Monthly Archives: September 2011

What it Means to be Safe, According to Kids

By Cameron Crane

At the beginning of this month, Rana DiOrio released her new book, What Does It Mean To Be Safe?, and Little Pickle Press was inspired to dedicate September on the blog to conversations about the different types of safety. One of our goals in doing so was not only to bring awareness about ways to stay safe to parents, but also to inspire conversations with their children. As we get ready to transition into October, and families start picking out costumes for Halloween, safety still remains an important topic. Today, we are lucky to hear six children tell us all they know about safety, and how they plan to keep safe this year when they are out Trick-or-Treating.

What does it mean to be safe?

Adam (8 years old): “It means staying away from things that aren’t good for you.”

Chelsea (7 years old)
: “Safe means you aren’t in trouble. You don’t do things that can get you in trouble.”

Nick (6 years old): “Being careful about everything you do. And looking both ways before you do it.”

Sam (6 years old): “It means if you know something’s bad, stay away from it.”

Eli (9 years old): “Being safe means you don’t do things that can hurt you.”

Georgia (6 years old): “It means not running across the street…”

How are some ways you know how to stay safe?


Adam
: “I’m not supposed to play rough with my brother. And I try to put things away so nobody will fall on them, and so my sister won’t get to my toys because she can eat them.”

Chelsea
: “Don’t run around the house, and don’t go too far away at the park. I always have to stay where my parents can see me. Only, not when I’m in the tunnel slide.”

Sam: “Be nice to everybody, except for strangers.”

Eli: “Don’t run across the street, and don’t talk to people you don’t know. At school we don’t fake something bad. And we don’t run on the play structure.”

Georgia (who answered after her brother Eli)
: “Don’t run across the street, and don’t talk to somebody you don’t know.”

Halloween is coming up pretty soon. How do you stay safe with your family when you are Trick-or-Treating?

Adam
: “We stay together. And we don’t eat the candy in the dark. When we are home we dump out all the candy and there’s so much. And after my dad goes through them we can eat some. Sometimes we trade too.”

Chelsea
: “I hold my mom’s hand, and we have a flash light in case it gets dark when we walk home.”

Nick: “I wear my mask at school but not when I’m trick or treating because it’s really hard to see. But at the door I put it on so I can get candy.”

Sam: “I think I am going to be a pirate this year.”

Eli
: “Don’t go to houses that don’t have lights at the house, and don’t go up there and ask for candy. They don’t like that. You go where there are other kids and they have candy.”

What’s the most important thing about safety?

Adam: “Well, the most important is knowing what to do. Most of the times you can know. You just think ‘if that’s not good, I’m not going to do that’. “

What it Means to be Safe, According to Kids

By Cameron Crane

At the beginning of this month, Rana DiOrio released her new book, What Does It Mean To Be Safe?, and Little Pickle Press was inspired to dedicate September on the blog to conversations about the different types of safety. One of our goals in doing so was not only to bring awareness about ways to stay safe to parents, but also to inspire conversations with their children. As we get ready to transition into October, and families start picking out costumes for Halloween, safety still remains an important topic. Today, we are lucky to hear six children tell us all they know about safety, and how they plan to keep safe this year when they are out Trick-or-Treating.

What does it mean to be safe?

Adam (8 years old): “It means staying away from things that aren’t good for you.”

Chelsea (7 years old)
: “Safe means you aren’t in trouble. You don’t do things that can get you in trouble.”

Nick (6 years old): “Being careful about everything you do. And looking both ways before you do it.”

Sam (6 years old): “It means if you know something’s bad, stay away from it.”

Eli (9 years old): “Being safe means you don’t do things that can hurt you.”

Georgia (6 years old): “It means not running across the street…”

How are some ways you know how to stay safe?


Adam
: “I’m not supposed to play rough with my brother. And I try to put things away so nobody will fall on them, and so my sister won’t get to my toys because she can eat them.”

Chelsea
: “Don’t run around the house, and don’t go too far away at the park. I always have to stay where my parents can see me. Only, not when I’m in the tunnel slide.”

Sam: “Be nice to everybody, except for strangers.”

Eli: “Don’t run across the street, and don’t talk to people you don’t know. At school we don’t fake something bad. And we don’t run on the play structure.”

Georgia (who answered after her brother Eli)
: “Don’t run across the street, and don’t talk to somebody you don’t know.”

Halloween is coming up pretty soon. How do you stay safe with your family when you are Trick-or-Treating?

Adam
: “We stay together. And we don’t eat the candy in the dark. When we are home we dump out all the candy and there’s so much. And after my dad goes through them we can eat some. Sometimes we trade too.”

Chelsea
: “I hold my mom’s hand, and we have a flash light in case it gets dark when we walk home.”

Nick: “I wear my mask at school but not when I’m trick or treating because it’s really hard to see. But at the door I put it on so I can get candy.”

Sam: “I think I am going to be a pirate this year.”

Eli
: “Don’t go to houses that don’t have lights at the house, and don’t go up there and ask for candy. They don’t like that. You go where there are other kids and they have candy.”

What’s the most important thing about safety?

Adam: “Well, the most important is knowing what to do. Most of the times you can know. You just think ‘if that’s not good, I’m not going to do that’. “

Little Pickle Press Will Be Attending MPIBA Fall Trade Show 2011!

By Cameron Crane


Friday, September 30- Sunday, October 2

This upcoming weekend, Little Pickle Press is excited to be attending the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Fall Trade Show for the first time. For the past few weeks, we have been getting geared up and ready to head out to Denver, CO to see what the event has to offer.

The Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association (MPIBA) is a non-profit trade organization of independent booksellers, book wholesalers, publishers and other industry professionals located throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. The association was formed almost 40 years ago, and today has 165 bookstore members and an equal number of industry professional members from throughout Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

The MPIBA Fall Trade Show is attended by hundreds of booksellers from these areas, as well as publishers like Little Pickle Press. This year, Little Pickle Press will be represented by Chief Executive Pickle, Rana DiOrio, and our Special Projects Coordinator, Dani Greer. Today, Dani shares some of her goals while at the event:

What do you hope you accomplish at MPIBA?
Dani: “(1) To meet lots of book store owners in the Rocky Mountain region; (2) to finally meet the Chief Executive Pickle [in person]; (3) to promote the newest release by Rana DiOrio, What Does It Mean To Be Safe?; (4) to meet the team from Random House, across the aisle from Little Pickle Press; and (5) to meet the folks from Chelsea Green, one of my all-time favorite publishers and another green press.”

Is there anyone in particular you hope to connect with?
Dani: “Clark Whitehorn at the University of New Mexico Press. He was the first agent I ever pitched a manuscript to in person.”

Connect with Little Pickle Press at MPIBA!
Little Pickle Press will be at Booth #58. Stop by to meet members of our wonderful team, purchase one of our award-winning titles, and get a preview of our exciting new app for What Does It Mean To Be Global!

Stay tuned for updates from the event!
As always, Little Pickle Press will be using social media to share our discoveries and what we are learning! Throughout the event, we will be posting information about our progress on Facebook and Twitter (we will be using the tag #MPIBA). Follow us for the latest updates!

