Everybody’s unique & different: Children’s book author Debbie Scott visits Meridian Public Library for story time message & book signing
MERIDIAN – In her family of dark-haired, olive-skinned people, there was one red-headed freckle-faced child in every generation. Debbie Scott just happened to be that one special child of her generation, giving her a true understanding how it felt to be different.
“I learned that it was more than okay to be different in my own special way, the way God created me,” Scott said. “Celebrating differences and living a God-focused life is the root of my happiness.”
In that sense, Scott is Freckle Face Susie the main character of her delightful and inspirational children’s book, which was published in March 2022. Scott came to the Meridian Public Library Aug. 10 to sign her book and to read the story at the library’s regular Wednesday Story Time.
Having served the county and Meridian for over 16 years as former tax assessor, county auditor and city administrator, Scott has deep roots in Bosque County. Coming to Meridian is like coming home – a place where she raised her children and a place of so many loving memories and friends.
A woman of many talents and gifts, Scott adds child minister, writer of children’s books and motivational speaker to her resume.
After a reading of her book at Meridian’s John A. Lomax Amphitheater in May, Scott contacted the Meridian Public Library, asking whether they would be interested in hosting a book signing in her former home town that holds so many wonderful memories for her and she was able to reconnect with dear friends.
As a children’s minister, Scott witnessed many children growing up feeling different and left out. Her inspiration to write her own book on the subject came after reading Max Lucado’s book “You’re Special” to her children’s group at a the Duffau Baptist Church. In a world that tells kids, "You're special if... if you have the brains, the looks, the talent," the book reassures them that they are special in God’s eyes, just because; no qualifications necessary. Because a fifth-grader wanted to hear it again, saying the message inspired her, Scott once more realized the power of books.
“God made each of us special in our individual ways and talents, but created everyone in His own image of love and care,” Scott said. “Yet, we often struggle to accept these unique traits, quirks, personalities, and God-given gifts, feeling different and wishing to hide our uniqueness to best fit in with what is ‘normal.’
“My heart’s desire is to help boys and girls find their true unique value of who God created them to be,” Scott said. “Having served as a children’s minister, I had the privilege of sharing Christ.”
Children’s books especially are unique in the sense that they contain important, universal life lessons about friendship, family, love, diversity, acceptance, courage, kindness and teamwork.
“It is essential that they enjoy their reading experiences so that they will nurture those skills for the rest of their lives,” the Children’s Book Council says. “A good children’s book also draws children into the story, asks them questions, and lends itself to discussion. A good children’s book is one that children genuinely enjoy while they are gaining some understanding of the world.
“You will know a child has found a good book that resonates with them when they want to hear or read it more than once, and when they remember the story and even re-tell it to you. High quality children’s books teach children to think and wonder about their world and about themselves.”
In Scott’s “Freckle-Face Susie Goes to School,” the writer tells the story of young Susie, who is sad that her freckles make her different from all the kids in her new class. On her first day of school, Susie feels left out and excluded from all the fun and new friends the other children are making. She even believes they are laughing and making fun of her beautiful class drawing of her favorite picture – a yellow butterfly with speckled wings.
When Susie's mother teaches her that God placed every single freckle on her face, just like He placed every single star in the sky, Susie begins to see the beauty and value in her one-of-a-kind and wonderful self.
A good children’s book is one that holds their attention thanks to a simple, easy-to-follow, and interesting plot, with a clear beginning, middle, and end with likable and identifiable central characters. Thanks to her 26-year-old granddaughter Alix Batte’s illustrations, Scott’s book comes to life.
Additionally, the best books are relatable and engaging to a wide range of children no matter their gender, height, hair color, skin color, interests, strengths, weaknesses, or whatever else makes them different from other children.
Within the pages of Scott’s loving book, children learn how to embrace and accept their valuable differences, and understand that it is often through these God-given designs that they are blessed with their greatest strengths and paths to shine as bright as the stars. And not to forget, adults need to find the story entertaining too, because they will be the ones reading the story over and over and over again if the child loves it.
Scott’s book has all of these things. Depending on the child’s age and development, they will pick up different aspects of the seemingly simple story with many layers, with care and love being the initial focus. A glossary of words and the inspiring scriptures like Psalm 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,” adds to the depth of the story, and invites discussion and contemplation.
Scott has been pleasantly surprised by the book’s success and the wonderful feedback she has received. The publication is available on Amazon, Walmart and Barnes & Noble websites.
Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS
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