Intro to On The Rocks
Your parents are going out of town on a business trip. They are considering letting you, a middle school age boy, stay home with your nineteen-year-old, college age brother. They set down many rules for both of you to follow, including not having any friends over.
Right away, you realize that your brother does not plan to keep the rules. He shows you that he has the key to the liquor cabinet; he has a group of friends over; he has spent most of the money your parents have left, and he is planning a party along with a friend down the street.
When you decide to go to the party with your friend Kyle, you will be asked to make certain choices. Will you drink at the party? Will you go to the store along with an older guy who plans to steal beer? Will you run home before you are faced with more hard choices? If you choose to drink, will you also choose to get into a car along with your drunk older brother?
These are just a few of the many choices you will be asked to make. On the Rocks is about underage drinking. This book is recommended for grades 5 through 8.
What are Readers Saying About the Book?
I liked On the Rocks. Jill Vanderwood paints a very real picture of what it means to make the wrong choice. On the Rocks was fun to read for all the different endings. I found myself reliving each one, only to be led to a life-changing conclusion. Moments of shock, relief, and fear wash over you. It has a very real-life lesson behind it: Choices have consequences. Books like this are perfect for young adults searching for answers to peer pressure. Simply as a guide, this is very well done. I would give this to young adults with confidence and let them see what their choices might lead to. Overall, I have to say I’m impressed that this book still had an impact on adult me as it would have on teenage me.Anelynde Smit
This is a valuable resource aimed at grade 5-8 readers to help them make wise choices regarding alcohol. The stories consider different aspects of trust, like the thrust the parents have in leaving their young teens alone for the weekend versus the trust that your friend wouldn’t give you something bad, would they? There’s also the trust issue of whether or not it’s safe to ride in a car driven by a drunk driver: can you trust the person just because he/she is related to you or is a friend?Emily-Jane Hills Orford
There are also issues addressed like how you acquire the alcohol: do you steal it from the store? Or your parents liquor cabinet? With thirteen possible endings to the initial opening scenario, the reader is left with many possible paths to choose and where these paths might lead, all the while remembering that every choice you make has a consequence.
Excerpts from On The Rock
You decide to walk home and sleep it off.
Is this what it’s like to be drunk? You can’t even see straight.
Jaxon offers to take you for a ride to sober up. Even in a drunken state, you remember your brother and Tom having a drinking contest in the other room. He’s probably even more drunk than you are.
You know it’s not safe to ride in a car with a driver who’s been drinking, so you tell your brother, “No. I’m just going to walk home and sleep it off.”
You stagger into Kyle’s kitchen to see what’s going on. Before going out the back door, you grab a bottle of wine to drink later.
You don’t remember how much you had to drink, but you’ve never seen the world spin like this when you were sober.
You stumble out of Kyle’s house without your coat. First, you fall down the steps, banging your head on the sidewalk. Then you teeter down the road in the wrong direction. You know you must have a house around here somewhere.
This can’t be right. You know you live in a red brick house.
You pass a blue house, then red, yellow, white, and brown houses.
You stop by the tree in front of a tan house on the corner.
Dogs are barking up and down the street. It’s very cold, with frost forming on the grass. Trying to stop everything from spinning, you fall to the ground, breaking the wine bottle you’re still holding in your hand. You have cut your hand. Not realizing that you have hurt yourself, you watch as wine and blood mingle on the ground around you. Then you start to barf.
Falling forward into the mess of blood, wine and barf, you knock over a metal trash can. The sound echoes through the night.
A young boy, about eight years old, finds you passed out in a heap, lying in your own mess. The cold night air freezes your barf along with small pieces of glass to your face. The boy shakes you, and when you don’t move, he runs to get his father. Your breathing is very shallow, and even though you are unconscious, you are shivering.
The next thing you know, you are in an ambulance racing toward the hospital. Everything is blurry. The words you hear are strange.
“…almost died. If we hadn’t found him when we did. His .08 BAC combined with the weather and not wearing a coat can be deadly to a boy this age. Too young to handle liquor. No one is looking for him?”
Could they be talking about you?
One ambulance attendant clears your air passages and heaps warm blankets on top of you. Someone is speaking in muffled words.
Another attendant cleans the broken glass from your face.
“Under the best weather conditions, a person with alcohol poisoning can get hypothermia,” she says.
Now someone else is talking. “His breathing is slow. We need to administer oxygen.”
You pass out and wake up in the hospital. Now a doctor is attending to you in the emergency room. You blink your eyes, but it’s useless. Your vision is so blurry. Your head is pounding, and you continue to barf. The doctor checks your vitals. He’s talking to a nurse in the room.
A nurse notices blood coming from your hand. She checks and finds that you have several deep cuts with glass inside. She cleans it up as well as she can for the moment, but the doctor decides that it’s more important to treat you for alcohol poisoning.
Mom’s Choice Award Winning Author, Jill Ammon Vanderwood would like to present an assembly at your school for students in grades 5-8.
The title of the book is On the Rocks—which asks the question: What would you do if a friend your age offered you alcohol?
I have witnessed the effect of alcoholism on three generations of my family beginning in most cases, with underage drinking. I want to get my message out to make a difference for the next generation. What impacts our younger generations impacts us all.
- Did you know that 10% of middle school kids in North Carolina have tried alcohol by the eighth grade? By the age of 15 that percentage jumps to 50%.
- Out of those under age 21:
- 29% drank alcohol.
- 14% binge drank.
- 5% of drivers drove after drinking alcohol.
- 17% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
- Six people die each day from alcohol poisoning.
- Binge drinking is the most common practice that causes alcohol poisoning.
These topics and more will be covered in the presentations given by Jill Ammon Vanderwood in talks with 5th-8th graders across the nation.
- The author presents a PowerPoint presentation on the topic of Underage Drinking.
- The program begins by the introduction to the topic, how it has impacted the author and her family and how it may impact each person in the room.
- The author will give out I’ve Got Your Back cards for kids to exchange with someone. Each card asks for both names and when they exchange, they are asked to perform three acts of kindness for the other person. The reason for these cards it to build up friendships where you can look out for each other.
- This presentation will also include either a binge eating contest between a student and faculty member—eating cereal, a hamburger, pizza or a taco.
The cost for my program
Because I need to travel to your area, (I live in Idaho) the cost for my program will be $700 dollars for the day, per school, as long as I can present to multiple schools in your district. Ahead of the program date, I will be asking each student to purchase an e-book at the cost of $2.99 through Amazon, which will download immediately to a phone, tablet, or Kindle. For students who cannot afford a copy of the book, I will email a PDF copy to your school librarian so that the librarian can allow students to have access to that download before the presentation.
My charitable partner is, No Kid Hungry. I am working to get paying sponsors who can provide books for students. I will let you know if this change takes place.
I would like to offer a presentation to the faculty and even parents the evening before I present to the students. This will be the same presentation as the one given to students the next day. I will ask for each person attending to download the Kindle book before the presentation.
I will ask the school to post an article about my presentation in a school newsletter and on the school webpage ahead of the presentation and I will contact the media ahead of my presentation, as well.
My contact information
Please put School presentation in the subject line