Little Pickle Press Will Be Attending MPIBA Fall Trade Show 2011!

By Cameron Crane


Friday, September 30- Sunday, October 2

This upcoming weekend, Little Pickle Press is excited to be attending the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Fall Trade Show for the first time. For the past few weeks, we have been getting geared up and ready to head out to Denver, CO to see what the event has to offer.

The Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association (MPIBA) is a non-profit trade organization of independent booksellers, book wholesalers, publishers and other industry professionals located throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. The association was formed almost 40 years ago, and today has 165 bookstore members and an equal number of industry professional members from throughout Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

The MPIBA Fall Trade Show is attended by hundreds of booksellers from these areas, as well as publishers like Little Pickle Press. This year, Little Pickle Press will be represented by Chief Executive Pickle, Rana DiOrio, and our Special Projects Coordinator, Dani Greer. Today, Dani shares some of her goals while at the event:

What do you hope you accomplish at MPIBA?
Dani: “(1) To meet lots of book store owners in the Rocky Mountain region; (2) to finally meet the Chief Executive Pickle [in person]; (3) to promote the newest release by Rana DiOrio, What Does It Mean To Be Safe?; (4) to meet the team from Random House, across the aisle from Little Pickle Press; and (5) to meet the folks from Chelsea Green, one of my all-time favorite publishers and another green press.”

Is there anyone in particular you hope to connect with?
Dani: “Clark Whitehorn at the University of New Mexico Press. He was the first agent I ever pitched a manuscript to in person.”

Connect with Little Pickle Press at MPIBA!
Little Pickle Press will be at Booth #58. Stop by to meet members of our wonderful team, purchase one of our award-winning titles, and get a preview of our exciting new app for What Does It Mean To Be Global!

Stay tuned for updates from the event!
As always, Little Pickle Press will be using social media to share our discoveries and what we are learning! Throughout the event, we will be posting information about our progress on Facebook and Twitter (we will be using the tag #MPIBA). Follow us for the latest updates!

What Does It Mean To Be Safe? On Facebook

By Dani Greer

Little Pickle Press released its newest picture book by Rana DiOrio this month. What Does It Mean To Be Safe? is the new title, and safety has been our theme throughout the month on this blog.

When we scheduled our cyber-safety post for today, we had no idea we’d be experiencing massive changes on Facebook. It has been challenging, to the say the least. Trying to understand the upgrade and the many new features, new issues of privacy, and how to protect information on this popular forum has become the nightmare topic of the day!

Facebook is not a forum for kids, and it is patently against Terms of Service for children under 13 years of age to register. That doesn’t stop them. According to statistics, 7.5 million Facebook users are under 13, and 5 million of those are under 10. I see children in my own family on Facebook, and I know their parents aren’t active on the site, nor do they understand the ramifications of tweens participating and interacting with adults they don’t know. Facebook terms are quite clear:

“No information from children under age 13. If you are under age 13, please do not attempt to register for Facebook or provide any personal information about yourself to us. If we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from a child under age 13, please contact us through this help page.

Parental participation. We strongly recommend that minors 13 years of age or older ask their parents for permission before sending any information about themselves to anyone over the Internet and we encourage parents to teach their children about safe internet use practices. Materials to help parents talk to their children about safe internet use can be found on this help page.

Facebook is complying with the law with these statements. The minimum age of 13 is set by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal law passed in 1998.

But the changes I’m seeing on Facebook make me wonder if they really are concerned about anyone’s online privacy, including children. CEO, Mark Zuckerman, recently made this comment on CNN:

“My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age. Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process. If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works. We’d take a lot of precautions to make sure that they [younger kids] are safe.”

I don’t like this comment, nor do I trust Facebook to ensure the safety of youngsters on their forum. Let’s consider the reality of Facebook, now the world’s largest social networking site with 750 million users. As forum users, we are not Facebook’s customers, but their products. Any information we can give them that helps them sell targeted advertising is their primary goal. They make huge sums of money on the personal information we share with them, every day, all day long. This leaves your children in a very compromised situation when they share their own personal information on Facebook.

So what is a parent to do, other than send their children to a cloister? That’s not a very realistic solution. First, the parent needs to inform himself about Facebook and any changes that occur, and learn how to update account privacy. That begins with limiting your readership to friends only, and making sure your settings are as you want them every time Facebook modifies their platform. Parents, it means you have to learn to use Facebook.

For the next few weeks, as the dust starts to settle and users figure out all the changes at Facebook, we must all stay alert and pay attention even as the most capable Facebook users figure out what works best, then pass the details along to us. Share this information with your teens and other family users. Start by making sure all privacy settings allow only friends to see updates and are at high levels. Click here for an example of one Facebook user who has started to make tweaks to her account. Why not make this a family project and get all your accounts protected, and then continue sharing new information with each other so that together you create a safe Facebook environment? Turn it into an information-gathering game and even have rewards for the best new security discoveries. This focuses on creating a positive and safe online environment, rather than a forbidden and bad site youngsters should avoid.

What about with younger children who shouldn’t be on Facebook but whose friends are? Can you create a group project with other families to get everyone signed up on a site like Togetherville, a safe place designed especially for younger children? A peer project with parents overseeing might direct everyone to a site that is engaging but much more protected than larger virtual communities like Facebook. You can read more about Togetherville in our previous post here.

Common Sense Media is also an online community we highly recommend. Visit them to read more about cyber-safety.

As always, Google is your friend. Just search for terms like “how to keep children safe online” or “how new Facebook affects privacy”. You’ll glean plenty of information about how to keep your family safe in the virtual world. Just make sure it’s the most current information you are reading and acting upon. It’s your responsibility as a parent to stay on top of changes and to protect your children from possible online threats. The most important tool is information, and it’s free for the asking. Believe me, your children are worth the time and effort.

Parents, what challenges do you face monitoring online exposure? Do you allow your children to socialize on Facebook? Do you use Facebook yourself, for social or marketing reasons, or just to moderate their behavior? Please leave us your comments and suggestions.

Oh, and don’t forget to order your copy of What Does It Mean To Be Safe? and take advantage of free shipping through September by using coupon code LPPSAFE11 at check-out. As always we thank you for your patronage.

What Does It Mean To Be Safe? On Facebook

By Dani Greer

Little Pickle Press released its newest picture book by Rana DiOrio this month. What Does It Mean To Be Safe? is the new title, and safety has been our theme throughout the month on this blog.

When we scheduled our cyber-safety post for today, we had no idea we’d be experiencing massive changes on Facebook. It has been challenging, to the say the least. Trying to understand the upgrade and the many new features, new issues of privacy, and how to protect information on this popular forum has become the nightmare topic of the day!

Facebook is not a forum for kids, and it is patently against Terms of Service for children under 13 years of age to register. That doesn’t stop them. According to statistics, 7.5 million Facebook users are under 13, and 5 million of those are under 10. I see children in my own family on Facebook, and I know their parents aren’t active on the site, nor do they understand the ramifications of tweens participating and interacting with adults they don’t know. Facebook terms are quite clear:

“No information from children under age 13. If you are under age 13, please do not attempt to register for Facebook or provide any personal information about yourself to us. If we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under age 13, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from a child under age 13, please contact us through this help page.

