Learn more about what inspired Encounter

ENCOUNTER has won an AWESOME book award!

ENCOUNTER: When Religions Become Classmates – From Oregon to India and Back, was chosen as a 2022 Skipping Stones Honor Award Book. The award states, “We recognize your exceptional contribution to multicultural awareness in children’s literature. Your work helps shape our future, which depends on how we take care of our natural resources and how we get along with each other.”

Kathy reflects, “I am so pleased with this recognition because I admire Skipping Stones very much. For decades Skipping Stones has been inspiring young people around the world to write and draw and tell their stories. Their magazine is very cool! And I love what they said in the Award. That is my heart’s desire for this project of so many months (okay… years), that it impacts how we get along, how we come to understand each other.”

Kathy Beckwith, says: “One of my favorite ways of reading a book is doing it together in our own Family Book Club. This past holiday season was our 20th year, and we chose ENCOUNTER (I got to lobby my kids for that one, but they gave me a quick thumbs up!) I think this young adult novel would be a particularly good choice for a family read – lots of adventure, challenging encounters to think about and discuss, and so much to share!” (Discussion questions are included in the book.) Kathy extends a special invitation to family or community book clubs, to classrooms, and youth groups, to arrange a short, complimentary Zoom or Skype call with her. Use Contact Kathy

Book Cost: $15.99
ISBN: 978-1737477709

You can order this book through your favorite hometown bookstore or through the author Kathy Beckwith’s favorite

[ Third Street Books in McMinnville, Oregon ]

It’s also available in E-Book format for $7.99

[ Buy on E-Book ] [ Barnes & Noble NOOK ]

And please ask for it at your local library.

The Mediator’s Toolbox & The Mediators

Kathy has recently made available to the public the training manuals she uses for peer mediation training; The Mediator’s Toolbox and The Leader’s Guide to The Mediator’s Toolbox.  Also available is The Mediators, which relates the amazing story of real life mediation and how restorative justice practices can transform schools and students’ lives. All three of these publications can be purchased via Kathy’s page on lulu.com.

The Mediator’s Toolbox is a both a training manual and a treasure. It gives students – elementary through high school – their own resource for taking part in a peer mediation program at school or in other settings where youth are invited to learn and serve as mediators. Students use the manual as they mediate, and as they continue to develop their mediation skills. Worksheets, forms, records of mediation completed and goals set  all help the mediators learn effective problem-solving that will change their world!

The Mediator's Toolbox

(Order the following two books from this website, by contacting Kathy for further information; specify book(s) wanted.)
Don’t Shoot! We May Both Be on the Same Side. . See your students really use violence prevention skills at school. Skits and role plays, games, drawing, writing, making story-related crafts, and keeping a scrapbook are used to teach violence prevention skills in grades 3-6.
Curriculum Guide – $24.95

Designed for use alongside The Mediator’s Toolbox, The Leader’s Guide to The Mediator’s Toolbox gathers together a set of activities, games, exercises, skits, and role plays to supplement the “how to” instructions in the student manual. It also includes a sample training agenda and instructions for role play coaches, and will help you with a work author Kathy Beckwith believes “will be one of the most meaningful endeavors you could undertake – that of empowering youth with lifetime top communication skills and a process to become leaders in problem-solving through mediation.”

Leader's Guide to the Mediator's Toolbox

What is peer mediation, and how are youth making it work? Those questions are answered in The Mediators, a 32-page book that allows the reader to slip into the mediation room and join problem-solvers at work. An “Introduction to a Treasure” opens the book and is followed by 4 1/2 real life mediation that show why every school and every student can benefit from a program in which top lifetime communication skills are learned and used as problems get solved! It’s for elementary, middle, and high school students and all adults who support and care about them.

The Mediators

A MIGHTY CASE AGAINST WAR: What America Missed in U.S. History Class and What We (All) Can Do Now


The audiobook version is available from multiple outlets, including Ashland, Oregon’s, Downpour.com. It is also available in print, e-book, and audio formats from amazon.com.

A Mighty Case Against War begins with a startling account of America’s wars, looks at why war sells, and exposes the fallacies of some of our most influential justifications for war. Beckwith does not side-step the tough questions: What about Hitler? And genocide? If not war, then what?

