NEWBERRY — History, fun and Newberry College’s own mascot, Scar, collaborate in a book written by Newberry writer Kevin Boozer.
Scar, the Helpful Wolf will be released Saturday morning during Newberry College’s homecoming. There will also be a chance to see the book during an educational conference on Friday morning at the college.
“It was my idea (to write the book),” said Boozer, “It took a little over two years to finish.”
Boozer explains, “I have been writing for children since 2005. I had been writing puppet skits for the church and the Little Lutheran magazine (for children).”
“It’s a great opportunity for the college and also for me,” said Boozer who notes that, “it’s (the book market) is a difficult market to break into.”
That’s why he started writing skits and for the magazine and has also 20 unpublished children’s books that he has written thus far. Then friends urged him to do more.
As for the idea to write the children’s book about Scar, Boozer explains, “When I saw the school was getting a mascot and knew that U.S.C. had Cocky, I started thinking about it. I approached Koerwer (former Newberry College president, Scott Koerwer) and then Cindy Johnson (Newberry College’s education department chair) came along and she had ideas on how we could take it as a college fundraiser. She also got grant funding for the book.”
“This would be sitting in a drawer somewhere if it weren’t for her (Johnson),” said Boozer.
The children’s book is complete with illustrations by Doina Paraschiv which is actually inspired by pictures that Boozer took around campus.
“I took the pictures and emailed her the pictures,” said Boozer and she took off with the drawing.
As for the plot of the book, Boozer says, “I talked with Koerwer and talked with Cindy about character education and about the wolf. We didn’t want the kids to be scared of the wolf so I had him helping out. He helps out a family and in the process, he sees the whole campus.”
The book is not only entertaining but educational with bits of history thrown in as Boozer explains that “there is a hidden sparrow on every page for the kids.”
The sparrow came about because John Bachman was a botanist as well as a founder of the college.
Boozer also says, “There will also be a couple of locals in the book.”
However, people will have to purchase the books to find out who they are.
During the homecoming game on Saturday, Boozer teases by saying, “There will be an influential person at the college that will be honored at the game at halftime.”
Boozer, along with Johnson, will present the book to that influential person and his or her family.
Along with incorporating locals in the book, the book also helps out the children’s literature library room for the Speers Street expansion project.
“Most of the proceeds will go to that,” says Boozer, “which is a driving force behind the project.”
The book will be available at the college’s bookstore on campus and on their website, www.newberry.edu. It is also available on the publisher’s website at www.mascotbooks.com. More places to buy the book are in the works.
However, the author himself will be at the college on Saturday for homecoming signing books between 12:30 and 2 p.m. People may purchase a signed book and have their picture taken with Scar by a professional photographer.
The photographer will email the picture to the person. This package deal costs $20 and cash, check or credit card will be accepted.
Boozer will also have a tent outside the game selling the books, so there will be plenty of chances to catch the author and snag a book.
Boozer is a Newberry College alumni as well as reporter for The Newberry Observer and Winnsboro Herald. He is also a resident of Newberry County.