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Liberty Elementary teacher publishes children’s book

As an elementary school teacher, Brandi Roper often wrote alongside her students and had them help her with her stories as a way to teach them. Through that writing time, Roper has published her first book, "Mazie and the Mysterious Hedge: A Lesson in Forgiveness.”

Now the media specialist at Liberty Elementary School, Roper said she began writing about Mazie seven years ago with her fifth grade classes. She would have them help her with storyline, grammar, and editing. It was a way to teach them what they needed to know and to use her own creativity.

The book is about a little mouse named Mazie who ends up with her feelings being inadvertently hurt by her friends. With a wall going up around her heart, a hedge begins growing around her garden, cutting her off from the outside world.

“She built her own prison,” Roper said. “But she had to learn to forgive her friends. I wanted to communicate with children that unforgiveness only hurts you, not others.”

In the story, Mazie discovers that while the garden inside her hedge is beautiful, she is lonely and misses the beauty of her friendships.

Roper said she was inspired by scripture that says love keeps no record of wrongs, but that people often do keep a record in their heads, needing to forgive those who might have hurt them in the past. While there is no mention of God or the Bible in the story, Roper said it has a very uplifting message.

“It’s like a parable, a lesson to teach forgiveness and heal hurts,” Roper said.

The book is illustrated with colorful gardens and characters and is aimed at children with a fourth grade reading level, or to be read aloud by a teacher or parent for younger children.

Roper lives in Norris, and she is married and is the proud mother of three children. She hopes to develop more children’s stories in the future.

"Mazie and the Mysterious Hedge: A Lesson in Forgiveness" is now available to purchase on Amazon and other major book retailers.