Given military technology, the power to destroy is greater than at any time in human history. Beckwith proposes that our culturally supported, deeply entrenched system of governmental violence is simply too costly, destructive, counterproductive, and inhumane to leave unchallenged. An easily readable book, this is a resource for youth and adult education, peacebuilding activists, and all who have wondered if a world beyond war could be possible. “Download Free Bookmark

“With clear, thoughtful prose and careful research, this book offers a systematic investigation into American wars and various nonviolent alternatives. The author shows U.S. military actions with new perspectives. The heart of the book is “a gallop” through America’s 15 wars, not counting the “secret” wars. It is here that the author’s training as a mediator shows, for she carefully considers the views of both sides before considering possible alternatives to war. Particularly interesting are her discussions of nonviolent alternatives to World War II and the American Revolution. The book concludes with a series of chapters that address various justifications for war that are commonly invoked. The author writes in an accessible way about these complex issues, making this book ideal for high school students interested in a view of U.S. history not presented in the textbooks, as well as any reader concerned about the role of the U.S. military in conflicts around the world.”
– Daemion Lee, for Skipping Stones, a Multicultural Literary Magazine

Playing War

One hot summer day Luke and his friends decide to play their favorite game of war, using sticks for guns and pine cones for bombs and grenades. When a new child in the neighborhood hesitates to join in and then tells them he has been in a real war in the country where he used to live, the other children start to see their game in a new light.

This is a story of what happens when friendship changes what we think we know, and the difference it makes to do something about it. It provides children a gentle invitation to talk about caring, play, and the ways in which war affects real families, like theirs. Lea Lyon illustrated the book in beautiful watercolors that invite the reader to slip right into the backyard where these kids play.

For more about the book, visit the publisher’s website.

Order from your favorite bookstore or online bookseller. Let me recommend my local awesome bookstore Third Street Books in McMinnville, Oregon They’ll send books out anywhere in the USA.

For activities based on the book for families and classrooms, download this classroom guide

Order the following books from this website by contacting Kathy for further information; specify book(s) wanted.

Critical Mass

With each new report of sexual abuse that comes to light, we long for the means to have prevented it. We ask each other what role education and our schools could have played in prevention, and what we could have done as parents and friends. At last there is resource that involves teens and pre-teens directly and actively, through reading and then discussion and follow-up activities – Critical Mass.

What is different about Critical Mass than other YA novels? The book shifts between the viewpoints of three characters – Abe, Trish, and Maggie – allowing the reader an uncommon look into the life of a young man being drawn toward abusing, a young woman who finally decides to speak out about abuse boldly, even though unable to do so in personal terms, and another who shows us the reason it is so important we never give up. Their humor and courage, struggle and pain result in a story of hope that every teen has a right to hear and a right to talk about.

Critical Mass is a powerful tool to confront the reality that an estimated 25% of sex abusers are 17 years of age or younger. We must ask how we are reaching these potential abusers. Effective for families, small groups, or entire classrooms, the Leader’s Guide to Critical Mass offers ten reasons for using the book as a prevention tool and follows up with catalysts for discussion, journal handouts, family and school activities that reinforce awareness and resistance skills and at the same time open parent/student communication, sample letters, and more.

For those with courage to “rock the boat” of ignorance and denial and include sexual abuse prevention in the school curriculum, Critical Mass is here. We know the boat is already rocking – dangerously for many young people. Your efforts may prevent a young person from being abused or entering the devastating role of abuser. The Leader’s Guide will save hours of preparation in using the book with groups.
Student Novel ISBN 1-930572-25-5
192 pages,
Leader’s Guide ISBN 1-930572-26-3 – Reach and Teach offers free for downloading, for use with the novel.

If You Choose Not to Hit

Conflict is a part of life. That’s true for all of us, including kids. When children realize they have the CHOICE and can decide how to react and how to resolve conflict, they can become powerful problem – SOLVERS. Children can learn a better way of problem-solving if they are encouraged to do it, shown how to do it, and see that it really works.

In this delightfully illustrated book, elementary age children will find other kids who deal effectively and positively with real-life, challenging examples of conflict. The author also treats us to rollicking rhyme and a cast of charming animal characters which combine to make the learning fun. The book’s twelve powerful skills are clearly explained so children can use them immediately. Kids can CHOOSE not to hit, fight, name-call, or hurt back in other ways, and they certainly don’t have to ignore the problem! This book can change childrens’ lives.
Picture Book ISBN 978-1-930572-09-6
48 pages, soft bound $9.95