New children’s book tackles cyberbullying and raises funds for Kids Help Phone

A new children’s book written by a young North York author tackles the issue of cyberbullying and is raising money for Kids Help Phone, Canada’s only 24/7 e-mental health service offering free support to young people.

‘The Flip Side’, written by 12-year-old Shreya Gupta, was published in late February. Shreya had previously written ‘Flamingo Feet’, which also raised money for charity.

Shreya corresponded with Toronto.com via email about her new book.

Tell me a bit about the book. What was your goal with the book? Why did you write it?

My book is about a young girl named Autumn, and she has recently moved to Toronto. In the story, she loves creating animations about her pet hamster named Nibbles. On Autumn’s first day of school, she tells kids about her animations. Later that day, she discovers she’s being cyberbullied. The rest of the book is about Autumn learning to overcome the bullying, and gain confidence. Along with that, the book talks about focusing on “the flip side”; this means focusing on all the positives in life — the people who love for you and care about you, all the good comments on Autumn’s animations rather than the negative ones. My goal with this book is to inspire others to stand up to bullying and focus on the positives in life. Along with that, all the proceeds for this book go toward Kids Help Phone, so I want to try and raise as much money as possible. I wrote the book to raise awareness about bullying, and along with that help kids in my own country by partnering with Kids Help Phone, an organization that helps kids 24/7 deal with abuse, bullying, or anything in between.

Why did you choose Kids Help Phone to donate the proceeds to?

Kids help Phone helps so many children in Canada, and is a great support and help line for them. Kids can message, or call, at any time to get support. I wanted to do something to help children in my country deal with bullying and Kids Help Phone does that and so much more.

Did you or any of your friends ever experience cyberbullying?

Me and my friends have experienced bullying before, and it is not a good feeling. I know what bullying feels like and that is a main reason why I wanted to spread awareness about it. Having self-confidence, expressing what you enjoy, and more can be hard when you are being bullied, and I want to help as many kids as I can deal with it.

Is there anything else you want to mention?

You can buy my book ‘The Flip Side’ and my first book ‘Flamingo Feet’, another anti-bullying book, from amazon.ca, amazon.com, Indigo, and Barnes & Noble.

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