WILSON, N.C. — May 15, 2020 — “Together, we can be different and still belong.” That’s the message of a new children’s book co-authored by autism expert and Barton College assistant professor and coordinator of the special education program, Dr. Morghan Bosch, and her mother, retired educator Dr. Karen Bosch. Geared for children ages four through eight, “Being Charley: Embracing Differences” relates the story of a Canada goose who is unlike his siblings, but this story is really for all ages.
“I believe Charley is going to make such a difference in the lives of our next generation,” shares Dr. Morghan Bosch. “He will be the catalyst to help everyone realize, ‘We are all Charleys!’ Charley’s story will provide opportunities for teachers, parents, therapists, physicians, friends, families, counselors, etc., to spark discussion about acceptance, about diversity, about inclusion, and kindness.”
Charley has autism, and some things are more difficult for him than for others: Learning to swim (the water is too cold against his feathers); learning to honk (the noise is so loud, it hurts his ears); and learning to fly (the sun is too bright when flying in V-formation, so he attempts to fly upside down).
The goal of the authors in writing the book is to encourage its readers to embrace the uniqueness of individual differences. Discussion questions at the end of the book encourage interactive conversations about Charley and various themes in the book, making it useful both for classrooms and daycares as well as in a personal, home setting.
“We have included an interactive page in the book for children to reply to Charley,” explains Bosch. “Children can add something to a stenciled picture of Charley about how they feel different from others. They can also complete the sentence, ‘I feel different because…’ Then, the children can send their picture and sentences to us on Instagram@WeAreCharley and/or Facebook page at “Being Charley: Embracing Differences.” There, they will be able to see the many versions of Charley completed by other readers. I post their pictures and other daily messages for readers to further connect to the book and to Charley.”
Bosch notes that one young reader enthusiastically shared, “It is my site on Instagram and Facebook.” “Many parents are sending pictures to post of reading ‘Being Charley’ to their children, and teachers are sending pictures of reading the book to their classes,” Bosch adds. “My hope is that Charley will bring awareness, understanding, and acceptance of individual differences.”
“Being Charley: Embracing Differences” has received a five-star review from Readers’ Favorite, an internet site featuring book reviews and book contests that has itself received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors, plus the respect of renowned publishers such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins.
Other reviews have been equally enthusiastic. Meghan Roberson, M.S.Ed., SLP/CCC, BCBA-LBA board certified behavior analyst and speech-language pathologist, posted a review on Amazon, sharing, “Thank you for writing this book and bringing hope to so many families who have their own version of Charley at home. In a day and age where the focus of “special needs” is frequently on the deficits and difficulties, this book celebrates the strengths and passions of a special little goose. His love for the night sky establishes a passion for the unique patterns he sees in the stars. His ingenuity and creativity lead him to find an unconventional and innovative way to fly to avoid the sun’s bright glare. Although he may be a little different from his peers, he eventually finds his perfect place in the world. Ultimately, Charley finds that which we all want for our own children – happiness.”
Morghan Bosch is an expert in special education, with a particular emphasis on autism. She holds a Master of Science degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University, an Ed.D. in Special Education from Regent University (her published dissertation examines teacher attitudes towards teaching students with autism), and a master’s-level Teaching Autistic Children certificate, also from Regent University. She worked with special education students in the Virginia public schools as a teacher for nine years. At the college level, she currently teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in special education at Barton College. She also has served as an adjunct professor, teaching at Virginia Wesleyan University and at Peace University.
“Being Charley: Embracing Differences” may be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes in three formats: hardback, paperback, and ebook. A sequel to “Being Charley: Embracing Differences” is currently underway.
In addition to writing “Being Charley,” Bosch has co-authored another book (with Dr. Karen Bosch), “The First Year Teacher: Be Prepared for Your Classroom” (4th ed.), and numerous journal articles and other publications.