Children’s book about overcoming adversity

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 19, 2008

For Lipsey Middle School counselor Deborah Bowman, a trip to thebeach many years ago was the inspiration for the book she’ll besigning at the school Monday.

Monday’s book signing of “Skyla the One-Legged Seagull” was from2 until 4 p.m. in the library. Bowman said the inspiration camefrom watching seagulls on the beach.

“I was at Myrtle Beach and watching the seagulls, and they standon one leg, so it looks like they only have one leg,” she said. “Iactually wrote it 15 years ago, a long time ago.”

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Bowman said the children’s story is one of overcoming difficultyand finding a place in the world. She said Skyla, the maincharacter in the story, had her leg bitten off by a sea turtle as ayoung bird and must learn to live with one leg.

“She’s the only one-legged seagull on the block, and she had tofind her talents that she has that she doesn’t need two legs for,”Bowman said. “It’s about how she develops her self-esteem andlearns to make friends. And at one point she thinks she’ll never beable to fly, but she can.”

The theme idea is one that can apply to physical disability,emotional insecurities or any kind of perceived shortcoming.

“That’s what they asked at the publishing company, did I have aphysical disability. But this is from a self-esteem angle, too,”she said. “You don’t have to have a physical disability, you canhave an emotional disability, and that can keep you from reachingyour potential as well. It came from that perspective.”

Bowman has been in the Brookhaven School District for 15 years.She has been a counselor at Lipsey for about 10 years.