in a classroom discussion whether or not there are people present with disabilities, this helps students better educate themselves on the uniqueness of everyone. It is more than okay to be different from everyone, we were all created with a purpose and in a unique way.

A said...

I think that it is a great idea to create children's literature dedicated to discussing topics that they may themselves be incapable of formulating into words. Furthermore, it may serve to bridge the gap between children without disabilities to their peers who may be otherwise exceptional. I think that the use of pets, something that so many children and adults alike cannot help but adore, as a means to convey this message is wonderful. This might allow for messages that are too touchy for humans to bring up while maintaining a whimsical air. Parents that have a hard time talking with their children, whether or not they are disabled, will undoubtedly be glad to have a resource such as this, as it may help them to discuss important matters. Children and parents alike may need to be educated to the problems, benefits, and societal quandaries that arise when they, their friends or their family are “special.” It will be interesting to see how this book is received by the general public and those that have similar experiences to those portrayed by Barney, Inky, Skip, Rose and the rest of the pack. As a side note, I would also have to admit that the cover art for this book looks adorable.

Anonymous said...

I think that this is an excellent idea for a book! I just finished my research on Asperger’s Syndrome, and throughout my research and interviews, one thing was resoundingly common across the board – the feeling of loneliness because these children were different, and did not fit in with the “normal” kids. I think that being able to show kids that being different is not a bad thing is one of the most important jobs that a teacher has. We cannot allow our students to grow up feeling as if they do not belong because they are not like the other kids. I also like that you used dogs to present the information. Dogs are familiar to students, and many students love dogs. It presents the information in a way that people will feel comfortable with.

These ideas are just as important for the parents and general education teachers as they are for the students themselves. Everyone in our society needs to become more accepting of difference. As a collective whole, our society values differences, because it makes our society more successful. However, we still need a lot of practice actually following through with that ideal. By teaching our children from a young age that being different is okay, we can raise a new generation of accepting people.

Steffanie Alonso said...

I think that the ideas within this book can resonate in some way with any one that chooses to read it. For myself I feel that it would be interesting to gain insight into the inner struggle that happens when working with and caring for individuals that are different. It has only been a few months that I have had the privilege of working with students that have a wide range of disabilities. I have always thought of myself as a person who seeks to understand the good in all people. Working with these students has allowed me to see and understand that the problems that arise in my life seem minute when compared to the struggles these students have already endured at such a young age. I see scars left from past surgeries and I start to think about how amazing they are to be able to go through each day with more happiness than most people that have not had these same struggles. I begin to feel sad when I think about the way mainstream society views individuals that are different. Overall I think this book will help individuals understand that regardless of the differences there is still a person inside who most likely experiences the same feelings from time to time.

James H said...

I really like the concept of introducing the idea of people being different as a juvenile book. I work with middle school students and often I feel that they do not quite understand that not everyone is always going to be like them. This is especially evident with people who may not necessarily look like they have a disability, but act different from others (e.g. a kid with Asperger's Syndrome). Piggy backing from a previous comment, I just do not think that younger people are very informed or understand that someone with a syndrome such as Asperger's has a disability; instead they may just think that the person is weird. It is important for people to learn at a young age that not everyone is going to be just like them, but that it is completely fine. Uniqueness is what makes a person who they are, it is what separates them from the pack. We should celebrate our differences rather than disgrace each other for them. As cliche as it sound, I firmly believe that you should treat other the way you want to be treated; If I am given respect, then I wil always give it back no matter what.

Daniel said...

I love the idea of texts that are written for younger audiences that touch on modern or relevant topics, in this case, disability. I feel that disability is one of many topics which children and adolescents are not necessarily informed of, and when confronted with situations where they may encounter someone with a disability, may behave in unintended ignorance. Beyond that, parents can have a tendency to shy away from talking about issues which may be sensitive, or spread their own ignorance to their children; it not uncommon for children to either not know anything or to only know their parents or families beliefs on these social subject matters. This sort of ignorance in younger audiences isn't just towards understandings or the disabled, other sections of society fall prey to societal ignorance as well. Ignorance towards the poor, hunger, LGBT, societal generations, etc. are widespread and will only get worse with time without being addressed. Thankfully, I believe that books exist that address the social perceptions of all those areas. Books for younger audiences like Meowoof are excellent for getting the conversation started on how we should treat people with disabilities and recognizing that differences aren't a bad thing. I'll probably buy it for myself.