© GUARDIAN PHOTO BY MARY MACKAY
At the age of 12, Hannah MacDougall, who is the daughter of Gary and Shelley MacDougall of Union Road, has written and illustrated three books. Her latest, You’re Too Late, tackles the serious issue of bullying and its consequences.
Hannah MacDougall may be young in years but she’s wise in the way of words.
This 12-year-old Union Road author’s latest book, You’re Too Late, is a fictional story about a young girl being bullied that packs a powerful punch in its true-to-life detail of the very real and lasting consequences of this cruel, harassing action.
“I was trying to raise awareness about bullying to make people realize if you’re bullying someone it might seem like they don’t care but really they do,” says Hannah, who already has two books to her credit, but the subject matter of You’re Too Late definitely differs from her previous story collections.
“There was a lot of bullying at my old school . . . so I thought it would be a good idea to starting writing a bullying story,” says the young author, who from that drew inspiration for her book’s storyline.
“The story kind of unfolded while I was writing. I just got more ideas as I went on. I started writing it a few months ago. It didn’t take me very long to write. It only took me a week,” she says.
You’re Too Late is based on a fictional character named Kathrine and her friend, Amanda, who are transitioning from elementary to intermediate school.
On her first day of Grade 7, things begin to go terribly wrong for Kathrine, who is also in the midst of losing her mother to cancer and has a father who is so blinded by grief he doesn’t realize what is going on in her life.
Day after day the “populars” in school harass her with cruel comments and hurtful texts to the point where Kathrine turns to cutting, as an attempt to redirect the pain.
“She wants to be popular, but she’d starting to get bullied a lot. Her friend, Amanda, ended up with the populars and everything kind of went a little crazy for her,” Hannah says.
“She’s trying to get through it all, but it’s hard because she doesn’t have anyone. Her dad isn’t very supportive or anything.”
Hannah has spoken about her book in her classroom and to others at her school.
“My teacher wanted me to present my book to a couple of classes and talk about my writing. She got me to read a couple of pages from the first chapter of the book,” she says.
Hannah is donating $1 from each book sale to the Kids Help Phone, which has provided her with materials to insert into the books to spread the message about the program.
“I hope that when people read it they will realize that bullying is really bad,” she says.
“If they see someone being bullied they should probably say something, and if they bully people they shouldn’t do it.”
AT A GLANCE
Hannah MacDougall of Union Road published her first book at the age of eight and has been compiling stories since she was three.
She presently has three published books, her latest is You're Too Late, which is a fictional story about bullying that packs a powerful punch in spelling out its very real consequences.
To purchase a book, visit her Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/BeStrongMakeMoneyHaveFun.