Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Snake Pit: Jr. High Can be Torture by Donna Dillon

Together, Donna Dillon and Master Koda Select Publishing just re-releashed her first novel with updated editing and a fresh new cover.

The Snake Pit: Jr. High Can be Torture is an important piece of work because of its content and subject matter. It’s not an easy, fun read, but is a book that every student, teacher and child advocate should read. Donna is very passionate to do what she can to stop bullying in the school system and MKSP has joined her in her quest. 
Donna Dillon published her first book in October 2010. When Master Koda Select Publishing approached her with a publishing contract, she took the opportunity in hopes to expand her reach and build her brand. 


Cinda doesn't look like other twelve-year-old girls. A facial defect, and the surgery to correct it has left her face scarred and disfigured. When she walks into Hargrove Junior High for the first time, Cinda knows the other kids won't see how smart she is, or what a good friend she could be. The other kids will see her as a monster, and her life will be torture.

The school cafeteria, or The Snake Pit, as the kids call it, is the prime location for bullying. One pretty girl in particular takes an instant dislike to Cinda. Day after day she is pushed, tripped, and laughed at. Not all the other kids bully her, but only one tries to help.

Charlene Carsten is Cinda's only friend. She tries to stop the bullying, but the other kids won't listen. She tries to tell the Principal, but he only sees what he wants to. She tries to tell the teachers, but they all say the same thing, “kids will be kids.”

When Cinda falls victim to a vicious prank at a school dance, it sets off a series of events that will change the lives of everyone involved. 

I had a few questions for Donna:

1. What led you to publish your work with MKSP?

 I can write, but I suck at marketing. Kim and her team had some definite ideas about how we could get The Snake Pit books moving. It was a no-brainer for me.

2. How has it felt being with a publisher compared to doing it all on your own?

 I have never been a loner. I much prefer being part of a team, so, so far, it has felt pretty good!

Donna, why did you write this book?

Cinda, the character in my book, The Snake Pit, was born with a cleft palate, and so was I. The things that happen in the book are fiction, but how she felt was exactly how I felt growing up. Being bullied for something you can't possibly help, or change, is horrible. I chose to turn it into something positive, but many bullied children do not. I'm 47 y ears old now. I can still hear the bullies voice in my head. But, the thing I remember the most, the thing that bothers me the most: the silence from those who just stood by and let it happen, and did nothing to stop it. That is why I wrote this book.

My Review

The Snake Pit: Jr. High Can Be Torture by Donna Dillon is a powerful explosive read. I loved the conversational style in which this story was told. Actually it was students, teachers and parents talking to a detective. It’s not overly dramatic but packs a good punch. This book deserves a big WOW. from me. I was instantly pulled in and emotionally involved.

This is written how a person would talk. Very natural. Right to the point. The message was as clear as day and not at all made you feel that any of it was made up for entertainment value. 

There needs to be more to stop the bullies in their tracks. I love that the author is dedicated to just that. She writes with true conviction and passion. Her message should be spread far and wide. I believe this is a book that everyone should read. Not just young people. This violence is spread world wide and is an epidemic. Teachers should be sharing this in their classrooms and parents should be reading it to their children. Same goes for libraries. The Snake Pit should be available in all libraries, as well.

The author tells this story with grace but without holding back. She puts it out there and it is effective. Psychological abuse can be just as bad as the physical kind. This is a relatable story and the message is universal. Highly recommend.

Author Bio
Hello everyone! I am Donna Dillon: Author, Illustrator, and M&M connoisseur. I am the author of 5 and 1/4 books thus far. I have been writing in the young adult genre with The Snake Pit and Return to the Snake Pit which both deal with bullying in the public schools, and the children's genre with Why Did It Have to Rain Today? and My Special Christmas Child. My new book is a leap into the thriller/suspense genre so I'm anxious to finish and see how that goes. 

The Snake Pit: Jr. High Can Be Torture 
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Author Page