Here is the article that appeared on the newspaper “La Prealpina” for the presentation of Horse Sense at the Cavagliano Riding Club here in Italy. A big thank you to Roberta Gentini for having organized the even and having me there, to Daniela Enzio for her precisou help and to Carolina Manazza for her professionalism as host of the event. Below the picture you find the translation.
BELLINZAGO. The story is that of a deep friendship between Jamie, 11, and Acorn, a horse. But he speaks out about his abusive teacher, his affection for Acorn becomes the “justification ” to be mocked and picked on. He decides to leave the horse, but understands that conforming to the mass is not what he really wants. This is the theme of “Horse Sense ” (which in English also means “having common sense, ed), written by director, screenwriter and author Lapo Melzi, who works between Milan and the U.S., recently presented at the Cavagliano Riding Club. A location not chosen at random, since one of its horses appears on the cover and in his eyes you can see the semblances of some young riders who train there. The book, however, is first of all a reflection on bullying, a phenomenon that nowadays has been on the frontline in local and national news. The book wants to emphasize the ability to overcome judgments. “The novel is based for the most part on what happened to me when I was 13 years old. The teacher has the same characteristics of the one I had. Jamie is me when I was that age– said the author during the presentation–the theme is that of bullying: It is important to give voice to these situations. Fortunately, now we talk about bullying more openly, though often in a mostly theoretical way. There are many different forms of bullying. Jamie is a very open boy and ends up being bullied because he always speaks his mind. I hope that both kids and adults who read the book may have the opportunity to appreciate what it means and can understand better certain dynamics. The real problem are the people who allow the bullies to be as such. It ‘s not so much the fault of those who beats up or do other things to others, but of the ones who stand around and do nothing to prevent it from happening.” Even the deep connection with the horses that the protagonist has in the book is autobiographical: “the bond with an animal for me is something really beautiful and can become very deep, because it does not require words, but only listening, and creates a very strong affinity. The affection of an animal is a lifeline for people in need.” The aim of the author is to make known the text in schools, to facilitate a conversation on bullying. Lapo Melzi , however, is already working on another book, a sort of modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. “Horse Sense” was published first in English and then in Italian: it arrived on the U.S. market in April and has already received positive reviews from many blogs. Cavagliano was the official presentation of the Italian version. The book is available on Amazon. More information at http://www.lapomelzi.wordpress.com. Thanks to a collaboration with an illustrator, book related gadgets are also available on Zazzle .