As a teacher, writer, parent and child advocate, Alan Weber has wanted for some time to write something for children on the delicate subject of war, one that reflects the perspectives of and effects on children growing up in this age of perpetual war. As someone who has taught both children’s literature and child psychology, Weber was aware that a few previous attempts have been made, but, in his view, they were too allegorical to be truly effective, and a more experiential approach was needed. “Not for Hurting” (published by AuthorHouse), is such a book for children, and adults, on the simple realities of war.
“Not for Hurting” focuses on Olivia, a young girl who has grown up uncomfortable with and yet surrounded by violence. Her oldest brother is overseas in combat, and her second oldest brother is obsessed with violent video games. She finds all of this hard to understand, and harder still when she learns that her oldest brother has died in the war.
In addition to the pain and confusion she experiences, within herself and from those around her, she struggles to understand why adults don’t follow the rules that they tell children to, the simple adages that her teacher has taught her in school: “We use our words, not our fists” and “Hands are for helping, not for hurting.” She becomes determined to remind adults before it is too late for other children like her.
This touching book is designed to inspire thought and conversation within families, schools, therapeutic sessions and society at large. “It shouldn’t take a children’s book,” Weber reflects, “but I’d like people to fully and finally realize… from a child’s point of view… the impact on families of the horror and futility of war.”