Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.
November 30, 2006
The Intuitive-Connections Network

An Intuitive Twist in Children's Fiction
An essay on the book

Kelly Karate Encounters the Moon Princess
By Susan Barnes

By VerDella Denwiddie

I look at the title; “Kelly Karate Encounters the Moon Princess.” I think of my granddaughter who loves to play that she is a princess and I am a queen. I pre-read a bit, to see how death and violence are handled. I see that the language level would be a reach for an 8-year old and am pleased at the prospect.

I look back at the suggested list for developing intuition in children, presented in my previous digest on this webzine, “Nurturing your Child’s intuition.” “Oops,” I think, “no mention about reading fiction here.” Yet, upon re-reading that digest I wonder how I missed the point.

Developing intuition means expanding one’s awareness, honoring intuitive experiences and seeking support from the universal sources. It means fostering loving relationships with loved ones by doing meaningful projects together and by having open and honest discussions. It means building mutual respect, trust and acceptance.

As I read “Kelly Karate,” I see that those factors were the foundation for the continuing relationship between Kelly, the book’s 12-year old heroine, and her recently deceased grandfather. Her maternal grandfather has raised Kelly since she was seven. Her physician mom is in Russia with “Doctors of Hope.” Her parents are divorced and her dad, an engineer, also travels extensively.

Her grandfather was a Grandmaster Karate Champion and Kelly seems to be following his path. During the simple funeral held at her grandfather’s farm, Kelly wistfully thinks about the impact of grandpa’s death and wonders who will take care of her. She runs blindly and alone in her frustration and is met by a blinding storm.

She seeks safety in the storm shelter and is comforted by a sense of grandpa’s presence there. A discovery of an old book and a tumble down concrete steps lands Kelly on a strange path. And grandpa is no where to behold; or is he?

The book is delightful, aimed at 9 to 12-year olds but appropriate for some children either younger or older. I read it aloud to my 8-year old granddaughter. Yes, there is death, but it is dealt with judiciously. Yes, there is action, with karate tournaments and otherworld battles between the good and bad forces. There is suspense as Kelly battles for her life in two worlds.

There are also recurring themes about the continuity of life, of justice prevailing and of God. There are informative discussions of surgical procedures and life-threatening injuries. And, there are the recurrent intuitive episodes that move the action towards a wonderful conclusion, in both worlds.

As the book concludes, I note that it is the encouragement and wisdom of her loving grandfather that foster Kelly’s keen awareness, independence and ability to trust the universal sources for wisdom when grandfather is no longer in the flesh.

This book is fun to read and not at all preachy or sentimental. At the same it teaches children, including those facing difficult situations, that despite the disharmony they see around them or in the world, there is a benevolent universal force that can come to our rescue. We may also harness this force within ourselves to rescue others.

On this note, this fiction book, and others like it may be used as a guide for nurturing intuition in children. And, if the old book Kelly found in the storm cellar is correct, I know there will be others like it.

Postscript: I wanted to know a bit about Susan Barnes, Kelly’s creator, so I posed 3 questions to her. I wanted to know what motivated her to address death of a loved one in a child’s book.

Susan said her own relationship with a grandfather who died unexpectedly when she was young made her want to pass on to other children the message that death is not final. Her grandfather, a wise and patient horse trainer, would visit her in dreams and teach her many things, as he had done while in this life. His teachings also helped to inspire the intuitive and transformative nature of the book.

Susan said: “I felt very strongly the need to impart to kids the idea that death isn’t final, our loved ones don’t stop loving us because the physical body isn’t here…and the importance of having God in their lives to get them through troubled times.”

I then asked Susan how she approached writing children’s fiction.

She responded that she needed to recognize the shorter attention span of many of today’s readers. Television had taught them to expect lots of action but in small bites. By using a dual plot she was able to deal with multiple issues without sacrificing brevity.

One other thing she refused to sacrifice was level of language. Younger readers may ask for help to decipher the meaning of some words and older readers will need to think.

Susan believes that the “dumming down of America,” as well as the drug culture and senseless violence among youth is reinforced when the young brain has “nothing of substance introduced to it; then it searches for other ways to be entertained.” She hopes that the directed energy and moral battles between good and evil forces can help children to mitigate some of more negative displays of their pent up energy.

I asked what role intuition played in Susan’s own background and in writing this book.

“During my childhood and teenage years I attended many conferences by such people as Harold Sherman, Jeanne Dixon, Jack Schwartz… I studied Edgar Cayce and the Silva Mind Control method. I used this knowledge when I sat down to write Kelly Karate.

I modeled the main character after my daughter Kelly. It took me eight years to finish. I would start and stop. Something wasn’t right. I knew it, intuitively. (Finally) I went to take a short nap. In (my) dream, I saw Kelly in a different dimension, side by side with another girl. I reworked the story with a parallel dimension. I do feel that all of us are fighting battles on a subconscious level (and) we feel it.

When Kelly’s Grandfather dies her world is crushed because she really has no bond with her parents. I feel in order to change one’s state, (one) has to change their physiology. Karate is an ancient sport that combines the physical with the mental and spiritual aspects of the whole person.” *

So, Susan writes captivating children’s fiction by writing about meaningful, topical subjects in bite size portions that capture the imagination and strengthen the mental and intuitive muscles. And, Asia, my granddaughter, can’t wait for the next full course meal.

* Editor's note: Susan has written an essay on using intuition in writing for this issue of our webazine.

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