All Ages

The Beauty of Differences – Author Feature – Lisa Fipps

March 19, 2022 | The Beauty of Differences

Who or what inspired you to write the book, Starfish?

Ellie came to me with her story, I think, because she knew I would understand her story. Although Starfish is Ellie’s story, I used my personal experiences and emotions to tell it.

So, my own life and knowing that there are a lot of Ellies and Little Lisas in the world inspired me to write the book. It was the book I needed as a child but never found on any bookshelf. When I started writing children’s books, it still didn’t exist, and so I knew it had to be my debut novel.

In your “Author’s Note,” you talk about bullying and include some extremely beautiful empowering words: “But until that day, know that no matter your size or who you are, you are lovable and deserve for people to treat you like you’re a valuable person. Because you are.” What would you like your readers to take away from after reading your “Author’s Note” and this quote?

I really want kids to know that we are all different in all kinds of ways and  different is okay. Oftentimes, we single out and bully people for being different – and yet we’re all different. That’s madness!

What life lessons would you like your readers to learn after reading the book?

There are two. One: If you’re being bullied, reach out to a trusted adult and tell so you can make it stop and get the help you need to deal with your sadness and anger and other emotions that come because of it.

Two: If you ever have been bullied, are being bullied, or are ever bullied in the future, you need to know that it has absolutely NOTHING to do with you. That can be hard to wrap your head around because it sure feels like it has everything to do with you. But it doesn’t. It’s all about the bully. Happy, healthy people do not go around hurting others and making them feel bad about themselves. There’s something going on inside the bully. Maybe they’re being bullied and feel out of control and are bullying others to regain some sense of control. Maybe they’re envious. Maybe they’re lashing out because they’re sad and angry about something. Whatever the reason, and there are lots of reasons why people bully others, it’s all about the bully. The bully needs to change – not you.

You are amazing just as you are and you have a right and need to be seen, to be heard, to be noticed, and to take up your space in the world.

Regarding the theme and idea of the “beauty of differences,” is there anything you would like to say to families?

Think of the beauty we find in the natural world around us. Deserts and beaches. The sun and the moon. Mountains and plains. Those things are vastly different from each other and yet we see their inherent beauty, their inherent worth, their inherent value, their inherent purposes. And yet we struggle to do that with each other. Let’s accept and celebrate the beauty and differences in each other as much as we do with nature. After all, differences are natural.

Lisa Fipps, NEW BOOK JOY Guest Author

About the Author

Lisa Fipps

is an award-winning former journalist, current director of marketing for a public library, and an author of middle-grade books.

On her site, she likens herself to a mosaic, believing broken things and people are beautiful (and we couldn’t agree more). She explains, “when bad things happen that leave your mind, heart, and soul shattered, you learn from and then discard the dreadful pieces, and then you can puzzle the good back together just the way you want them to create the life you’ve always dreamed of.”

Lisa graduated from Ball State University and won the Sara Laughlin marketing award in her most recent role. She’s working on her next novel and several others…

You can read more about her and her books on her beautiful and witty website www.authorlisafipps.com.


What authors inspire YOU & your family (or close friends) to celebrate the beauty in your differences?

Let’s get a conversation started in the comments below!

Readings & Resources

Below you’ll find books and activities that are appropriate for various ages around the concept of “The Beauty of Differences.”









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