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New YA novel that centers on a little girl dealing with the violence and substance abuse in her family

07-18-2016 10:31 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Lis Anna-Langston

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Lis Anna-Langston


Lis Anna-Langston launches new YA Novel Tupelo Honey that centers on a little girl dealing with the violence and substance abuse in her family.

Publishers Weekly has this to say about TUPELO HONEY.

"A humorous, unconventional family yarn about a young girl navigating a hardscrabble upbringing in northern Mississippi. She divinely lays out the framework and quirky intricacies of growing up in a house only “slightly better than an orphanage,” her days spent chattering with imaginary friend Moochi, and navigating sleepovers at her pious, curmudgeonly grandmother Marmalade and mentally unstable Uncle Randall’s ramshackle house. Things change when her mother, a callous, irresponsible junkie, brings home Nash, a paranoid local drug dealer whom Tupelo surprisingly bonds with during treacherous expeditions to New York and Mexico. Through bong smoke-filled hallways at home, the pageantry of kiddie beauty contests, Sunday School, and spying on Nash burying his stockpiles of drug money in the backyard, Tupelo somehow survives. A loveable, engaging, original voice, Tupelo brightens this accomplished tale of dysfunction in a family where “nothing had ever been right.”

TUPELO HONEY is a work of fiction based on the Author's conflicts with addiction, substance abuse and mental illness in her own family. It is important that children and teens know they are not alone in the issues, that you can escape cycles. Help is available but comes only when you ask and sometimes only when you demand. These are important times and important social issues. Cycles of abuse perpetrate more cycles of abuse. Children who feel safe and loved flourish. Families full of love take many forms and we need to be vigilant in making sure children have the tools to succeed in life. This starts with knowledge, education and the belief that everyone be treated with respect and equality.

Dana Cox, operations director at Ashby House, a family shelter in Salina, said she's also seeing demand for services outstrip supply. "Increased public awareness may be playing a role," she said. "Mental health is a huge issue. Substance abuse is too, definitely.”

Magistrate Judge Ann Dixson, who presides over most of the foster care caseload in Dodge City, said she's noticed an increase in the number of criminal drug-possession charges filed against adults whose children were present at the time of their arrest. "That is a grave concern, to know that children are in a house where needles and drugs are present. It is neglect for these kids to grow up having no concept of what a normal healthy family is, thinking that drugs being out on the table is just the way it is. The severity of cases is up," she said. "The resources for responding to that severity are down.”

Boys and girls become runaways at an equal pace – each gender accounts for 50% of the runaway population, although some studies show 75% of runaways are girls. 40% of kids that end up in shelters or out on the street come from families that have either received public assistance or live in housing that is public assisted. 46 percent of runaway and homeless youth reported being physically abused, 38 percent reported being emotionally abused. Many youth run away, and in turn become homeless, due to problems in the home, including physical and sexual abuse, mental health disorders of a family member, substance abuse and addiction of a family member, and parental neglect.

The leading causes of neglect are poverty, poor social skills, substance abuse, depression, misconceptions about child development and a lack empathy.

Books are bridges that offer support. Tupelo Honey is available for purchase here on Amazon.

Visit the author's website for more information.

New book launch.

383 Jayson Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15228

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