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ROGER: HOW TO BE A HERO is a graphical novel with 44 colorful pages for children between 7 and 13 years of age. It tells the story of a sick child named Roger. At the beginning, it seems as if “Morbus”, who embodies the sickness of Roger as a villain, will take control. But then Roger finds the strength and the courage to defeat Morbus. This way, he not only heals but becomes a superhero himself.
Our biggest goal is to activate the self-efficacy feeling of the young, sick readers. Therefore, the child gets the feeling that it is not helplessly exposed to its sickness but can contribute to its fate. Furthermore, we offer the possibility of identification, give hope and courage, and let them feel that they are not alone. These children should be able to laugh again, feel empowered, and, in this way, positively influence their course of sickness. Also, children that are not sick, who sometimes feel left out, are bullied, or suffer from a lack of self-confidence and need a role model can find themselves in this book. Ultimately, it is about motivating all children and showing them that they can always find something positive about their life.
With the support of Prof. Dr. Phil. Markus Landolt (associate professor, leading psychologist at the children’s hospital in Zurich), we have created a book, which deals with typical issues of everyday life of sick children and demonstrates how they can be overcome. When children suffer from chronical sicknesses, the entire family suffers because of this. Our story integrates psychologically relevant factors and offers support to many of those involved.
We would like to reach as many children as possible in this exciting and, for us, meaningful way and demonstrate that they can become a self-determined superhero with their endless imagination and this children’s book in their hand. Children deserve to feel good. We can all be winners. Sometimes we only need the right tool for it. Sometimes we just need... a book.
THE BOOK IN DETAIL
Visual storytelling gives abstract things, such as sickness, fear, and fate, a face and makes it possible to work through them. A sickness can be extremely destructive and takes away the possibility of the child to feel normal.
A children’s book: We cannot imagine a better medium for this vital job! We give the readers a bound book, so that they can feel, touch, and carry it around as their personal, empowering tool. To keep up with the times, there will also be a digital version available for download. The book features more than 40 colorful pages that are child-friendly but also very modern and is relatable through popular cartoons and comics.
Another unique feature of this project is that we offer children the opportunity to feel empowered through mental training. Roger begins meditating during his path to recovery. Our soon available meditation for download can make a positive impact when the children are alone - when the visitation hours are over and those difficult moments arise. Just as Roger strengthens his body, so he strengthens his mind by listening- ultimately thinking more positively and becoming healthier.
WHAT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO US
Each child that needs a book should be allowed to have its own. So that it can always have its personal toolbox for getting better, even after being discharged or only treated as an outpatient.
HOW WE INCLUDE THE CHILDREN
Children in our environment and at the hospital are always included in the development process of character design. We spent an accordingly long time adjusting the figures or even drawing them completely new again. The opinion of the children is extremely important to us because it ultimately determines if our target group experiences an identification with the protagonists. We would like to know how they feel while reading.
The story is based on an experience of the initiator Roger Keller. In 2008, he almost died due to a deadly sickness called Morbus Wegener. Not only did he survive, but he defied everything that was supposed to be denied to him forever. He lived and miraculously became completely healthy again and had children. Since then, it has been his wish to call the world’s attention to the fact that mental strength can really move mountains!
WHEN WILL IT BE FINISHED?
We are counting with 6 more months until we can print and distribute the books to the Kinderspital Zürich.
Would you like to support us as a patron, sponsor, or otherwise?
We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your time and your interest!