Tag Archives: Brian Kraft

21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

15 Jan

While The Year My Dad Went Bald was shut out of the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards, the judges still had plenty of great things to say about the book in their commentary.  After reading this, I think I need to find out who actually won, because those books must be awesome. Thanks to Writer’s Digest for recognizing excellence in the growing field of self-publishing.

JUDGE’S COMMENTARY FOR THE YEAR MY DAD WENT BALD

The illustrations are cute and quirky (even Dad barfing!), nicely complementing the text, adding humor to a serious subject.

The title will intrigue kid-readers; its seriousness makes it valuable for kids whose parents have cancer.  The boy protagonist/dad cancer victim widens the audience since studies claim boys won’t read books about girls, but girls will read about either sex.

The story is funny (beginning with the subtitle “coping with a cold head” through the reactions of the protagonist/dad (particularly nice: who made Dad’s hair go gray; the champagne scene); humor is vital in such a book.  The boy’s voice is natural and perfectly kid-like, drawing readers in and making his plight understandable.  The details about the diagnosis are presented in easy-to-understand terms; the protagonist’s confusion and worries are things kids in similar situations face. Particularly nice: the added responsibilities for him and Mom.

The hockey tie-in is unique.  The explanations of lymphoma and chemotherapy are good; while sidebars, they are presented in a way that keeps the book sounding story-like, not a lecture; wonderfully done.  The list of wildly successful people who’ve had lymphoma is perfect, as is the list of resources.  Wonderful is the bit about “the new normal.”  A fantastic book for kids knowing someone with cancer, yet lively enough to appeal as an “ordinary” story, too

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”.

Structure and Organization: 5

Grammar: 5

Production Quality and Cover Design: 5

Plot (if applicable): 5

Character Development (if applicable): 5

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Bear Essentials

31 Aug

Whenever I see a copy of “The Year My Dad Went Bald” go out to a cancer care center it is great to make a connection with the directors and staff of the facilities. I am amazed at all of the great work they do to help families facing cancer. Cancer care centers are using innovative techniques like art therapy and other family activities to help kids (and parents) best deal with a cancer diagnosis. I am proud that TYMDWB has become a tool to help educate and assist. Barbara Goldberg of the  Bear Essentials Support Group for Children at the Missouri Baptist Cancer Center in St. Louis was kind enough to write.

“The Year My Dad Went Bald” by Brian Kraft is a must read for families dealing with a diagnosis of cancer.  It is a universal story of hope,
courage and inspiration. Told through the perspective of a young boy, it gracefully guides children through a scary and sometimes unpredictable situation with with, sensitivity and truth.

As the coordinator of a support group for children who have a loved one battling cancer, I have found “The Year My Dad Went Bald” to be a wonderful resource.  I highly recommend this book to parents and professionals.”

Thanks to Barbara Goldberg and all those who strive to make life a little better for families in need.

TYMDWB Goes Viral on You Tube

7 Feb

 

Chemo from "The Year My Dad Went Bald"

Chemo from "The Year My Dad Went Bald"

Brian explains how–and why–he decided to create “The Year My Dad Went Bald,” and what exactly it was like to lose his hair in this great new audio slide show, available on YouTube.