Parental participation. We strongly recommend that minors 13 years of age or older ask their parents for permission before sending any information about themselves to anyone over the Internet and we encourage parents to teach their children about safe internet use practices. Materials to help parents talk to their children about safe internet use can be found on this help page.

Facebook is complying with the law with these statements. The minimum age of 13 is set by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal law passed in 1998.

But the changes I’m seeing on Facebook make me wonder if they really are concerned about anyone’s online privacy, including children. CEO, Mark Zuckerman, recently made this comment on CNN:

“My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age. Because of the restrictions we haven’t even begun this learning process. If they’re lifted then we’d start to learn what works. We’d take a lot of precautions to make sure that they [younger kids] are safe.”

I don’t like this comment, nor do I trust Facebook to ensure the safety of youngsters on their forum. Let’s consider the reality of Facebook, now the world’s largest social networking site with 750 million users. As forum users, we are not Facebook’s customers, but their products. Any information we can give them that helps them sell targeted advertising is their primary goal. They make huge sums of money on the personal information we share with them, every day, all day long. This leaves your children in a very compromised situation when they share their own personal information on Facebook.

So what is a parent to do, other than send their children to a cloister? That’s not a very realistic solution. First, the parent needs to inform himself about Facebook and any changes that occur, and learn how to update account privacy. That begins with limiting your readership to friends only, and making sure your settings are as you want them every time Facebook modifies their platform. Parents, it means you have to learn to use Facebook.

For the next few weeks, as the dust starts to settle and users figure out all the changes at Facebook, we must all stay alert and pay attention even as the most capable Facebook users figure out what works best, then pass the details along to us. Share this information with your teens and other family users. Start by making sure all privacy settings allow only friends to see updates and are at high levels. Click here for an example of one Facebook user who has started to make tweaks to her account. Why not make this a family project and get all your accounts protected, and then continue sharing new information with each other so that together you create a safe Facebook environment? Turn it into an information-gathering game and even have rewards for the best new security discoveries. This focuses on creating a positive and safe online environment, rather than a forbidden and bad site youngsters should avoid.

What about with younger children who shouldn’t be on Facebook but whose friends are? Can you create a group project with other families to get everyone signed up on a site like Togetherville, a safe place designed especially for younger children? A peer project with parents overseeing might direct everyone to a site that is engaging but much more protected than larger virtual communities like Facebook. You can read more about Togetherville in our previous post here.

Common Sense Media is also an online community we highly recommend. Visit them to read more about cyber-safety.

As always, Google is your friend. Just search for terms like “how to keep children safe online” or “how new Facebook affects privacy”. You’ll glean plenty of information about how to keep your family safe in the virtual world. Just make sure it’s the most current information you are reading and acting upon. It’s your responsibility as a parent to stay on top of changes and to protect your children from possible online threats. The most important tool is information, and it’s free for the asking. Believe me, your children are worth the time and effort.

Parents, what challenges do you face monitoring online exposure? Do you allow your children to socialize on Facebook? Do you use Facebook yourself, for social or marketing reasons, or just to moderate their behavior? Please leave us your comments and suggestions.

Oh, and don’t forget to order your copy of What Does It Mean To Be Safe? and take advantage of free shipping through September by using coupon code LPPSAFE11 at check-out. As always we thank you for your patronage.

Featured Customer of the Month: Book Passage

By Cameron Crane


Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista Boulevard
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 927-0960

For the month of September, Little Pickle Press is honoring a customer that is very close to home. Book Passage is a wonderful independent bookstore located in Corte Madera, California. For over thirty years, Book Passage has helped create a place for readers and writers all over the Bay Area to shop, attend amazing author events, and even take writing and language classes. But this customer holds a special place in our heart because they were one of the first booksellers to begin carrying our first book, What Does It Mean To Be Global?.

Book Passage was founded by Elaine Petrocelli in 1976, with a mission not only to become the best possible bookstore for the community, but also to “bring the world to Marin County as well as bring Marin County to the world”. With the help of her husband and partner, Bill Petrocelli, Book Passage has brought this dream to life. The independent bookseller currently averages about 700 author events per year, with guests ranging from first-time novelists to Nobel Prize-winners, and even Presidents. These author visits attract visitors from all ages, and offer the community more than just a great experience. Several of the events also serve as benefits for local charitable organizations.

Book Passage also offers a program of in-store classes for people all over the nation who want to learn more about writing and the book business, and have helped many of their students in the process of becoming published authors. Additionally, Book Passage holds three respected writing conferences a year including the Mystery Writers Conference, Conference for Children’s Writers & Illustrators, and the Travel, Food & Photography Conference. These events and conferences have helped to give Book Passage an international reputation for being more than your average bookseller.

However, despite these other accomplishments, Book Passage’s main passion is still to be just that, and was even selected by Publisher’s Weekly as Bookseller of the Year. Book Passage offers a wide variety of books to their customers, from award-winning novels to children’s picture books. Little Pickle Press is honored to be a part of this collection.

If you are ever passing through Marin County, we recommend stopping by to see all that Book Passage has to offer.

Featured Customer of the Month: Book Passage

By Cameron Crane


Book Passage
51 Tamal Vista Boulevard
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 927-0960

For the month of September, Little Pickle Press is honoring a customer that is very close to home. Book Passage is a wonderful independent bookstore located in Corte Madera, California. For over thirty years, Book Passage has helped create a place for readers and writers all over the Bay Area to shop, attend amazing author events, and even take writing and language classes. But this customer holds a special place in our heart because they were one of the first booksellers to begin carrying our first book, What Does It Mean To Be Global?.

Book Passage was founded by Elaine Petrocelli in 1976, with a mission not only to become the best possible bookstore for the community, but also to “bring the world to Marin County as well as bring Marin County to the world”. With the help of her husband and partner, Bill Petrocelli, Book Passage has brought this dream to life. The independent bookseller currently averages about 700 author events per year, with guests ranging from first-time novelists to Nobel Prize-winners, and even Presidents. These author visits attract visitors from all ages, and offer the community more than just a great experience. Several of the events also serve as benefits for local charitable organizations.

Book Passage also offers a program of in-store classes for people all over the nation who want to learn more about writing and the book business, and have helped many of their students in the process of becoming published authors. Additionally, Book Passage holds three respected writing conferences a year including the Mystery Writers Conference, Conference for Children’s Writers & Illustrators, and the Travel, Food & Photography Conference. These events and conferences have helped to give Book Passage an international reputation for being more than your average bookseller.

However, despite these other accomplishments, Book Passage’s main passion is still to be just that, and was even selected by Publisher’s Weekly as Bookseller of the Year. Book Passage offers a wide variety of books to their customers, from award-winning novels to children’s picture books. Little Pickle Press is honored to be a part of this collection.

If you are ever passing through Marin County, we recommend stopping by to see all that Book Passage has to offer.

