SOUTH RIVER–With last year’s presidential election being one of the most divisive in the nation’s history, author Gigi Darko wrote “Sticks In a Bundle” to help children understand today’s political landscape.
“I wrote this book because after the elections my daughter noticed a difference in our community. On Route 18 she noticed more political signs, more yelling, more anger from the different parties,” Darko said. “In our own home, we watched the elections in disbelief. She asked about who our new president would be and I couldn’t give her an answer with certainty. I decided to look at what is missing in our country from a child’s perspective.”
A South River resident for 15 years, Darko said when parents have young children who are curious about current events, they have to find answers to their questions.
“I am an assistant principal at a school where we have students who do not have both parents. I want them to know it is OK to have one parent. This is a wonderful story about a child’s perspective in today’s climate. Parents can begin the conversation on the political climate of our country using the characters in this story.”
“Sticks In a Bundle,” Darko said, is about a little girl named Yaya who traveled to her father’s home country ofGhana. Yaya lost her mother some time ago and travels to visit family. They travel to different places and enjoy the culture. In light of the plight of her country, the United States, she soon learns that her country is not in need of more materialistic things, but rather the one thing it is missing: unity.
Darko said the main character is based out of South River, New Jersey and then she travels to Ghana, West Africa.
“Initially, I wrote the book after a philanthropy mission trip a year or so ago. A group of friends and I went to Ghana, West Africa, and gave 1,500 students educational supplies, scholarships and personal aid,” Darko said. “On that trip, I realized how much everyday things can have so much meaning. I wrote the book then but the ending of the book had not been fleshed out yet.”
Darko said once she saw how children reacted to the election, it was clear what she wanted to tell them.
“The answers to the problems we face are sometimes right in front of us and oftentimes children see it better than adults,” Darko said. “They really do have that innocent insight that adults lack. So many of us have lost a loved one and it matters when children see their pain in the stories that they read.”
Darko said she self-published her latest book through her publishing company Notes Publishers in November.
“This book is written for the countless children who don’t understand what is going on in our country but understand that we are a better country when we are kind to each other and stick together. It is for all the children who lost a loved one but somehow find a way to keep their memory alive.”
After publishing her second book, Darko said she is also working on a poetry anthology.
“This literary work will focus on the inner-city students that I work with among other things. I want the children of our world to know how important their words can be,” Darko said. “How empowering it can be to tell their own stories in their own way. I am also working on a book titled ‘Where is Nicky?’ for children that do not come from conventional families. God loves us all even when we are not like anyone else.”
For more information about “Sticks In a Bundle,” visit www.notespublishers.com.
Contact Vashti Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.