Why this book? Why now?

Let's be honest, kids aren't always very nice to one another.

I've been a fifth grade teacher for 14 years. In that time I've seen, and continue to see, that some kids are popular, some aren't. Some kids have trouble connecting, and some have a hard time standing up for themselves. Some kids face challenges such as cognitive disabilities, challenges with speech, some are neurodivergent, and the list goes on. Or maybe they feel like they just don't fit in for any variety of reasons. And then there are some who have the audacity to pick on those kids. I see all of this in the hallways of my school, in the cafeteria, and sometimes it even appears in my own classroom, despite my best efforts.

 This is where Gerald was born. This is why I wrote the story.

I want Gerald the Shaggy Unicorn to be an opportunity for conversation and self reflection around how we treat one another. To open up conversations about how a kid can tell their friends that they don't like how they're treating someone else, despite the fear of what that might mean for their friendship. I want the kids who feel left out, different, or lonely, to feel seen.

These kids are our future. It is our responsibility to prepare them with the tools to help them be good humans to each other, despite their differences.