What Does It Mean To Be Safe? A View From Abroad

Photo credit: http://www.jorgetutor.com/yemen/yemen.htm
Khadijah is an American writer from Wisconsin who converted to Islam as a young single mother and college student. She met an American man through these spiritual connections, and when they married, they had the opportunity to study their shared religion with various scholars in Yemen. So they left for a year of study abroad. Now, eight years later, and with a few more children, they have experiences and stories to tell! I know Khadijah through our shared conversations with the Story Circle Network Lifewriting group online, and she has shared with us many observations about lifestyle including food, habitat, and, yes, the dangers of this stark but glistening land. Today she shares her thoughts and is gracious enough to answer my questions.
Dani: Welcome to the Little Pickle Press blog. You read the last post about food, Khadijah, and as I wrote it, I couldn’t help but think about your conversations and recipes from Yemen. Tell us the last time you had a chicken, where you got it, and maybe a quick explanation of how it was prepared. What do you eat on a usual weekday?
Khadijah: Mmm…chicken…that would have been a couple of months ago when we had a party to celebrate my latest book publishing. Chicken is very expensive here on the coast, but not so much in the northern part of the country. Every morning farmers bring chickens in in cages to sell at the market. One has to be careful, because some of these places are not clean by our standards. In the bigger cities they keep the chickens in little cages in the store, and butcher them there. We don’t buy those, because the chickens just look too miserable. Most individual families raise their own chickens for meat and eggs, and that is the best place to buy them. Butchering your own chicken is also a safer way to go if one has the stomach for it, just for the sake of cleanliness. We wash them inside and out with water and vinegar. This one was cooked in a spicy yogurt sauce and served over rice.
A usual weekday for us would be either rice or bread and spicy beans for breakfast, a pasta dish with lots and lots of vegetables for lunch, and for supper bread or rice, again with vegetables and maybe some beans or fish added. We are practically vegetarians, really.
Dani: We take so many things for granted in America, like turning on a tap and having clean, drinkable water. With the strife going on in Yemen, does it affect water sources?
Khadijah: The tap water here is not safe to drink, nor is it good for cooking. It is very salty – when you take a mouthful it is like a sip from the ocean. It is used for washing, and of course some of the poorest people have to drink and cook with it. It is customary here that one can never turn down a request for water. Stores often have water tanks with clean water outside for the people to drink from for free, and poor people go door to door asking for water. We have a special cup set aside, just for that. Drinkable water is delivered in trucks, and this is severely affected by the protests and shortages. The trucks run on diesel, which is often almost impossible to find even on the black market. So water deliveries are very unreliable now. Also, when the protesters are in action, they block streets and start garbage and tires on fire, making it impossible for the trucks to get through. I am thankful every time we get a water delivery, to be truthful.
Dani: What about plumbing? How does it compare to the U.S.?
Khadijah: Well, it doesn’t! The sewer system is basically a series of tanks which often leak and overflow. We went for months in a small village we lived in with no indoor plumbing at all. No water in the taps, no toilets. Many people carry their water from the wells daily. There is a lot of typhoid and related diseases due to the sewer issue. I am afraid that groundwater is probably affected as well.
Dani: Lastly, like so many of your friends, I worry about street violence. I know you go to the Internet café to write these posts when it’s most likely the streets will be quiet. Share a bit about that with our readers, will you?
Khadijah: My husband is the computer guy and supervisor of a small Internet service, so I am able to go in twice a week most of the time. We go in after the morning prayer, around 4:30 or 5:00 am, before it is open to the public. The village we are in currently has no Internet cafes that cater to women, though many in the bigger cities have women’s sections. There are people out and about, but the streets are quiet. We often go by back roads to avoid drawing attention to ourselves. Later in the morning it gets more difficult, and we often try to take a shared taxi back to our neighborhood. They often go the back ways as well, to avoid the garbage and tire barriers and the roadblocks set up by the protesters. The other day there was a large protest near us, so many of the stores are closed now.
Dani: I hope we get to read more about you in future posts and also a contribution from one of the children for our Young Writers feature. Thank you for visiting us. For now, be safe! Readers, if you have questions for Khadijah, please leave them in the comments.
You can visit Khadijah at her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Also a reminder that we are offering free shipping during the month of September on purchases that include What Does It Mean To Be Safe? Please use coupon code LPPSAFE11.

What Does It Mean To Be Safe? A View From Abroad

Photo credit: http://www.jorgetutor.com/yemen/yemen.htm
Khadijah is an American writer from Wisconsin who converted to Islam as a young single mother and college student. She met an American man through these spiritual connections, and when they married, they had the opportunity to study their shared religion with various scholars in Yemen. So they left for a year of study abroad. Now, eight years later, and with a few more children, they have experiences and stories to tell! I know Khadijah through our shared conversations with the Story Circle Network Lifewriting group online, and she has shared with us many observations about lifestyle including food, habitat, and, yes, the dangers of this stark but glistening land. Today she shares her thoughts and is gracious enough to answer my questions.
Dani: Welcome to the Little Pickle Press blog. You read the last post about food, Khadijah, and as I wrote it, I couldn’t help but think about your conversations and recipes from Yemen. Tell us the last time you had a chicken, where you got it, and maybe a quick explanation of how it was prepared. What do you eat on a usual weekday?
Khadijah: Mmm…chicken…that would have been a couple of months ago when we had a party to celebrate my latest book publishing. Chicken is very expensive here on the coast, but not so much in the northern part of the country. Every morning farmers bring chickens in in cages to sell at the market. One has to be careful, because some of these places are not clean by our standards. In the bigger cities they keep the chickens in little cages in the store, and butcher them there. We don’t buy those, because the chickens just look too miserable. Most individual families raise their own chickens for meat and eggs, and that is the best place to buy them. Butchering your own chicken is also a safer way to go if one has the stomach for it, just for the sake of cleanliness. We wash them inside and out with water and vinegar. This one was cooked in a spicy yogurt sauce and served over rice.
A usual weekday for us would be either rice or bread and spicy beans for breakfast, a pasta dish with lots and lots of vegetables for lunch, and for supper bread or rice, again with vegetables and maybe some beans or fish added. We are practically vegetarians, really.
Dani: We take so many things for granted in America, like turning on a tap and having clean, drinkable water. With the strife going on in Yemen, does it affect water sources?
Khadijah: The tap water here is not safe to drink, nor is it good for cooking. It is very salty – when you take a mouthful it is like a sip from the ocean. It is used for washing, and of course some of the poorest people have to drink and cook with it. It is customary here that one can never turn down a request for water. Stores often have water tanks with clean water outside for the people to drink from for free, and poor people go door to door asking for water. We have a special cup set aside, just for that. Drinkable water is delivered in trucks, and this is severely affected by the protests and shortages. The trucks run on diesel, which is often almost impossible to find even on the black market. So water deliveries are very unreliable now. Also, when the protesters are in action, they block streets and start garbage and tires on fire, making it impossible for the trucks to get through. I am thankful every time we get a water delivery, to be truthful.
Dani: What about plumbing? How does it compare to the U.S.?
Khadijah: Well, it doesn’t! The sewer system is basically a series of tanks which often leak and overflow. We went for months in a small village we lived in with no indoor plumbing at all. No water in the taps, no toilets. Many people carry their water from the wells daily. There is a lot of typhoid and related diseases due to the sewer issue. I am afraid that groundwater is probably affected as well.
Dani: Lastly, like so many of your friends, I worry about street violence. I know you go to the Internet café to write these posts when it’s most likely the streets will be quiet. Share a bit about that with our readers, will you?
Khadijah: My husband is the computer guy and supervisor of a small Internet service, so I am able to go in twice a week most of the time. We go in after the morning prayer, around 4:30 or 5:00 am, before it is open to the public. The village we are in currently has no Internet cafes that cater to women, though many in the bigger cities have women’s sections. There are people out and about, but the streets are quiet. We often go by back roads to avoid drawing attention to ourselves. Later in the morning it gets more difficult, and we often try to take a shared taxi back to our neighborhood. They often go the back ways as well, to avoid the garbage and tire barriers and the roadblocks set up by the protesters. The other day there was a large protest near us, so many of the stores are closed now.
Dani: I hope we get to read more about you in future posts and also a contribution from one of the children for our Young Writers feature. Thank you for visiting us. For now, be safe! Readers, if you have questions for Khadijah, please leave them in the comments.
You can visit Khadijah at her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Also a reminder that we are offering free shipping during the month of September on purchases that include What Does It Mean To Be Safe? Please use coupon code LPPSAFE11.

