This special guest post, titled For The Educators, was republished with the author’s permission from her site, Ben’s Adventures.
Benjamin Robert Gerlach loved being outside with the sun in his face and the wind in his hair. He was a triplet, brother, son, friend, student and church-goer. He was also a young boy living with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. But this didn’t define him. He loved lights, toys, movement, noises, his preschool class, his brother and sister, and his mommy and daddy.
He had many challenges in his short life but lived every day with a smile on his face. After a two-year fight with multiple respiratory illnesses, Ben lost his battle on May 2, 2016. Ben’s Adventures book series is dedicated to Benjamin and shows that everyone can have an adventure. And despite medical and physical differences, all kids can play and dream.
Ben’s mom, Elizabeth, was inspired to develop the Ben’s Adventures series as a tribute to her son, allowing him to live on and share that even though his short life was a struggle, he was a little boy first … with friends, dreams, and a love for his family and his life.
In spring 2017, Elizabeth launched the Ben Smiles Memorial Foundation (www.BenSmiles.org) to spread Ben’s story, his smile and to support their community through gifts and acts of service. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will go to Ben Smiles.
Ben’s next adventure book launches Summer 2019. The preorder is available on Kickstarter now.
For The Educators
When I started thinking about developing a children’s book series late 2017, I jotted down a list of possible stories and where I thought it might go. And I knew I wanted it to reflect and pull from our own experiences as a family and Ben’s personal experiences, honoring him and his time here. The first book was about our time spent at the beach as a family. I grew up going to the beach. My kids have been to the beach several times, and Ben even played in the sand and dipped his legs in the Atlantic.
For his next adventure launching this summer, I wanted to honor his school experience.
And my Benjamin had a wonderful experience with a preschool team who loved him and cared for him and addressed his needs. In this next book, our character Ben is at school having a great day when his vivid imagination takes him (and us as readers!) to the circus. His class is so fun, he dreams it’s like a circus.
This next book is dedicated to all teachers who love our kids, accept them as they are, want them to succeed and hence do their best for them every day all year long. The special ones give them opportunity and love and work hard to identify and understand each child’s needs and ensure the best care and growth. This book is for them.
To answer some immediate questions –
When will it launch? The final manuscript is currently with the illustrator and will be drawn over the course of the next several weeks. We should have a final book in mid-May. The printing does take some time so I’m expecting to be able to have printed copies mid-summer.
How can I support now or when can I buy it? I am an indie-author and that means I absorb the development, printing and marketing costs out of pocket. I am planning to do a Kickstarter in April that will have various reward levels where you can pre-order the book AND have access to exclusive kickstarter-only rewards. It will also be available for pre-order on my website starting in May. And then on Amazon later the summer once it publishes.
And please share. Sharing is caring. Share this post. Share other posts. Invite your friends to like my Ben’s Adventures Facebook page. Follow me on Instagram. Share your experience with others – if you have the first book, please leave a review on my Amazon page. All of this will help me to gain traction as I’m ramping up to launch book two.
To preorder the second book on Kickstarter, click here.
Thank you for reading. But … Get outside! It’s a beautiful day to have an adventure!