Author aims to help kids deal with abuse

Published 2:45 pm Monday, August 17, 2009

On a recent chance meeting in the grocery store, Barbara Belisle told me about her latest published books.

The first, A Wish Away, is a fantasy written for abused children or for anyone who feels sad. The other is Where’s U’re,? A Correct Grammar Usage Handbook for Common Errors.

Belisle is a retired English teacher from the Shelby County School System. She taught English at Montevallo High School for many years; where she was highly respected and very popular. She is presently night manager of the circulation desk at the University of Montevllo’s Carmichael Library. She has written poetry, another children’s book and many personal narratives.

Belisle wrote A Wish Away with the desire of giving hope to abused children. She explains in the foreword of the book that she knows there is no fantasy journey an abused child can take by just making a wish, but the story might provide that child a brief escape from their harsh reality

In the story, the little abused Ellie runs out of the house where her parents are fighting, into the dark forest. There she falls asleep and is awakened by four friendly little creatures standing on her chest. They invite her to go home with them and to become one of them. Before Ellie can decide to do so, her parents come looking for her and assure her they will no longer fight and daddy will never hit her or her mommy again.

The little manual, Wheres U’re?, exemplifies the author’s love of the English language and her dismay at its misuse. I especially appreciated the dedication found in the front of the small paperback.

“This book is dedicated to those who sometime feel unsure, about the way something should be said, to those who just don’ know, and, of course, to those who think they know.”

Belisle’s examples of both poor and correct grammar and pronunciation provoke the thought, “Do I say it that way? Maybe not, but I’ve certainly heard it.”

The handbook is short, concise and an easy reference. It’s attractive and fun-to-read, too, with neat little illustrations using comic-like stick figures.

Copies of either of these books can be purchased through Xlibris Corporation 1-888-795-4274 or