What Does It Mean To Be Safe? The Food We Eat

By Dani Greer
I just ate a Rocky Ford cantaloupe. Boldly, I might add, as it is just one week after a media blitz about the listeria deaths traced to these autumn treats. I bought the melons during the height of the scare last week, because it was from a local farm I’ve long supported, and I knew in my heart of hearts, the issue would track back to large scale agriculture, not to my farmer friend. That’s exactly what happened. Within a matter of days, the state health department had nailed the source and the matter was resolved before more people became ill and possibly died.
That example illustrates another kind of safety, one which we often take for granted in the United States and other western cultures. We have legal standards, and they must be met or businesses are held accountable. Restaurants are inspected, foods are pulled from shelves of grocery stores when there is a potential health issue, and school lunches must meet certain requirements. We have a highly-developed level of food security.
In America, the public has tough expectations of standards that apply to food production. Many citizens are well-educated and see the issues associated with factory farming, for example, and are very vocal about better and healthier food production channels. This is the reason for the burgeoning organic food industry as well as a locavore movement which promotes foods grown nearby. Consumers also want a reduction in processed foods that include high fructose corn syrup and GMO soy products as primary ingredients, and the issue of food miles and their impact on the environment plays a strong role in this growing philosophy.
The USDA’s Farm to School program is thriving and schools have become more conscious of providing healthier meals to students, some of whom get their highest level of quality nutrients in the school setting rather than at home. Recently, the New York Times provided an article about Colorado schools and the return of nutritionally-trained cooking staffs in this state with the lowest obesity rates in the nation. No more breaded chicken nuggets and calorie-laden macaroni-n-cheese lunches – these chefs will be cooking from scratch, many of them using local ingredients, with reduced sugar and unhealthy fats. 
To take the health issue one step further, some schools in California are considering the dangers of allergies in young children. One parent shared this letter which included guidelines to protect children with peanut allergies. Here is part of this caution:
Due to the viscosity and unique nature of nut products, schools in our District have implemented varied grade specific safety measures to meet the needs of students with nut allergies. This year we asked ALL families to minimize the possibility of a student with severe nut allergies coming in contact with nuts to please not send nuts or nut products to school. While we cannot guarantee no nuts will be on campus, it will help to protect our students with this allergy.
It’s become complicated in a nation as large and diverse as America, hasn’t it? In our next post, we’ll visit halfway around the world, and talk about food and safety with a young American writer living with her husband and children in Yemen. There, issues of safety go far beyond what they eat. 
Stay tuned and don’t forget to order your copy of What Does It Mean To Be Safe? today. Remember, we offer free shipping in North America with code LPPSAFE11 at check-out during the month of September on all purchases when you buy our newest book. As always, please leave us your comments! We love hearing what you have to say.

What Does It Mean To Be Safe? The Food We Eat

By Dani Greer
I just ate a Rocky Ford cantaloupe. Boldly, I might add, as it is just one week after a media blitz about the listeria deaths traced to these autumn treats. I bought the melons during the height of the scare last week, because it was from a local farm I’ve long supported, and I knew in my heart of hearts, the issue would track back to large scale agriculture, not to my farmer friend. That’s exactly what happened. Within a matter of days, the state health department had nailed the source and the matter was resolved before more people became ill and possibly died.
That example illustrates another kind of safety, one which we often take for granted in the United States and other western cultures. We have legal standards, and they must be met or businesses are held accountable. Restaurants are inspected, foods are pulled from shelves of grocery stores when there is a potential health issue, and school lunches must meet certain requirements. We have a highly-developed level of food security.
In America, the public has tough expectations of standards that apply to food production. Many citizens are well-educated and see the issues associated with factory farming, for example, and are very vocal about better and healthier food production channels. This is the reason for the burgeoning organic food industry as well as a locavore movement which promotes foods grown nearby. Consumers also want a reduction in processed foods that include high fructose corn syrup and GMO soy products as primary ingredients, and the issue of food miles and their impact on the environment plays a strong role in this growing philosophy.
The USDA’s Farm to School program is thriving and schools have become more conscious of providing healthier meals to students, some of whom get their highest level of quality nutrients in the school setting rather than at home. Recently, the New York Times provided an article about Colorado schools and the return of nutritionally-trained cooking staffs in this state with the lowest obesity rates in the nation. No more breaded chicken nuggets and calorie-laden macaroni-n-cheese lunches – these chefs will be cooking from scratch, many of them using local ingredients, with reduced sugar and unhealthy fats. 
To take the health issue one step further, some schools in California are considering the dangers of allergies in young children. One parent shared this letter which included guidelines to protect children with peanut allergies. Here is part of this caution:
Due to the viscosity and unique nature of nut products, schools in our District have implemented varied grade specific safety measures to meet the needs of students with nut allergies. This year we asked ALL families to minimize the possibility of a student with severe nut allergies coming in contact with nuts to please not send nuts or nut products to school. While we cannot guarantee no nuts will be on campus, it will help to protect our students with this allergy.
It’s become complicated in a nation as large and diverse as America, hasn’t it? In our next post, we’ll visit halfway around the world, and talk about food and safety with a young American writer living with her husband and children in Yemen. There, issues of safety go far beyond what they eat. 
Stay tuned and don’t forget to order your copy of What Does It Mean To Be Safe? today. Remember, we offer free shipping in North America with code LPPSAFE11 at check-out during the month of September on all purchases when you buy our newest book. As always, please leave us your comments! We love hearing what you have to say.

Little Pickle Press Launches Exciting New App for What Does It Mean To Be Global?

By Cameron Crane


Little Pickle Press is extremely excited to announce the launch of our new kids edutainment app, based on our award-winning book What Does It Mean To Be Global? by Rana DiOrio and illustrated by Chris Hill. Our amazing new application was built in partnership with Franklin Jr. Apps, and will be showcased within Sony’s Select App site on its new Sony Tablet™ S. The What Does It Mean To Be Global? Kids’ Enhanced EBook Application will also be available for Android with Read To Me, Touch & Read, animations, game play and more. This is a huge step for us, and we can not wait to share it with you!

