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District staffer writes her first children book

Book relates how positivity can counter the negative

Jan Giel wanted her book – published in August – to shine a light on how positive attitudes can make all the difference.

The longtime community outreach coordinator for the township school district has published her first children’s book after years of hard work.

Jan Giel’s “Negative Ed” is about a young boy named Ed and his mother, who wants to take him out to play. Throughout the book – published in August – Ed comes up with   reasons for staying in bed all day, but once his mother convinces him the world isn’t so bad, he sees things differently.

“It took about a year for it to all come together, but it has been very rewarding and I have learned a lot,” said Giel, who’s been writing for 30 years. “Positivity is a perspective and negativity can be so exhausting. I learned years ago that frame of mind is all about perspective.”

Giel got the idea to finally publish her story after speaking with a colleague who   published two books himself. After realizing the process was not as difficult as she imagined, Girl hit the ground running. Her publisher is Fulton Books, which enabled her to devise how the book would look. An illustrator provided ideas on what to include, with special hidden gems representing the author’s hometown.

“I had to give a shoutout to Pittsburgh, because I am from there,” Giel noted, referring to the city’s sports teams. “You will notice in (Ed’s) room images of the Penguins, the Steelers and the Pirates. I wanted to keep it simple.”

According to Giel, the idea behind the book came from her positive personality, one her mother said followed her out of the womb. Giel used that positive outlook to give other negative influences a different perspective, which is how she hopes Ed’s mother will be perceived. 

“I think it’s a very uplifting story and good for grades three through five, because it is good to get to kids early,” Giel explained. “They are capable of a lot of things, and their attitude affects a lot of things and a lot of people. 

“Negative Ed” is available at goodreads.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


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