Fantasy, Fiction

In FRUIT OF THE VINE, we meet Justin, a sensitive, introspective boy whose physical features and personality make him a convenient target for many of his cruel peers. One night, he wakes to find himself on a mysterious island, which is inhabited by a horde of bizarre creatures. Despite his desperation to find out where he is and, more importantly, how to get home, he becomes involved in the plight of Irvino, a beast who is ostracized on this island much in the way that Justin is in his own world. The story ends with a twist as Justin, in helping Irvino, ends up helping himself by making a lifelong friend out of Irvino. In essence, the protagonist of FRUIT OF THE VINE saves himself by saving his savior, but not in typical fashion. FRUIT OF THE VINE is unique from other books in the fantasy genre in that it is meant not only for the grade school-aged fantasy reader, but also for anyone interested in the topic of bullies, and how altruistic qualities can develop in children.


5 stars! Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite:

Fruit of the Vine by Ellen Weisberg tells the story of Justin. Justin is a quiet, shy boy who is frequently targeted by his peers because of his looks and his sensitive personality. One night he wakes up to find himself not at home in his bed where he should be. Justin appears to be on an island full of strange creatures and, despite desperately trying to get back home, he gets involved in helping Irvino. You see, Irvino is in the same situation that Justin is in,picked on and ostracized. Justin feels drawn to him, kindred spirits in very different worlds. By helping Irvino, Justin helps himself to recognise what true friendship is and to see that being different is never a bad thing.

Fruit of the Vine by Ellen Weisberg is an amazing story. The subject of bullying is a highly emotive one these days; we live in a cruel world and it seems that children can be far more brutal than adults. Ellen tells us how one young boy changes from being a shy introvert to a more outgoing person through a dream. The book is exceedingly well written and easy to understand. I feel that it shouldn’t just be for children. This is a book that should be read by parents,children, and teachers alike. The illustrations add a great deal to this story and they tell their own story as well. I truly believe that there should be more books like this and that they should be made compulsory reading.


Selected testimonials:
Good morning, Ellen.  I received a copy of your book this morning and just finished reading it.  What a pleasant, heart-warming contribution you have made to our school library.  We will treasure it and want you to know how much we appreciate it and value your book.  Thank you for such a quick response. –Principal, California school

Thank you very much. I read Fruit of the Vine this morning and think it would be a valuable addition to school libraries.  Not only does is encourage students to empathize with the “target” but it is also very entertaining. Thank you for sharing it with us. –Information Network for Ohio Schools

I enjoyed reading your book with my first cup of coffee this morning!  Your website is really nice -forgot to mention that! … Your creative story is very interesting and I see a place for it. –Director, South Carolina Bullying Prevention Program

Ellen Weisberg is a cancer researcher at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Principal Associate in Medicine at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA), with a doctorate in pharmacology. Ken Yoffe is a pediatrician (Billerica, MA). He also holds a doctorate in genetics. Publications include short stories and poetry published in PKA’s Advocate (bimonthly literary publication), The Writing Disorder (quarterly online literary journal and print anthology book), and Natural Solutions (holistic health magazine). They have also published several children’s books and a young adult novel (Galde Press and Chipmunkapublishing). Among their most recent publications are the anti-bullying NA novel, Angel Rock Leap (Waldorf Publishing, 2016), and the new Friends and Mates in Fifty States (Waldorf Publishing, 2017). They perform as part of a circus troupe that, through live acts and book donations, promotes bullying awareness and bystander intervention to Boys and Girls Clubs, retirement and nursing homes, and hospitals throughout New England. The anti-bullying children’s fantasy, Fruit of the Vine (Chipmunkapublishing, 2010), is being used as part of this show. Ellen and Ken live in Chelmsford, MA, with their daughter, Emily.