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Graduate Tackles Bullying in New Children's Book

November 2012 | by Jermaine Pigee

When she was a little girl, Morgan Griffin said she was a nerdy child who was picked on.

"When I was little, I was made fun of because I wore glasses, and I wasn't very good at sports," Griffin said.

At the same time, Griffin, 22, said she dished out unkind words as well.

"I also said some things without thinking, and I probably hurt some people without meaning to," Griffin said.

Those experiences inspired Griffin to write and illustrate a children's book, "Don't Be a Bully," which is scheduled for release in January.

The book is about a little girl who makes fun of someone with glasses and laughs at a student who falls. She also picks on another student who did not get a good grade on a test.

The little girl is a bully.

"She eventually tells her parents what she did, and she thinks about how she made them feel," said the daughter of Sandy and Bob Griffin.

The book is published by South Carolina-based Diamond DMT Publishing.

Tami Toft, CEO of the publishing company, attended school in New London with Griffin's mother.

"When kids read about bullying in her book, they will be able to relate to it," Toft said. "She makes it really easy to understand, and I like how she wrote the book."

Not only did Griffin write the book, she also illustrated it.

"I've been drawing since I was little," Griffin said. "The hardest part is illustrating because I'm picky about what I want."

Sandy said drawing is nothing new to Morgan. She saw how much Morgan loved drawing during a long drive to New York when Griffin was 8 years old.

"I bought her a sketch book, gave her crayons and a pencil, and I never heard a peep out of her during the trip," Sandy said. "She has always loved drawing."

The 2008 graduate of Danville High School graduated cum laude last spring from St. Ambrose University in Davenport with a double major in fine arts and theater, along with minor in art history.

Griffin also illustrated another book available now, "Daddy's Not Coming Home." That book is written by Jeremy LeBon, a children's author from South Carolina who has family in the military.

"Daddy's Not Coming Home," also is published by Diamond DMT.

"It's about a little boy who loses his father in the Iraq war, and it's geared for children who are too young to really understand their dad is not coming home," Griffin said. "It's just to help them get through that and understand that it's a part of life."

When LeBon saw Griffin's illustrations, Toft said he loved them.

"We wanted some type of illustrations that complement his story, and Griffin's work is exactly what we had in mind," Toft said. "She is a very talented illustrator."

In addition, Griffin has been accepted to a six-month Disney internship in Orlando, Fla., beginning in February.

"I interviewed with them, filled out an application and got a phone interview," Griffin said. "They offered me a position in attractions, where I will be working on the rides. I'm not sure what I will be doing, but I know it's with the rides."

Griffin is excited about the opportunity.

"This is just a way for me to get my foot in the door," she said. "If I start out with Disney, I'll have a greater chance to get hired from within."

Because Diamond DMT started in 2011, "Daddy's Not Coming Home" is not yet available in stores, but it can be purchased online at, and the Diamond DMT website,

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