What Does It Mean To Be Global? App
This multi-media, interactive edutainment app is a conversation starter for parents and educators to teach children about the goodness in exploring, appreciating, and respecting other children’s traditions, cultures, religions, and values the world over. Have you ever visited the pyramids? Do you like sushi? Can you say “hello” in Swahili? Discover what it means to be global in this whimsically-cast and thoughtfully-told animated and interactive story that also includes game play and a coloring activity. It offers an exciting way for children to experience and celebrate global diversity.


Salient App features:

  • Award-winning content (for ages 3 & up) available in Read To Me and Touch & Read formats
  • Read To Me includes word highlighting in sync with the voice narration, which helps kids with the pronunciation and spelling of new words
  • Features more than 50+ animations and touch-based interactions that complement the key educational concepts within our book
  • Touch-based quiz game that demonstrates how to say “hello” in multiple languages
  • Coloring activity enables kids to color a page within the book with paint brushes and color swatches
  • Plays our award-winning, rhythmic Global song at the app launch and again at the end with the lyrics


Download the What Does It Mean to Be Global? App!

To download the What Does It Mean To Be Global? application for Android click here.

More About the Developer
Franklin Jr. Apps is based in Sunnyvale, California. It was founded by former Yahoo employees, and partners with innovative book publishers and authors to develop fun, educational and interactive children’s apps for iOS and Android devices. Apart from Sony, Franklin Jr. kids apps were most recently featured by Google on its Android Marketplace and by Amazon on its Android App Store. Little Pickle Press is happy to be one of two Franklin Jr. Apps to be featured on Sony’s Select App site at its launch.

More About the Select App Site
To make app discovery easier, Sony offers its Select App site, which highlights new and unique Android applications in a number of categories, many of which have been customized or optimized for the Sony Tablet™ S. More than 20 applications will be spotlighted at launch, with more to come in the following weeks and months.

What do you think about The What Does It Mean To Be Global? app? Have your children played with edutainment applications before? Please share your experience with us and stay tuned for updates on our progress!

Little Pickle Press Launches Exciting New App for What Does It Mean To Be Global?

By Cameron Crane


Little Pickle Press is extremely excited to announce the launch of our new kids edutainment app, based on our award-winning book What Does It Mean To Be Global? by Rana DiOrio and illustrated by Chris Hill. Our amazing new application was built in partnership with Franklin Jr. Apps, and will be showcased within Sony’s Select App site on its new Sony Tablet™ S. The What Does It Mean To Be Global? Kids’ Enhanced EBook Application will also be available for Android with Read To Me, Touch & Read, animations, game play and more. This is a huge step for us, and we can not wait to share it with you!

What Does It Mean To Be Global? App
This multi-media, interactive edutainment app is a conversation starter for parents and educators to teach children about the goodness in exploring, appreciating, and respecting other children’s traditions, cultures, religions, and values the world over. Have you ever visited the pyramids? Do you like sushi? Can you say “hello” in Swahili? Discover what it means to be global in this whimsically-cast and thoughtfully-told animated and interactive story that also includes game play and a coloring activity. It offers an exciting way for children to experience and celebrate global diversity.


Salient App features:

  • Award-winning content (for ages 3 & up) available in Read To Me and Touch & Read formats
  • Read To Me includes word highlighting in sync with the voice narration, which helps kids with the pronunciation and spelling of new words
  • Features more than 50+ animations and touch-based interactions that complement the key educational concepts within our book
  • Touch-based quiz game that demonstrates how to say “hello” in multiple languages
  • Coloring activity enables kids to color a page within the book with paint brushes and color swatches
  • Plays our award-winning, rhythmic Global song at the app launch and again at the end with the lyrics


Download the What Does It Mean to Be Global? App!

To download the What Does It Mean To Be Global? application for Android click here.

More About the Developer
Franklin Jr. Apps is based in Sunnyvale, California. It was founded by former Yahoo employees, and partners with innovative book publishers and authors to develop fun, educational and interactive children’s apps for iOS and Android devices. Apart from Sony, Franklin Jr. kids apps were most recently featured by Google on its Android Marketplace and by Amazon on its Android App Store. Little Pickle Press is happy to be one of two Franklin Jr. Apps to be featured on Sony’s Select App site at its launch.

More About the Select App Site
To make app discovery easier, Sony offers its Select App site, which highlights new and unique Android applications in a number of categories, many of which have been customized or optimized for the Sony Tablet™ S. More than 20 applications will be spotlighted at launch, with more to come in the following weeks and months.

What do you think about The What Does It Mean To Be Global? app? Have your children played with edutainment applications before? Please share your experience with us and stay tuned for updates on our progress!

Creating Emotional Safety

Parents don’t agree on everything and they certainly don’t need to. But one dream that we all share is that our children enjoy emotional safety. I’m a parent and a grandparent and an author of a parenting book, yet I’ve never let these words roll off my tongue. Still if I describe emotional safety, I think we’ll all agree that this is exactly what we want for our children.

