Raising the bar: Liam Kelly with a copy of the book, 'Worried William' Image Credit: Supplied

ABU DHABI: Buoyed by the success of his first book, Abu Dhabi based Irish teacher Liam Kelly, 39, is all set to release the second edition of his book Worried William later this summer.

Based on the travails of nine-year-old William, the book focuses on the internal conflicts the child faces in school.

In the 21-part series, Liam narrates the struggles of William as he copes with bullying, pressure, lack of confidence and other adolescent issues in school.

For a child emotional wellbeing is just as important as physical wellbeing.”

 - Liam Kelly, author

“The first book was released last year and was very well received. Many kids and parents came up to me saying they could relate to William. I hope by the end of the project we can help people understand that emotional well-being is just as important as physical well-being,” said Liam, head of Year Five at Diyafah International School in Abu Dhabi.

Poetic impact

Over the past few months, many people have expressed their views about the book on Liam’s Facebook page.

“Some wrote poems on mental health issues which have been sent to my publisher and will be featured in another 21-part book series. A woman has ordered 12 copies of the book so that she could donate them to schools in Africa. I was so touched by her gesture that I have decided to give her 24 books,” said Liam. A part of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to child mental health charities.

Liam said the book is rooted in the worries and anxieties he felt while growing up. “As a child, I would hide my emotions from everyone around me. It was my choice to do so as I didn’t want my mum to think that I was weak. Recently I explained all this to her and confessed that I just didn’t know how to open up. Children are reluctant to talk about their daily struggles unless they know that they will be heard and not judged about how they feel,” he said. The second book sees William go on a field trip with his class for a few nights. It highlights how vulnerable children can be in the build-up to an event and pressures they face from their peers.

The series will end with Wonderful William where the now 16-year-old protagonist has overcome his worries.

The Worried William books are published by Austin Macaulay and are priced Dh41. They can be ordered via amazon.com.

For more info visit www.facebook.com/worriedwilliam