Author: Susanne Breckwoldt, Ph.D

Publisher: Susanne Breckwoldt Ph.D

ISBN: 978-0-615-51605-0

 

Craig and Ben might be bears but they are part of a unique world created by author Susanne Breckwoldt to teach both adults and children how special every child is and how all children need love and understanding. Educators work each day to make sure each and every student receives the instruction they need, the special attention or help that might require in order to reach their goals in life. But, what happens when they are faced with a student that might require more help or that creates more of a challenge for them? What happens when they are not trained to teach a child that has learning difficulties and the children in the class they are teaching do not reach out to these students as friends but as bullies?

Craig Meets Dave-And Learns About Autism, Bullying and Friendship brings to light all of these issues and much more. What happens when one child is considered different? What happens when other children are mean and do not understand that some children do not act like everyone else? Autism is the main focus of this book. Some children that you will meet like Craig and Ben will work hard to help their friend who is autistic. Others like Jimmy, Zack and Ed will do everything in their power to make our main character Dave feel out of place and unaccepted.  This is a story that will help adults and children understand one little bear named Dave who is autistic and two great friends named Craig and Ben who help him to overcome more than just the taunts of others.  Autism cannot be cured but you can teach children how to deal with it and help them learn.

Craig, Ben and Dave are three bears who are really good friends. Dave sits in the back of the classroom in Ms. Pancini’s class in the fourth grade. Dave is in a regular class and has been mainstreamed with children that are not autistic.  Craig and Ben sit near each other and love to talk. But, talking can get you into detention so they have to be careful not to get caught. Dave is trying to sit still but cannot. He keeps moving around and shifting in his seat, which if he is not careful might topple over.  But, just when things might have gotten out of control the classroom aide comes in and calms Dave down.

After school Craig and Ben attended baseball practice. Dave was walking by with his school bag hanging over his shoulder. But, Dave seemed oblivious to his surroundings and did not realize that everything in his bag was falling out until Craig warned him and helped him put everything back where it belonged. But, kids are mean and some started to call Dave names and were really cruel. The kids on the team continued with their rude chants and remarks. Jim, one of the bears decided to make things worse until the Coach stopped him. But, there are many other children in the school that enjoy taunting and bullying Dave.

Ed, Zack and Jimmy are the school bullies and seem to enjoy taunting Dave. Ed even sends threatening messages to Craig on his computer threatening the safety of his sister, Emily leaving Craig to decide how to handle this problem. Does he tell an adult? Should he tell the principal of the school? This is a tough decision for anyone in the fourth grade. An incident in the lunchroom will bring this issue to light in a more realistic way for the reader. Craig decides to confide in his friend Ben. Was this the right solution? What if something did happens to Emily?

Ed was determined to do something mean to make sure that Craig would learn who was in charge and make sure he would not tell where the threats originated. Ed decided he needed a master plan and he just might come up with one. Being curious about a neighbor named Mr. Bear Harvey he manages to explore the man’s house unnoticed as the author shares his plans with the reader and how he enlists both Jimmy and Zack to go along with him.

Finding his sister Star playing with Craig’s sister Emily sparked his plan into action. Convincing them to go along with him to Mr. Bear Harvey’s house he kidnaps them both and locks them in the basement. When both parents realize that their daughters are missing what happens will not only frighten Craig but will finally make him realize he should have said something before. When he realizes just where they might be will the police listen to him and will they get there in time? Fear can do really strange things to you and Craig has speak up before it’s too late.

An ending that will endear you to Craig and lets the bullies know that they just might be held accountable for their actions. Friendship, loyalty, trust and great lessons in tolerance and understanding are just part of what you can learn from reading this book plus the outstanding illustrations that help all readers understand the story and learn more about Dave.

 

Follow Here To Purchase Craig Meets Dave And Learns About Autism, Bullying And Friendship