Local Spotlight: The Unlucky Bounce book from a Wichita writer

When I was younger, I remember going to my grandmother’s house and walking into her spare bedroom. There were bookshelves upon bookshelves in there; almost like a mini-library. I was so enamored with it and loved just browsing around. I remember it mostly being Stephen King books, romance novels, Sci-Fi, Horror and some Hardy Boys books. Reading was always something my grandmother would lure me to.

I LOVED reading as a kid. But somewhere in time, I lost that love. I blame it on my high school honors English teacher who would make us read what felt like the most boring billion page books.

But as a father now, I hope to bring that love back. Over the past couple months, I’ve been purchasing board books and big lots of Berenstain Bear, Dr. Seuss, Disney and other books off of Ebay. It’s my goal to read to her even at just a couple weeks old.

Around this time, I was introduced to a local book from a local writer. His name is Ryan Jilka. He is a father of 4 year-old twin boys and a 1-year old girl.

He just completed writing and publishing his first children’s book, “The Unlucky Bounce”.

Before we go into that, here’s a little background on Ryan.

The last four years, his brother and his wife have hosted a small golf tournament in western Kansas to celebrate the life of their son Brewen and to raise money for Children’s Mercy hospital and the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Kansas City.  Brewen was born with a birth defect called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). During his 18 days of life, Brewen’s parents, along with his big brother, showed him so much love and many hundreds of other people were touched by Brewen’s strength, courage, and fighting spirit.

The Ronald McDonald Houses in Kansas City became a “Home Away From Home” for his brother’s family for 3 weeks in May of 2014. Many thousands of families every year must travel to the Kansas City area to receive medical treatment for a sick or injured child. In honor of the support Brewen’s family received, they have helped raised over $30,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

With all of that, Ryan had been working on writing a children’s book, “The Unlucky Bounce” over the last year.  The book is now out and available on Amazon. He is also donating 50% of all the book proceeds to my brother’s family to give to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Every book sold helps make a difference in some family’s life.

The book is now located in my daughter’s room in her ever-growing library.

Here’s the basic premise of the book:

On a rainy day, 9 year old Liam is stuck playing in his room. When his favorite ball takes an unlucky bounce and ends up under his bed, his creativity is put to the test. Liam must now come up with a way to get his ball back by trying to out-smart the monster who lives under there. Throughout the different failed attempts, Liam realizes the monster may not be so mean after all.

I’ve read this to my daughter probably 6-7 times now. She doesn’t do much but kind of look back and forth at the pages. It’s to the point I already have some pages memorized. It’s an easy short read with simple illustrations. Seriously, I hate reading long winded things so this book was right up my alley.

She doesn’t understand a single thing I say but I believe having her hear my voice is a good thing. It really warms my heart everytime she tries to turn her head up to look at me while I’m reading (probably thinking, “dad you read like a third grader”). Being a dad is tough at the start because most of the time she cries, it’s because she’s hungry and only mom can come to the rescue and I feel helpless. It’s their time together. I hope these daddy/daughter readings can be our special time together moving forward.

If you love to support local and want to help a good cause for the kids at the same time. “The Unlucky Bounce” is a good way to do that.

Purchase the book on Amazon

For Information about CDH:

For Information about Ronald McDonald House Charities in Kansas City: https://rmhckc.org/

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