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Book character helps children gain self-confidence

Captain Courage shows students how to speak up

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    To learn about Stacey Marshall or Captain Courage, www.captaincourage.com. There will be a free book reading and signing with Marshall at 3 p.m. Dec. 1 at Park Road Books, 4139 Park Road, Park Road Shopping Center. From 4-6 p.m. Jan. 6, there will be another session with Marshall in Gorelick Hall, Levine Jewish Community Center, 5007 Providence Road, Charlotte, ages 4-11.



“Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes” was published in September, and it is already on Amazon’s bestsellers list for large print children’s books.

Written by south Charlottean Stacey Marshall, “Captain Courage” is about Katie, a third grader who is new to town. Katie is afraid to speak out during the school day until Captain Courage helps Katie to have self-confidence and courage.

“Marshall’s colorful characters and clever tale will inspire and entertain,” said Nancy Rones, writer for Parents Magazine. “A meeting with Marshall’s Captain Courage is sure to stir up confidence and courage in every reader.”

“As a public speaking coach, speech-language pathologist, former motivational speaker and mom (sixth grader Katie and fourth grader Jack), I’m acutely aware of the role that speaking with confidence can have on overall self esteem – especially in children,” said Marshall. “So I invented a superhero, Captain Courage, which I used in public speaking classes I taught to elementary school children.”

Marshall had even dressed up like the superhero for the kids in her classes.

Approximately five years ago, Marshall started writing “Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes.”

Marshall chose to name the main character after her daughter, but Katie is not based on a specific real person.

“Katie represents every child who has ever felt nervous or scared about something, which is, most likely, every child,” said Marshall.

Marshall didn’t want her son Jack to feel left out of the book, so she asked the illustrator Michelle Morse to include a class pet named Jack in every scene. Morse and Marshall decided to make the class pet be a turtle. Jack’s name is on a plaque on his terrarium in the first scene.

“Finding Jack in the illustrations adds another element of fun to the book for readers, and appeases my son,” said Marshall.

The book is a new release but already has a fan base.

“I like that through the story, Captain Courage teaches how to be confident about who you are and comfortable in your own skin,” said Chloe, 11.

“My favorite part was when Captain Courage comes into the classroom during show and tell, and surprises everybody,” said Connor, 8.

According to Marshall, the Caedmon School in New York City is planning to read the book to students and use some of the activities on www.captaincourage.com to encourage students to speak with confidence.

Marshall has a special event/reading scheduled at Park Road Books at 2 p.m. Dec. 1.

“I am particularly excited about this event because not only do I plan to do a reading and signing, but also, some fun, interactive, educational activities for children and parents about speaking with confidence and courage,” said Marshall.

Readers can learn more about future public events by following Marshall on Twitter: @smarshallauthor.

“It was incredibly exciting to see ‘Captain Courage’ on Amazon’s Hot New Release list, as well as Amazon’s Bestseller List in the Top Ten for children’s books this past week sandwiched in between ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘Percy Jackson!!’” said Marshall.

“Captain Courage” Book No. 2 has been written and is being illustrated. Marshall is working on “Captain Courage” Book No. 3.

“My hope is that this Captain Courage book (and future Captain Courage books) will entertain readers from start to finish, as well as inspire children to speak up with poise and self-assuredness in any situation,” said Marshall.

Marissa Brooks is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marissa? Email her at mbrookspt@earthlink.net.
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