I am VERY pleased to announce that my new novel for kids is finally available.
Sammy’s Attic is a fresh take on perennial kid-problems, offering wisdom and a great story. This book teaches kids emotional intelligence by normalizing empathy, crying, restorative justice, and other aspects of well-being that masculine gender socialization often discourages. Sammy’s Attic was mostly written for readers ages 9 – 13.
Sammy’s hometown burned down in summer forest fires. Since the fires took his home, Sammy has developed an anger problem, which gets him into trouble at his new school. He invents a snowy, imaginary world and a friend, named Tu, in the attic of his new home to help himself heal from loss, terror, and anger. Tu helps Sammy find his way into a new life and new school, where Sammy must make friends and deal with a bully. Sammy can only make peace with these profound changes by following the smell of smoke from below the floorboards of his bedroom, where he finds a world, and himself, in flames.
Sammy’s Attic is a self-published work. I am currently seeking a publisher with the ability to bring larger audiences to Sammy’s Attic.
Excerpts from Sammy’s Attic
This wasn’t just the first day of a new school year. It was Sammy’s first day at a new school.
Last night he tossed and turned in bed, every nerve buzzing with worry. He imagined everything that could go wrong. He could already see the sour look on his teacher’s face, and he could feel the hard, silent stares of all the strange kids.
But something about the sunrise, a new day, clean clothes, and a bowl of his favorite cereal had swept all the worries from his mind. His eyes were lit with a new spirit. Oh! The hope he felt walking down that sidewalk in his new neighborhood! Even the birds seemed to sing, “There goes Sammy! Everyone is going to want to be his friend! What a lucky kid!”
“What’s your teacher like? Did you make any new friends?”
“I said it was fine, DAD. Why do you have to ask so many questions?”
Sammy snapped, suddenly angry.
Sammy felt bad and looked down. It was true. He had no reason to be angry at Dad. Sammy realized he was embarrassed to admit that he hadn’t made any friends, and that the teacher didn’t even know his name. He wanted to have a great day and make Dad proud.
“What is this place called?!” Sammy gasped in wistful wonder.
It wasn’t even dinner time, but he found himself under a night sky that was filled with twinkling swirls of stars. Blue and orange planets hung in the sky, some with glowing rings around them. It was a quiet so pure. Sammy and Tu stood in a wide, snowy field. Hills of snow-covered evergreen trees stretched out, out, and on.
“This place would never burn down,” Sammy mumbled. Then in a full voice he asked again, “Tu, what is this place called?”
“Hm,” said Tu, like he had never thought about it before. “I don’t know. What would you call it?”
“Well, I would call it the attic, but attics don’t usually have their own sky. Usually there’s a roof right above your head, and instead of a snowy forest there’s just some old boxes and fuzzy stuff on the wall.”
“I like it,” said Tu. “Welcome to…The Attic,” he announced, dramatically sweeping his hand in front of him as if to point across all the land and sky.
“Oh yeah?” said Esmeralda, scrunching her nose to adjust her glasses. “I heard sometimes people find a dead body in the attic. Is there a dead body up there?”
“Or pirate treasure?!” burst Elijah.
“Or a doorway to another dimension?” asked Mahamadou.
Sammy laughed a little. “Well actually…”
“Who’s this loser?” said a thundercloud voice from above.
They turned and saw Sharky looming overhead. He stared down at Sammy.
“Wow! That’s crazy!” said Tu. “Man! Your mom is fierce! But…so, you started crying in front of everyone?”
“Yeah, it’s embarrassing,” Sammy said.“I know it is,” said Tu, “But it shouldn’t be. Everyone cries sometimes!”
“It’s funny,” Sammy added. “Crying seems weak, and making some agreement with Sharky tomorrow seems weak too. But I wasn’t scared of Sharky when I was hitting him. I’m more nervous about just sitting in a room with him tomorrow and talking!”
Sammy and Tu climbed the big hill and rode their sleds down again and again. Sammy felt free. By the time they were laying on their backs looking at the stars again, with Ralph snuggled in between, he didn’t feel nervous anymore at all.
Size: 5.000″ x 8.000″ (203mm x 127mm)
Page Count: 124
Poetry Collection: I Want to Meet Your Light
From I Want to Meet Your Light
Young Love Forever
The old fisherman walks the shore
a bit before the sunset,
steady, patient, and quiet.
His wife has passed away
and his children are grown
and somewhere else
they have lives of their own.
Alone he must make his peace.
He is almost soft and empty enough,
for the fullness of life
to fit and breathe
comfortably inside of him.
But the old fisherman shakes his head
and smiles, a little sad,
as his longing taunts his surrender.
He gently steps along the line
where waves and sand
have playfully wrestled
in young love forever.
Ben Gallup shares results from confronting the most relatable problems of human life: interpersonal connection, loneliness, truth, love, systems of oppression, ecological terror, and more. Gallup goes straight to the heart of things with sincerity, clarity, and insight. You will feel this book.
What my friends…I mean “readers” are saying:
“The poems in this collection are raw and earnest. Often conversational, sometimes beautifully minimal, and always honest. What threads them together is the expression of longing and desire in all of us to connect.”– J. Yoon, Psychotherapist
“Most poetry leaves me unmoved; it doesn’t make me feel anything. Enter Ben Gallup with the most raw, original poetry I’ve read in years. Reading Ben’s poems will rip off emotional scars and twist a knife in your deepest aching, yet somehow leave you buoyed and filled with life. His simple words evoke beauty and love side-by-side with heartache and yearning. His preoccupations are life-and-death matters: rebirth, identity, meaning, alienation, trauma, nostalgia, growth. Ben makes you feel human. Ben makes you feel.”-John Michael, Firefighter
5.5 x 8.5 in or 216 x 140 mm
Perfect Bound on Creme w/Matte Lam
Page Count: 84
Spine Width: 0.20120 in
Weight: 0.261 lbs