This week, both VIIIs groups had the pleasure of hearing from Anne Scott, author of the book The Boy Who Was Bullied.
The Boy Who Was Bullied is a book about a boy named John Humphrey (1905-1995), who had only one arm. Born over a hundred years ago, John Humphrey wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Anne Scott talked a little about her background first, though. From Hampton in New Brunswick, Canada, she was a teacher of math and music before she wrote the book.
Before she began writing the book, she expected to work hard for a year and have it finished by then. She was sorely mistaken. The book was completed in two and a half years. Every time she finished a chapter, she would visit her daughter, who taught English and conveniently lived across the street. Her daughter checked her work. “Every time I finished a chapter, I felt like I had done my best work. Then I would walk over to my daughter’s house down the street, and hand it to her. When I came back the next day and asked, ‘Did you get to read it?’ she would always hand back my chapter with a ton of little edit notes!” said Anne.
She also gave some information about the town of Hampton, New Brunswick. There are only 4,000 people in Hampton. In the very center of the town, there is a circle of benches, one of which has a statue of two John Humphreys, one of him as a boy, and one of him as a man, and they are connected where their missing arm would have been.
There are two big blocks of stone in a park in Hampton. One of them is a fountain and has water dripping down all sides of the block of stone. The stone block next to it, is dry, but it has the Universal Declaration of Human Rights carved into it.
“It is a very peaceful place, and when the weather is nice out, people put their hands in the water, then make hand prints on the dry stone, and they feel a connection with the peace,” said Anne. When I was in the room for part of the talk, all the VIIIs seemed fascinated.