What is emotional safety? It’s when our children feel free to be themselves. They can comfortably express their feelings and concerns, thoughts and interests, and they do this with awareness and respect for others.
Our children gain emotional safety through their experiences with others. When they feel loved, accepted, heard, and trust that their needs will be met, they develop a deep internal experience of safety.
How do we create this rich inner experience for our children?
After working with parents as a consultant and psychotherapist for almost four decades, I’m certain of one thing: Parent’s attitudes—how we think about our children—is even more important than what we say to them. In my book, Bring Out the Best in Your Child and Your Self, I identify two key attitudes. The first:
Children have an innate drive to express their best selves—to develop their highest potential.
Like all living things, children have a natural yearning to grow and mature, to develop their full potential. It’s a part of being human. We all have that inner force that compels us to evolve, to grow not only physically, but to develop all of our unique potential—mental, emotional, social and spiritual. Children and parents want to respect themselves, to be contributing members of the family and society. We all want to find and express our best selves—to become all that we can be.
The fact that we often fall short—that children and adults can easily slip into unproductive behavior—doesn’t mean we don’t have that innate drive! It isn’t easy to express our full potential; we need all the help we can get. And that leads us to the second attitude:
Children depend on us to help them.
They can’t do it alone. Children need us to recognize their yearning and to help them fulfill it. By definition, children are immature—works in progress—still learning how to handle their feelings, develop strength of will and self-control. To support their natural unfolding, they need an environment based on mutual respect.
How can we create this environment? Let me count the ways:
1. Water the flowers, not the weeds. Notice and acknowledge our children’s finest qualities and behaviors. Give attention to that which we want to grow.
2. Hold high, age-appropriate expectations. Strengthen our children’s self-esteem by asking them to live up to their own capabilities. 
3. Follow through. Teach children that we mean what we say and help them to become more cooperative and responsible.
4. Show respect. Help children develop empathy by demonstrating respect for their feelings and thoughts, bodies and belongings.
5. Respect self, others and life. Model sensitivity and care for yourself, others, and our planet and teach children to internalize these values as a normal part of life.
6. Provide positive values. Expose children to those values you want them to adopt, emphasizing the best in human nature and minimizing the excesses in our culture.
7. Teach skills that support emotional safety. Help our children to learn to work through frustration and disappointment, to assert themselves respectfully, to problem solve, and to develop qualities such as courage and persistence.
The bottom line is known to us all: the best formula for creating emotional safety is for our children to see love in our eyes, experience it through our touch, and hear it in our voice.
~~~~~~
Ilene Val-Essen is the author of Bring Out the Best in Your Child and Your Self: Creating a Family Based on Mutual Respect. Please visit her at Quality Parenting.

Creating Emotional Safety

Parents don’t agree on everything and they certainly don’t need to. But one dream that we all share is that our children enjoy emotional safety. I’m a parent and a grandparent and an author of a parenting book, yet I’ve never let these words roll off my tongue. Still if I describe emotional safety, I think we’ll all agree that this is exactly what we want for our children.

What is emotional safety? It’s when our children feel free to be themselves. They can comfortably express their feelings and concerns, thoughts and interests, and they do this with awareness and respect for others.
Our children gain emotional safety through their experiences with others. When they feel loved, accepted, heard, and trust that their needs will be met, they develop a deep internal experience of safety.
How do we create this rich inner experience for our children?
After working with parents as a consultant and psychotherapist for almost four decades, I’m certain of one thing: Parent’s attitudes—how we think about our children—is even more important than what we say to them. In my book, Bring Out the Best in Your Child and Your Self, I identify two key attitudes. The first:
Children have an innate drive to express their best selves—to develop their highest potential.
Like all living things, children have a natural yearning to grow and mature, to develop their full potential. It’s a part of being human. We all have that inner force that compels us to evolve, to grow not only physically, but to develop all of our unique potential—mental, emotional, social and spiritual. Children and parents want to respect themselves, to be contributing members of the family and society. We all want to find and express our best selves—to become all that we can be.
The fact that we often fall short—that children and adults can easily slip into unproductive behavior—doesn’t mean we don’t have that innate drive! It isn’t easy to express our full potential; we need all the help we can get. And that leads us to the second attitude:
Children depend on us to help them.
They can’t do it alone. Children need us to recognize their yearning and to help them fulfill it. By definition, children are immature—works in progress—still learning how to handle their feelings, develop strength of will and self-control. To support their natural unfolding, they need an environment based on mutual respect.
How can we create this environment? Let me count the ways:
1. Water the flowers, not the weeds. Notice and acknowledge our children’s finest qualities and behaviors. Give attention to that which we want to grow.
2. Hold high, age-appropriate expectations. Strengthen our children’s self-esteem by asking them to live up to their own capabilities. 
3. Follow through. Teach children that we mean what we say and help them to become more cooperative and responsible.
4. Show respect. Help children develop empathy by demonstrating respect for their feelings and thoughts, bodies and belongings.
5. Respect self, others and life. Model sensitivity and care for yourself, others, and our planet and teach children to internalize these values as a normal part of life.
6. Provide positive values. Expose children to those values you want them to adopt, emphasizing the best in human nature and minimizing the excesses in our culture.
7. Teach skills that support emotional safety. Help our children to learn to work through frustration and disappointment, to assert themselves respectfully, to problem solve, and to develop qualities such as courage and persistence.
The bottom line is known to us all: the best formula for creating emotional safety is for our children to see love in our eyes, experience it through our touch, and hear it in our voice.
~~~~~~
Ilene Val-Essen is the author of Bring Out the Best in Your Child and Your Self: Creating a Family Based on Mutual Respect. Please visit her at Quality Parenting.

What Does It Mean To Be Safe? At Home

In yesterday’s post, we talked about domestic abuse. The numbers are chilling, and clearly there is room for improvement. Yet, in this modern day, for all our educational and information resources, there is still a problem in our society with the issue of physical  and emotional violence.
The situation has another side, too. What if you suspect someone near you is being abused on some level, whether an adult or a child? What do you do? Depending on the people involved, you might contact your local law enforcement agency, a department of social services, or a school. In large cities, officials are trained to provide a safe avenue for informants as well as for victims.
In small towns, the matter could be a bit more challenging, since everyone seems to know everyone else. There is a much shorter line of connection in small communities, and contrary to what we’d like to believe, not everyone is a good, wholesome person, even at the leadership level. The best way to report a problem is to either go through a trusted government official (in my case that would be the town clerk) or to the highest official level one can find, like a county sheriff who is likely trained by state mandate in legal matters like personal privacy. Even then, the situation might not feel very safe for you.
It’s this issue of personal safety that can be circumvented through some system of anonymity. After all, you could be dealing with a stranger and that brings with it a whole set of unknowns. When I researched online to find more information about reporting systems, I found a site called Anonymous Tips which allows for school and law enforcement agencies to register with them, then offers a vehicle for consumers to make a report without any chance of someone discovering who actually made the report. This could make the difference between a child or family getting the help they need, or risking a very serious and potentially lethal situation.
Is your local police department or school on this list? Mine isn’t and I fully intend to call and encourage them to sign up! Click here to check which cities in your state have registered, and if your town isn’t on it, consider asking them to join. 
Have you ever had to report an abuse situation in your school or neighborhood? How did you go about making the report? How did you feel about it after? Do you think you made a difference in the victim’s life? Please share with us in the comments.
We offer this information as part of our monthly theme on safety which coincides with the release of Rana DiOrio’s new title, What Does It Mean To Be Safe?, which is the 4th book in her series. Please be sure to take advantage of our free shipping offer this month. You just need to enter LPPSAFE11 at checkout. Click here to order a copy.

What Does It Mean To Be Safe? At Home

In yesterday’s post, we talked about domestic abuse. The numbers are chilling, and clearly there is room for improvement. Yet, in this modern day, for all our educational and information resources, there is still a problem in our society with the issue of physical  and emotional violence.
The situation has another side, too. What if you suspect someone near you is being abused on some level, whether an adult or a child? What do you do? Depending on the people involved, you might contact your local law enforcement agency, a department of social services, or a school. In large cities, officials are trained to provide a safe avenue for informants as well as for victims.
In small towns, the matter could be a bit more challenging, since everyone seems to know everyone else. There is a much shorter line of connection in small communities, and contrary to what we’d like to believe, not everyone is a good, wholesome person, even at the leadership level. The best way to report a problem is to either go through a trusted government official (in my case that would be the town clerk) or to the highest official level one can find, like a county sheriff who is likely trained by state mandate in legal matters like personal privacy. Even then, the situation might not feel very safe for you.
It’s this issue of personal safety that can be circumvented through some system of anonymity. After all, you could be dealing with a stranger and that brings with it a whole set of unknowns. When I researched online to find more information about reporting systems, I found a site called Anonymous Tips which allows for school and law enforcement agencies to register with them, then offers a vehicle for consumers to make a report without any chance of someone discovering who actually made the report. This could make the difference between a child or family getting the help they need, or risking a very serious and potentially lethal situation.
Is your local police department or school on this list? Mine isn’t and I fully intend to call and encourage them to sign up! Click here to check which cities in your state have registered, and if your town isn’t on it, consider asking them to join. 
Have you ever had to report an abuse situation in your school or neighborhood? How did you go about making the report? How did you feel about it after? Do you think you made a difference in the victim’s life? Please share with us in the comments.
We offer this information as part of our monthly theme on safety which coincides with the release of Rana DiOrio’s new title, What Does It Mean To Be Safe?, which is the 4th book in her series. Please be sure to take advantage of our free shipping offer this month. You just need to enter LPPSAFE11 at checkout. Click here to order a copy.

