The Greenlee Project – Author Guest Post

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THE GREENLEE PROJECT

by Amanda M. Thrasher

Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary / Cyber-bullying

Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press

Date of Publication: October 31, 2015

Number of Pages: 206

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Social media, cruel jokes, and bitter betrayal – watch your teens!

Greenlee Lynn Granger is about to find out how easily social media can be used as a malicious tool: a normal teen one day and ruined the next. Who knew a boy’s affections would turn her life into such a nightmare? Becoming a designated ‘project,’ a joke in front of the whole school, turns Greenlee’s life upside down. Relationships with her family and friends strained, she is forced to make mature decisions. Greenlee knows her choices will determine the future of her abusers.

An emotional glimpse into the reality of cyber-bullying, The Greenlee Project showcases the all-too-common anonymous and cruel betrayals of others through social media, of such magnitude that it devastates a young teen, her friends, family, and the community. Cyber-bullying affects not just the victims, but everyone around them. After being the target of cyber-bullying, what Greenlee does next is shocking.

Praise for The Greenlee Project

“The Greenlee Project is a touching and chilling cautionary tale that every teen should read. Amanda Thrasher gives us interesting and compelling characters, a well-crafted plot, and a breathless pace. Her teens are so real that you will feel you know them personally. Teens will find The Greenlee Project a compelling read and a helpful guide, while adults will see the challenges today’s teens face. This is a grand and important story.” — David A. Bedford, Ph.D. Instructor of Spanish at TCU

“The Greenlee Project is a captivating fictional story addressing critical real-life issues that tweens and teens face today. Bullying and cyber-bullying are part of our society today that has had tragic consequences for many. Amanda Thrasher, is a talented author, who has delivered a story that is both compelling and also thought-provoking. You can feel the emotions of each of the characters as the story unfolds along this journey. It will leave you with the desire to change the world around you and to talk to others about the increasing severity of bullying and cyber-bullying. With the discussion questions included, this is an excellent choice for book-clubs and middle school language arts classes. Such a critical and important story. – Lisa Robinson – NSC

“The Greenlee Project is a wonderful book about a terrible subject. It’s hard to read this book without feeling sad, then angry, then empathetic, then proud.” – Sherry Leigh Rummel

“I was blown away by The Greenlee Project. You hear so much about bullying and things that teenagers deal with online these days. It’s been a few week since I finished the book, and I’m still thinking about how real the characters are. You feel like you could meet any of them at any high school any where. This book is great for any age group, but teens and their parents should definitely read The Greenlee Project.” – E. Nieman

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GuestPost

Why I Wrote The Greenlee Project

Guest Post By Amanda Thrasher

I cannot begin to describe how difficult it was for me to write this book, The Greenlee Project. It took me to a dark place, as a writer, and at times as a person. I became more of a recluse than I appear to be. Typical for writers; but I’m not a recluse. As an author and a publisher, I truly am busy. Why was this piece so hard to write? Moreover, what inspired it?

I was haunted for years by the Amanda Todd case, as a parent, who would not be? However, as the years passed and kids had access to social media tools, bullying started reeling out of control. Suicides started popping up in the news. Unfortunately for a long time, as a society, we became desensitized to the harmful damage that words could cause until kids started killing themselves over texts. It happened to be affecting mainly tweens and teens. I have girls the age (or at the time) of the kids in The Greenlee Project. I started paying attention to what my kids were doing and how their friends were acting and those around them. When they would have arguments with their so-called friends, which got nastier over texts, and eventually parents would have to get involved, I realized two major things. 1) Kids were hiding behind their phones, Ipads, and social media, and 2) they were stronger and crueler when hiding behind those devices. Both things disgusted me.

The final straw, the one that broke the camel’s back per se, was when I realized with 100% certainty that the kids themselves honestly didn’t understand the damage they were causing. Why? 1) They had no idea how deeply the wounds were that they causing (I didn’t mean it became their standard response), and most importantly 2) They were still kids. Often, good kids. This disturbed me as much as the bullying at times. When great kids get pulled into stupid activities over social media or tools, within minutes, their lives are forever tainted. Social media devices in the hands of kids who don’t know how to use them can be so dangerous. Kids have become desensitized over several years it would seem, due to tv, media, and music to name a few things. Saying things such as, “Drink bleach and die,” as a way to be funny or hateful depending on whom they said it too and why. So what on earth was going on and what could we do?

I set about to write a piece that I hoped would hit home and deliver a message that could impact teens and make them think. One that would showcase the damage that social media could inflict upon not just the victim, which is horrific, but the family, friends, community, the person who is the bully and that family if not used correctly. The lives ruined if used to harm, and the consequences of such.

During my research, I visited schools, football games, spoke with teens, tweens, and paid attention to what our kids are doing with their phones, tablets, iPad, etc. I cannot even begin to claim to understand the tools they know how to use because they change daily. Apps that do not show up on your data plans. As parents, we likely wouldn’t know how to use them anyway. The things I found out during research would send chills down your spine. I cannot stress enough the damage tweens and teens instill upon each other with their words, snap-chat, videos, etc. It is awful, and that is sometimes when they like each other. Our kids believe they are invincible, and that is a terrifying thought.

Greenlee could be any kid in any town, anywhere in America. A normal teen, until one day she wasn’t.

I sincerely hope you enjoy my work.

Amanda M. Thrasher

AboutTheAuthor

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Multiple Award Winning Author Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England, moved to Texas and resides there still. Author of several children’s books including picture books, middle-grade chapter books, YA and even a reader’s theater titled “What If . . . A Story of Shattered Lives.” She conducts workshops, writes a blog and contributes to an online magazine. She’s a multiple Gold recipient of the Mom’s Choice Awards for The Greenlee Project, YA and General Fiction, and for Spider Web Scramble, a Mischief book. As Chief Executive Officer of Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, she assists authors with their work and shares her writing process and what she has learned as a publisher with people of all ages.

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