Well-known children’s author Jonny Zucker took his own life last year after struggling with depression for twenty years. Now 2Simple are republishing a special edition of his most popular novel Striker Boy, which was first published in 2010. All of the proceeds will go directly to Jonny’s family and the mental health charity Mind.
Jonny was a primary school teacher before he became a children’s book author. He committed his life to getting kids reading. He and his wife Fiona Starr had three young sons. Fiona says of her husband: ‘My best friend and husband, amazing dad, son, brother, uncle; witty, intelligent and generally inspirational human being, took his own life at the end of November. If you didn’t know Jonny, you may be thinking, “Well, she would say that about him, wouldn’t she?” but you don’t have to look far to find out that this is the truth for all who came across him. He had the capacity to make everyone feel as if they were special. If only he knew how special he was. The Striker Boy campaign gives me hope and comfort that his death wasn’t in vain, that even in death Jonny can still inspire thousands of children all over the world through his words.’
During his life Jonny wrote hundreds of books including the Striker Boy series, the Max Flash series, the Monster Swap series, Venus Spring Stunt Girl, Dan and the Mudman, One Girl Two Decks, Mystical Magic and many more for children and adults.
One in four people live with a mental health problem and every year if is the biggest killer of men under 50. The Striker Boy campaign is raising awareness of mental health issues in adults and children. 2Simple have designed a range of free teacher resources packs for schools, including an ‘emotional resilience resource’ to help primary school teachers promote positive mental health.
The republished Striker Boy will be available from Amazon for £6.99 and £1.40 from every copy sold will be donated to Mind, a registered charity in England and Wales. Jonny was supported by the charity during his life and therefore the family decided to work with them.
Mind’s chief executive, Paul Farmer, said: ‘We’re delighted to have been chosen as the charity partner for Striker Boy by the Zucker family. Their support will mean that Mind can continue providing vital services, like our Infoline, so people can make their own choices and access the treatment and support that is right for them. This partnership will help us to make sure that no-one has to face a mental health problem alone.’
In the lead up to publication, Fiona says, ‘The buzz is contagious. People are offering football contacts, school and library events promotions through the media – we’ve even had the offer of a musical! If anyone has any ideas how to make Striker Boy happen on a grand scale to continue the joy of Jonny and raise awareness of mental health and suicide, then do get in touch.’
The special edition of Striker Boy is on sale through the website, Amazon and some bookshops.