Sunny’s Story, written by Ginger Katz is a drug prevention book for all ages. It is a compelling story for children, teenagers, parents, grandparents, teachers and more. Sunny’s Story tells of joyful times and sad times, and of how a dog’s best friend was needlessly lost to drug abuse.
It is narrated through the eyes, ears and mind of Sunny, the family beagle. The story tells the ups and downs of life with his young master Ian, beginning with their meeting at an animal shelter, and ending with a futile effort to ward off disaster
Sunny’s Story is read at many dinner tables across the country, in schools, libraries, as part of Courage to Speak® Drug Prevention Curricula for elementary, middle and high school students as well as a standalone book for children of all ages, parents, grandparents, teachers and professionals in the field of treatment and prevention.
Adult Comments About Sunny’s Story
I read your article regarding Ginger Katz and her foundation – The Courage to Speak and want to share my thoughts with you on how wonderful a person and organization you have come across. Ginger has been speaking to children in our middle school for years now. I can tell you that the kids listen to her. She has a way of reaching them when she tells Ian’s story. She is bold, honest, loving and the kids know it and trust her. I’ve had 4 children hear her speak many times over the years. We keep a copy of “Sunny’s Story” in our family room on the bookshelf where we see it everyday.
Ginger and the foundation also run a fabulous workshop for parents each year in Norwalk that is well attended and appreciated. It would be a welcome addition to your community, too.
I hope that you can get to her presentation and promote and follow-up with the foundation. They are most deserving of support.
a parent, Norwalk, CT
Dear Mrs. Katz:
I attended the assembly at Columbus School with my class (I teach Sheryl _________ former 6th graders). I can’t tell you how moved I was by your presentation.
I read Sunny’s Story with the class and supervised their letters and questions to you. I also spent several days engaging them in discussions involving the many lessons that can be found in your story. While the discussions were good and their observations and inquires were focused on important issues, I didn’t know how the children would react to hearing the story “live”. I can tell you, you made an impact on our students. I never saw an assembly where our students (let alone our 6th grades) we so spellbound. They heard and were touched by your story. After lunch we spent the entire afternoon speaking about Ian and you and Larry and your presentation.
As for me, I had chills throughout most of the assembly. The pain you still feel is obviously evident and I my eyes welled up more than once. Yet, I was also awestruck by your courage and honesty. I never met anyone so gracious and generous regarding so personal an issue. Then it struck me towards the end of your talk that you truly honor your son but what you and Larry are doing.
Thank you is too small a word for what you shared with us today, so I will ask God to bless you and your family and the work you are doing and I will pray that Ian is at peace and looking down on his mother and beaming with pride.
6th Grade Teacher
Hi, “My class read it last Friday and wrote some summaries/responses to it. They absolutely LOVED it. Some borrowed a copy over the weekend to share and read again. We also had an in-class discussion about drug use and the many negative effects.” Mrs. ___ Grade 6 Teacher
Hi “I have finished the book with my students. I am working on a “Response to Literature” with my kids-we are also planning on writing letters to the author because we were so affected by this story.” Mrs. ___, Grade 6 teacher
“This important book for students and parents dramatically brings to life the destructive power of drugs in our society today. It is a must read. Sunny and Ian’s parents have provided all of us a great service by having “The Courage to Speak” and deserve our deep gratitude”
CT State Representative Toni Boucher
Ginger: Last weekend, appropriately enough Memorial Day, I had a chance to read Sunny’s Story. I apologize for the delay but this has been a hectic last several months for me. I just completed a doctoral degree at George Mason University here in Virginia and the chores of doing that and getting it over with consumed almost every waking moment I had for awhile, and then some. I found the book to be very inspiring and something that captures the reader’s interest immediately. It conveys a powerful and necessary message about the perils of drug abuse without lecturing or trying to scare the reader. Telling the story from the perspective of a family pet was a very creative and effective mechanism for explaining the inexplicable. The accompanying photos of Ian and his many accomplishments brought the words to life and gave meaning and context to the lessons learned. You are brave and kind to be giving this message to other parents out there who need to know that drug abuse can strike anyone at any time and with tragic consequences. This is a haunting story that makes one want to do as much as possible to make sure no other family or parent will ever experience this type of calamity.
Thank you for sharing it with me and best wishes.
John J. Coleman PhD
Drug Watch International
I wanted to give you some feedback on your book.
I purchased a book. My family has read it and then I passed it on to a coworker who read it.
Another coworker saw the book and asked about it so I bought her one. She read it as well as her husband. She gave the book to another coworker who read it and then gave it to her 19 year old daughter to read. The daughter read it and now has passed it on to her friends to read. Everyone who reads has been touched.
God bless you Ginger for taking on this endeavor, it is an awesome tool to use against our fight against drugs and alcohol.
Your hard work is making a difference.
I read “Sunny” and thought it excellent— I ordered about five more copies. Gave one to my daughter for her two sons (and daughter, who is only 8 years old now)—plan to give her another to take to her school (and encourage school to get additional copies). Plan to do the same with my daughter-in-law when they come up this summer. Then plan to take the other two to local school districts—haven’t had a chance to do that yet.
Much appreciation for all your excellent contributions toward drug-free youth.
I got your book and read it right away. It is beautifully written and perfectly suitable for kids and adults alike. I couldn’t help but weep as I felt your anguish at that terrible loss and the knowledge that it’s continuing to happen to about 3,000 other families every month throughout this nation.
Although I had heard the story from you previously, Sunny’s Story filled in the gaps and made me understand once again that such tragedies are not the parents’ fault as so many people mistakenly believe. But those tragedies originate primarily from druggie friends who lure the kid into trying the drugs which too often turns into addiction. Your book confirms my belief that drug using children are like “Typhoid Marys” among their school mates in that if addiction is a disease, the drug using and drug pushing kids are the source of spreading that disease. I have written about that concept in the attached paper intended to promote RSDT as the solution to these horrific widespread family tragedies.
While your book is an extremely valuable lesson for kids, it should be a must read for every parent in America who needs to know that no matter how well they believe they are protecting their child, the evil influence of drugs is capable of capturing their kid any time and any place. When enough people realize that and insist that schools eliminate the influence of drugs by using RSDT and applying it to all kids, we may finally see the problem end as Salk Vaccine ended the deadly and crippling epidemic of polio in this nation.
Your book is an answer to prayer: it puts a real face on the terrible statistics of drug related death. I hope it gets many favorable book reviews and becomes a best seller as a very important contribution to the nation’s understanding of the evil of youth drug use and its terrible consequences for families. God bless you and Larry, and thanks again,
My son took the book to his school and read it. His class mates were so interested that he left it there for other students to read. I asked him what did he think about the book, and he said it was a good book. I lend the book to my therapist and she said it was a great book.