Highly acclaimed Caribbean children’s book released today


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Jules Ghunta

Rohan Bullkin and the Shadows, a provocative new picture book by Jamaican poet and researcher Chevening Juleus Ghunta, was released today by CaribbeanReads, a St. Kitts-based publishing house. The book follows the main character, Rohan Bullkin, on his journey from reluctant to enthusiastic reader. Rohan’s reluctance to read is fueled by Shadows – manifestations of his Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and toxic stress. He improves his literacy through the advice he receives from a magic book and from members of his community who help him understand the impact of his past experiences.

Rohan Bullkin and the Shadows aims to help survivors of ACE and toxic stress by giving them a way to explore their experiences, especially their difficulties with reading and academic work. Extensive research on ACEs has revealed strong links between early adversity and many children’s academic weaknesses, disruptive behaviors, and negative health and life outcomes.

As an ACE survivor, Juleus Ghunta brings a deep insight and authenticity to this story. In addition to his personal experience, Ghunta has carried out considerable research, is a sought-after speaker on the subject of ACEs, and is an active advocate for improving the lives of children, particularly in the Caribbean. Rohan Bullkin and the Shadows and his previous children’s book, Tata and the Big Bad Bull (which features a young protagonist dealing with many of the issues that plague vulnerable children) both tackle difficult topics. Ghunta said he hoped his writings “would encourage people to have difficult conversations about many of the trials our children face. These dialogues will then help individuals and groups begin their journey towards healing and trauma-informed advocacy. “

A statement from CaribbeanReads said Rohan Bullkin and the Shadows had received accolades from distinguished physicians, psychologists, writers and educators, as well as key figures in the global Positive and Negative Childhood Experiences (PACE) movement. Many of them argued for the inclusion of the book in education systems around the world. Child rights advocate Michael Abrahams, MD, said it “should be compulsory reading in all schools.” Toney Olton, founder of the Caribbean Institute for Social and Emotional Learning, called the book a “wonderful therapeutic tool for survivors of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and should be read by parents, teachers. and all daycare educators ”.

Rohan Bullkin and the Shadows is published by CaribbeanReads.

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