About this project
"If we are to reach real peace in this world, we shall have to begin with the children." --Mahatma Gandhi
About Our Project
Gifts from the Enemy, a nonfiction picture book for young readers in grades 3-6, is based on the true life experiences of Alter Wiener,* a teen survivor of five prison labor camps during WWII and the author of From a Name to a Number.
Alter Wiener, who is 87 years old, is one of the few remaining Holocaust survivors living in the Pacific Northwest. His story is one of hope for anyone who has ever been devalued or treated poorly by others--not for what they've done but simply for being who they are.
* PLEASE NOTE: Alter Wiener has granted Trudy Ludwig his personal and legal blessing to craft this children's story and has no interest in financial compensation or gain from this project. He simply wants his true-life story to reach more children when he's no longer around to tell it.
There are those who say that what I lived through had never happened. But I'm here to tell you that it did. I am an ordinary person with an extraordinary past. --excerpt from Gifts from the Enemy
Gifts from the Enemy not only educates young readers about this well-documented period in world history, it also shows how our words and actions are capable of breaking down or building up the human spirit.
Why would this German stranger risk her life not once but 30 times for me? Why me? That's when I learned the most important lesson in life... . --excerpt from Gifts from the Enemy
Why We Need Your Support
With big publishing house mergers and buyouts taking place right and left these days, we want to create a more hands-on publishing model that further supports the collaborative efforts of the author, illustrator, and independent press to ensure that more high-quality books covering a broader range of inspirational, thought-provoking books are available to young readers.
How Your Contributions Help:
Gifts from the Enemy, targeted for release in February / March 2014, entails the production of a 32-page full-color hardback book in a 9 X 11 format. Once the book is published, It will be available wherever books are sold and in e-book format. The story and back matter (history overview, vocabulary, discussion questions & kid-friendly activities to promote kindness) are already written by Trudy.
Your contributions will cover:
- the completion of the artwork (beautifully detailed oil paintings by Craig) & graphic design of the book;
- production costs (our most sizable budget item) for an initial print run of 3,000 books;
- publicity & marketing costs to promote to schools, libraries & organizations;
- pledge fulfillment processing;
- Kickstarter / Amazon fees, which are roughly 8-10% of final funding;
- buffer funding--necessary for any Kickstarter--set aside for dropped pledges, lost books, refund requests, and any miscalculations.
If we exceed our funding goal... ...we will use the additional funding to extend our print run, with a higher quality paper stock. We would also love to use the additional funds to professionally record ASAP Mr. Wiener's own voice as he reads this story, so that we can provide a special book edition that includes an audio CD of Mr. Wiener's reading.
How Kickstarter Works:
By pledging funds to our project, you are helping us to complete the production and printing of this book, so that Gifts from the Enemy will be readily available to more children and adults who work with them.
To Support Our Project, Follow These Simple Steps:
Step 1: Decide your pledge amount from the pledge selections. Take note of any international shipping estimates, if applicable.
Step 2: Create a Kickstarter account and determine your payment method.
Step 3: Sit back and watch to see if we reach our funding goal. If our campaign is successful in 30 days, your account will be charged and your pledge reward is secured. If we don't meet our funding goal, you will NOT be charged.
Step 4: We would be oh so grateful if you can spread the word any way you can (person-to-person, Facebook shares, Twitter, email, blog posts, etc.) about our Kickstarter campaign to help us achieve our funding goal.
Some Advance Reviews:
"Gifts from the Enemy is breathtaking. It's a valuable resource to help young people develop empathy, compassion, and caring. This book will inspire youth to help others, emphasizing the small acts of alliance and support which the latest bullying prevention research tells us are most important."--Stan Davis, founding member of the International Bullying Prevention Association and author of Empowering Bystanders in Bullying Prevention
"This is an important book. It may be Trudy's most important. It's bold, it's daring, it's true and oh so needed." --Dr. Michele Borba, Today show parenting contributor, child expert, and bestselling author
"Gifts from the Enemy is an extremely timely piece to help our children understand the power of their words and actions. This book is a must read for children and adults who work with them."--Mary Yoder Holsopple, co-author of Building Peace: Overcoming Violence in Communities and Bullying Prevention Coordinator for over 20 Indiana schools
"Gifts from the Enemy is a very important story that illustrates in a unique, personal, and profound way how acts of kindness need to be acknowledged and celebrated." --Jill Ann Slansky, Ed.D., President, Oregon Holocaust Resource Center
"This is a very important book, challenging the world's most horrendous mind-sets, which must be confronted as boldly as possible. It also serves to remind everyone of this atrocious time in history and the need to resolutely stand against a recurrence. Trudy Ludwig's writing is strong yet doesn't preach and will help to make young readers stand up against injustice."--Gretchen Olson, President, Board of Directors, Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project
"Gifts from the Enemy is sheer perfection. It is a moving, timely story that will help educators, counseling professionals, and parents to foster social justice, kindness, and compassion in our youth."--Laura Barbour, LSW, Elementary School Counselor
More About Our Project Team:
Trudy Ludwig is a nationally recognized children's advocate, speaker, and bestselling author of seven books that help children address peer cruelty. Trudy presents at schools and conferences throughout the US and has received high praise from leading experts, educators, parents, and organizations for her work. Her eighth book, The Invisible Boy, a Junior Library Guild Selection, will be released by Knopf / Random House Children's Books in October 2013. For more information visit Trudy's website.
Craig Orback is a professional illustrator with over ten years of experience making children's stories come alive with his paintings. He has illustrated over 18 books, while also working on other projects for children's magazines, school text book publishers, and more. Craig's client list includes Scholastic, McGraw Hill Education, Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, Lerner, Oxford University Press, and Simon & Schuster, to name a few. Visit Craig's website to find out more about him and his work.
White Cloud Press is a small independent press based in Ashland, OR, that hopes to have Gifts from the Enemy as their premier book to launch their HumanKIND™ Project, an initiative to support books that tell compelling stories about acts of kindness and encourage people to get involved in kindness / social justice projects around the world. White Cloud Titles and authors have been praised by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Christian Science Monitor, Time Magazine, Washington Post, among others. Visit White Cloud Press for more information.
Risks and challenges
We're targeting the book's release for February 2014, but the release date could extend to March or April the latest, depending on how soon we can get all the illustrations and cover art illustration (all beautifully detailed oil paintings) completed.Craig is an amazing illustrator and his oil paintings are worth the wait to make sure this book is the best that it can be! We will definitely keep you posted if there is a delay in the book's release!
We're also hoping that Alter Wiener is in good enough health to join our Book Launch Party offered as an incentive in the last two pledge tiers. We would like nothing better than to celebrate this special occasion with Alter Wiener himself!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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