I wanted to start something new and feature other opinions, ideas, and authors on Fridays. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Margie Harding, author of The Paxton Series.
Writing is a passion I’ve been developing for many years. While I blog, have written devotionals for teen girls, a novel about my experience of attending college as a non-traditional student thirty years after high school graduation (receiving an AA degree in Elementary Education), and more; I have been provided yet another challenge that warms my heart.
For years I have said, “It takes a special person to be a special education teacher and it isn’t me!” I have five children and sixteen grandchildren and still a special education interest alluded me! It was never my heart’s desire. God has a sense of humor, I think. After all these years of avoiding special needs and disabilities, I have begun a new children’s book series on this particular subject!
We call the series, “The Paxton Series” with our setting in the Black Hills of South Dakota, using the wild animals of the area as our characters. (Paxton the Prairie Dog shows up in every book, if nothing more than in a cameo appearance!) The books are written for the child with the disability or special need….and for the child that asks, “What is wrong with my friend?” —and there are amazing illustrations, thankfully from someone who is able to acclimate the disability to the particular animal!
When the series started, I had no intention of a “disability series,” yet it morphed into this before I’d realized the need for this kind of material or impact it could make. I attended a church organized disability conference two years ago and for the first time heard the term “disability people group” and learned much about these special people for whom I was writing! The statistics astounded me! I knew this was to be my life’s mission.
I am delighted to say this series is being well received –and will continue indefinitely! (The list is up to 60+). Doors have opened I never imagined as schools, colleges (using them to teach students to be special needs educators) and other groups have found the merit of sharing these books with children, parents, educators, medical staff and others!
Invitations to share about the books from a “special needs” perspective, have also arisen and I am delighted to be an advocate for these children (and adults) who are often neglected in a variety of areas, (even if unintentionally) including written stories they can relate to.
There is very little actual reading material for children who have special needs; and certainly not for those young ones introduced to special needs children, as integration into mainstream classrooms continue. Their peers are often confused by what they see as “different” and perhaps even “wrong” when it can’t be defined by the “normal classroom rules.” My books attempt to bridge that gap, and are a great starting place for teachers. They are written to aid in understanding, inclusion, and acceptance of those behaviors that are different from the traditional “norm.”
There are ten books in the series currently.
Paxton’s World on Fire Introduction
An Early Arrival Preemie
The Great Race Asthma
Ears Like Gramps Hearing
Lillianna Moves to the Country Down’s Syndrome
Micah Mink Goes to the Concert Autism
Mixed Up Words Dyslexia
Special Goalie MD
Opal’s New Dream Arthritis
The Camping Trip ADHD
The Spelling Bee Diabetes (September)
Madison’s Sad Christmas Depression (November)
Bristol Goes To School Cancer (2019)
Harbinger Village Cerebral Palsy (2019)
Fabian’s Smile Cleft Palate (2019)
Our children face an amazing list of challenges. God has placed me in a position to be able to do something fundamentally good. I am humbled to be able to place words on paper that can help children understand what is going on in their bodies, as well as, a resource parents and teachers can use to help other children understand what is happening with their friends who seem different than themselves. If you are interested in any of these books or those to be released in the coming months and years, contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.paxtonseries.com or amazon.com.
**An added note — All 10 books are both in softcover and hardback….and we are just beginning to add a toddler version of the current K-3rd grade books (although the books are used for older students in special education classes, as well), and I am working on a chapter book! The first toddler book, The Big Fire, should be available in just a couple weeks.
Margie – thank you for guesting. I’m grateful I could host your blog and further the word about these important books. NL