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Dark Horse Takes on Bullying with “Heart Transplant”

by  in Comic News Comment
Dark Horse Takes on Bullying with “Heart Transplant”

Official Press Release

Andrew Vachss has spent his entire adult life on the front lines of the child-protection war. He worked as an investigator/interviewer, went on a mission to war-torn Biafra (now Nigeria), and ran a maximum-security prison for “aggressive-violent” youth. For the past twenty-five years, he has been an attorney in private practice, representing child and youth exclusively. Perhaps most well-known for his best-selling crime-fiction novels, Vachss also serves on the Advisory Board of the National Association to Protect Children, and consults widely in his area of expertise, including international presentations.

Frank Caruso has spent his adult life communicating through art. He’s illustrated children’s books for St. Martin’s Press, served as Executive Producer for American Public Television’s Emmy award-winning “SeeMore’s Playhouse,” and is best known for his work on properties like Popeye and Betty Boop, as the Vice President of Creative Services for King Features Syndicate. Caruso has worked with Scholastic’s Alliance for Young Artists and Writers and is a member of New York’s Society of Illustrators.

Now the two are collaborating on *Heart Transplant*, a book that uses images and words to tell a story–a story that is meant to change the way we think about, talk about, and *deal with* the issue of bullying. Dr. Joel A. Dvoskin, Assistant Clinical Professor at the Univeristy of Arizona Medical School and President of the American Psychological Association’s Law Society division, says of *Heart Tranplant*, “[T]his gripping story gives kids and grownups alike a road map to change, both for individual kids and more importantly, for the school as a community. … This book should be required reading in every elementary school in America[.]”

Dr. Dvoskin’s sentiments are echoed by Dr. Bruce D. Perry, Senior Fellow at the ChildTrauma Academy and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine: “Teachers and parents will find that *Heart Transplant* can be the perfect lens to focus meaningful dialogue about the origins of bullying and the pervasive nature of the exploitation of power in our society. The scope of important, inter-related themes that this work highlights is broad–so this can be a tool for a classroom to be used for much more than merely addressing bullying.”

*Heart Transplant*is anchored by an essay from Zak Mucha, LCSW, to help readers of all ages understand the important lessons contained within. This is the story of not only one child’s personal experience with feelings of alienation and torment at the hands of his peers, but a young boy’s transformation from bullied “outsider” to *true* manhood. This thought-provoking work speaks directly to bullied children and their parents, providing not only the basis for discussion, but a viable solution.

Personally edited by Dark Horse Founder and President Mike Richardson, Heart Transplant–a 100-page hardcover–arrives in stores in October.

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