For more than three decades, best-selling author Andrew Vachss has fought the worst kind of bully: child abusers. In his law practice, he's represented children and youth exclusively. As art director for King Features for two decades, Frank Caruso has developed a style that speaks to all ages, for all ages. Together, they have developed Heart Transplant, a book that attempts to reset the cultural software so that people change the way they think about bullying.
Bullying is universally decried, bemoaned, and condemned. And on the rise. Whether it's a teenager committing suicide as a result of a Facebook posting or a group of schoolchildren taunting another child with autism and filming it for the "entertainment" of others, the longest-lasting, deepest-scarring impact of bullying is emotional, not physical. Failure to understand this has handicapped an already-insipid series of failed "solutions." Heart Transplant is aimed at actually changing the way we deal with perhaps the most critical issue for children and parents alike today. To accomplish this mission, an entirely new genre was created. Neither a graphic novel nor a self-help book, it uses elements of both to reach parents and children alike. The intermingling of word and art is achieved so smoothly that it is experienced as one does words-and-music: you may forget the lyrics and hum the tune, but that very act evokes the lyrics. And if it's the lyrics that stick with you, you'll find yourself humming the tune. The anchoring essay (by clinical social worker Zak Mucha) explains in prose detail what the reader has just experienced. This book will be shelved under "Parenting" and "Young Adult.: Why? And if Heart Transplant hits either target, it will hit both. Nothing like this has ever been tried before. But if it works, the high risk will be rewarded by the greatest prize of all.
For more information about Heart Transplant go to http://vachss.com/heart Information can also be found on Facebook.
The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog Advance Praise
"In beautifully written, fascinating accounts of experiences working with emotionally stunted and traumatized children, child psychiatrist Perry educates readers about how early-life stress and violence affects the developing brain. He offers simple yet vivid illustrations of the stress response and the brain's mechanisms with facts and images that crystallize in the mind without being too detailed or confusing. The stories exhibit compassion, understanding and hope as Perry paints detailed, humane pictures of patients who have experienced violence, sexual abuse or neglect, and Perry invites the reader on his own journey to understanding how the developing child's brain works." -- Publishers Weekly
"In 30 years of work I have never encountered a child advocate with a better mind, a bigger heart or a more generous spirit than Bruce Perry. This book captures the essence of his insights and the heroism of his actions on behalf of children who have encountered the dark side of human experience." --James Garbarino, Ph.D., Maude C. Clarke Professor of Humanistic Psychology at Loyola University Chicago and author of Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them
"The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog" is Bruce Perry's finest achievement… it gives us all the opportunity to unlock the deepest mystery of our species: why some children turn out to be heroes, and others to be predatory sociopaths. Anyone who wants to understand childhood trauma and its heartbreaking consequences must read this book." -- Andrew Vachss, award-winning author and attorney, founder and national advisory board member of PROTECT: The National Association to Protect Children
A world-renowned child psychiatrist offers a groundbreaking new perspective on how stress and violence affect children's brains--and how they can be helped to heal. What happens when a young brain is traumatized? How does terror, abuse, or disaster affect a child's mind--and how can that mind recover? Although Dr. Perry’s research has influenced child policy across the country and around the world, it has never been summarized in a popular book.
Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has helped children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, murder witnesses, kidnapped teenagers, and victims of family violence. In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, he tells their stories of trauma and transformation through the lens of science, revealing the brain's astonishing capacity for healing. Deftly combining unforgettable case histories with his own compassionate, insightful strategies for rehabilitation, Perry explains what exactly happens to the brain when a child is exposed to extreme stress-and reveals the unexpected measures that can be taken to ease a child's pain and help him grow into a healthy adult. Through the stories of children who recover-physically, mentally, and emotionally-from the most devastating circumstances, Perry shows how simple things like surroundings, affection, language, and touch can deeply impact the developing brain, for better or for worse.
These stories of hope amidst tragedy are not only compelling in and of themselves, but offer important lessons about the importance of social connection, love and community. By showing how empathy develops through connected and caring early parenting and by illustrating how the brain becomes what it does most, Perry offers a new way of seeing the world, which provides a surprising-- and sometimes frightening-- perspective on current child-rearing and educational practices that has implications not just for these extreme cases, but for us all.
In this deeply informed and moving book, Bruce Perry dramatically demonstrates that only when we understand the science of the mind can we hope to heal the spirit of even the most wounded child.
Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. is the Senior Fellow of The ChildTrauma Academy (www.ChildTrauma.org), a Houston-based non-profit organization which promotes innovations in service, research and education in child maltreatment and childhood trauma. He has served as a consultant to the FBI and is the former Chief of Psychiatry at Texas Children's Hospital and former Vice-Chairman for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine.
Maia Szalavitz is an award-winning journalist who specializes in science and health. She is the author, with Jospeh Volpicelli, M.D., Ph.D., of Recovery Options: The Complete Guideand Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids. She lives in New York City.