My name is Jaclyn Howell and I wrote the book From Riches to Rags. It is a very special and unique book that targets readers from ages eight and up. The underlying theme of my book proves that a decent character is much more vital than living in a secluded world of entitlement. From Riches to Rags tells the story of Serene and her struggle to discover her purpose in an entitled world. Serene was born with every privilege imaginable, but only finds true fulfillment once she loses it all. She really needs to be humbled but would rather slander a true friend to fill her vacant self. God’s grace and forgiveness is the only thing that can save her from herself. Will she accept this new life?
Each chapter starts with a bible verse outlining the main idea of each chapter. Most kids are taught to memorize bible verses but are not taught to fully apply them to their lives in good times and bad. For the school settings, I made sure I was in certain rooms in the school to synthesize all the five senses to show the reader what was truly happening.
Isolation and cyberbullying are two main topics in my book. The main character’s name is Serene. She is someone who needs to be humbled in the worst way. Lacking God in her life, she incessantly struggles to turn away from her hollow and selfish ways. As she goes from riches to rags, however, she discovers the life that God intended her to live. Samantha, Serene’s repeated victim, is constantly bullied by Serene and her good friend, Misty. They used isolation and cyberbullying to target Samantha and tear down her self-esteem. There is usually a root cause of why bullies treat their victims the way they do. Victims, like Samantha, need to step back and figure out the reason the attacker is going after them and deal with the situation head on in the beginning.
Serene has to deal with being motherless and having a father who works all the time. He gives her everything that her heart desires since he will not make the time to know what is truly going on in her daily life. He gives her presents instead of his presence. She does not have a mother figure in her life, so she takes it out on Samantha, who has a loving relationship with her mother.
Samantha has to learn the difficult feat of forgiving Serene and leading her to find Christ to change her ways and learn how to live a meaningful life. Learning how to forgive is often one of the most difficult parts of life, both as a child and as an adult. We have to learn to love one another and forgive each other as Christ forgave the church. Even though it is easier said than done, God wants us to witness to those who need His guidance and love. “Do to others as you would have them do to you” is from the book of Luke and is always a good guiding principle. There is always a reason for what is going on.
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Adoption is something that Samantha’s family is faced with when a loved one loses all family members. It is not something done overnight and takes everyone’s involvement and acceptance in a family. Is this something her family can take on?
Young readers will learn vital lessons that will help them mature and reach adulthood with compassion and integrity. Two of the major lessons taught to the main characters from my book are:
From Riches to Rags won in three categories in The Royal Dragonfly and Purple Dragonfly Book Awards. This is a prestigious national book contest recognizing exceptional authors for excellence in writing and publishing. The initiator, Story Monsters LLC, is also home to the award-winning Story Monsters Ink® magazine, the literary resource for teachers, librarians, and parents — selected by School Library Journal as one of the best magazines for kid and teens.
In short, From Riches to Rags is a compelling and witty portrayal of school-aged children who learn the quintessential value of friendship and the unwavering love and forgiveness only God can bestow. Ephesians 4:31-32 teaches: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” This verse will never go out of style. It is probably the best piece of advice for having peace about a situation that is not always controllable.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and are not necessarily those of World Religion News.
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