Domestic Violence: America’s Hidden War

By Cameron Crane


“Domestic violence is America’s hidden war. And the battleground is in all our homes. “
~ Michelle Bussolotti

This month, as we discuss the importance of fostering emotional, social, physical and cyber safety, it is important to discuss one of the most prevalent safety issues in our country- that of domestic violence. Although domestic violence has played a somewhat secret role in society for generation upon generation, it has only recently begun to be recognized as major public health issue in the United States. In fact, the chances are that someone you love has been directly affected by this “hidden war”. By educating ourselves about this important pandemic, we can learn how to protect and support ourselves and the people closest to us.

Here are some statistics we should all know:

Every year in the United States, 2-4 million women are assaulted by a male partner and more than 800,000 cases of domestic violence perpetrated by women against men are reported.

It is important for anybody experiencing domestic violence to know that they are not alone. Millions of people experience domestic violence each year. The term “domestic violence” it is most commonly applied to “an intimate relationship between two adults in which one partner uses a pattern of assault and intimidating acts to assert power and control over the other”. It can happen to anyone, man or woman.

Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witn
ess some form of domestic violence annually.

Today, we have enough research about domestic violence to know that it is most commonly a learned behavior. Children who are exposed to domestic violence are more likely to be involved in an abusive relationship when they are older. In fact, men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.

Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the p
olice for help.

I find this statistic to be one of the most important for two reasons. The first is that it brings to light the fact that many women (and men) who are being abused do not know how to ask for help. This may be because they feel threatened, are afraid to lose the relationship with their partner, are caught in the abuse cycle, or simply do not know that help is available. This is the second thing that can be highlighted, help is available for anyone who is experiencing domestic violence, and resources are becoming more available each year.


Here are some wonderful resources I found:

Personalized Safety Plan: WebMD, Inc. offers steps for creating a personalized safety plan to ensure the safety of you and your family in the event of recurrent or escalating violence.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: The National Domestic Violence Hotline creates access by providing 24-hour support through advocacy, safety planning, resources and hope to everyone affected by domestic violence. The Hotline is a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention, information and referrals to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. The Hotline also serves to direct victims of domestic violence to help in their area.
1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224

Additionally, there are many support groups available for women, men, and families who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence in their household.

Domestic violence is not a pleasant topic to discuss, but it is an important one. It is my hope that by discussing these issues, we can move closer to a brighter future. If you know of any resources for families experiencing domestic violence, please share them.

Domestic Violence: America’s Hidden War

By Cameron Crane


“Domestic violence is America’s hidden war. And the battleground is in all our homes. “
~ Michelle Bussolotti

This month, as we discuss the importance of fostering emotional, social, physical and cyber safety, it is important to discuss one of the most prevalent safety issues in our country- that of domestic violence. Although domestic violence has played a somewhat secret role in society for generation upon generation, it has only recently begun to be recognized as major public health issue in the United States. In fact, the chances are that someone you love has been directly affected by this “hidden war”. By educating ourselves about this important pandemic, we can learn how to protect and support ourselves and the people closest to us.

Here are some statistics we should all know:

Every year in the United States, 2-4 million women are assaulted by a male partner and more than 800,000 cases of domestic violence perpetrated by women against men are reported.

It is important for anybody experiencing domestic violence to know that they are not alone. Millions of people experience domestic violence each year. The term “domestic violence” it is most commonly applied to “an intimate relationship between two adults in which one partner uses a pattern of assault and intimidating acts to assert power and control over the other”. It can happen to anyone, man or woman.

Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witn
ess some form of domestic violence annually.

Today, we have enough research about domestic violence to know that it is most commonly a learned behavior. Children who are exposed to domestic violence are more likely to be involved in an abusive relationship when they are older. In fact, men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.

Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the p
olice for help.

I find this statistic to be one of the most important for two reasons. The first is that it brings to light the fact that many women (and men) who are being abused do not know how to ask for help. This may be because they feel threatened, are afraid to lose the relationship with their partner, are caught in the abuse cycle, or simply do not know that help is available. This is the second thing that can be highlighted, help is available for anyone who is experiencing domestic violence, and resources are becoming more available each year.


Here are some wonderful resources I found:

Personalized Safety Plan: WebMD, Inc. offers steps for creating a personalized safety plan to ensure the safety of you and your family in the event of recurrent or escalating violence.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: The National Domestic Violence Hotline creates access by providing 24-hour support through advocacy, safety planning, resources and hope to everyone affected by domestic violence. The Hotline is a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention, information and referrals to victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. The Hotline also serves to direct victims of domestic violence to help in their area.
1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224

Additionally, there are many support groups available for women, men, and families who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence in their household.

Domestic violence is not a pleasant topic to discuss, but it is an important one. It is my hope that by discussing these issues, we can move closer to a brighter future. If you know of any resources for families experiencing domestic violence, please share them.

Featured Young Writers: What We Are Seeking

By Cameron Crane


One of our favorite traditions on the Little Pickle Press blog is to feature a young writer on the second Friday of each month. Every month, we look forward to hearing fresh, young perspectives on the particular theme we are discussing. Today, we reflect on the wonderful and diverse contributions we have received from our previous young writers, and encourage any young writers with an interest in contributing to the Little Pickle Press blog to contact us!

Our Previous Featured Young Writers:

How My Dreams Take Me Through Change
Marion Lepert, Age 15
Monthly Theme: Transitions

On the Wings of a Plane
Sophia Vann-Adibé, Eighth Grade
Monthly Theme: Traveling with Children

Living Green on Zen
Cameron Burgess, Age 13
Monthly Theme: Earth Day (Celebrating Earth)

What We Look For:

Young Featured Writer contributions are approximately 450 words. We love to receive pieces that reflect on the young writer’s thoughts about and personal experiences with the theme we are discussing that month. Young writers should also include a short bio (no more than 100 words), telling us a little bit about who they are. If the young writer has a personal blog or website, they may include an active link in their bio. Pictures or video that accompany the post are welcome.

Our Upcoming Monthly Themes:

October, 2011: Raising Global Children

November, 2011: An Attitude of Gratitude

December, 2011: Teaching Our Children about Manners

January, 2012: Fostering the Importance of Strong Work Ethic

Becoming a Featured Young Writer

If you are interested in, or know someone who may be interested in, becoming a Young Featured Writer for one of our upcoming themes, please contact us with your name, some information about yourself/the young writer, and the theme/month you are interested in contributing to. Inquiries should be sent to [email protected](dot)com. Please title your email as follows: “Featured Young Writer: (Theme you are interested in writing about).” We look forward to hearing from you!