Beth Huffman holds a copy of “Dance, Belle, Dance!” (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
Beth Huffman holds a copy of “Dance, Belle, Dance!” (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
COLUMBUS GROVE — Do you know someone with special needs? Maybe you know someone who has struggled to fit in or has been bullied in school. Maybe it is you.

These are the people Beth Huffman had in mind when she wrote the book “Dance, Belle, Dance!”

This is the fourth book author Huffman has had published. It is her first fiction book.

“My three previous books are memoirs,” Huffman said. “I enjoyed writing them immensely. She said she never considered venturing into fiction until she met and was inspired by Annabel, a girl who was born with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Annabel was in sixth grade when they met. That was nearly two years ago. Beth met Annabel through family friends.

“I’ll never forget it,” Beth said. “I held out my arms and without hesitation, she hurried over and hugged me.” Beth said her boundless energy was palpitating.

“I was especially struck by her contagious smile and sweet charm,” Beth said. “She inspired me then and she inspires me now.” She said she marvels at Annabel’s endurance to be in school all day and still keep up with a rigorous dance schedule many evenings.

The book “Dance, Belle, Dance!” is the touching story of a young girl, Bell Andrew, who was born with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Her inability to focus in the classroom creates many obstacles and her immaturity results in social miscues, which her peers don’t understand. Yet she refuses to be limited by her challenges. Her creative spirit soars as a gifted ballerina.

As you follow Belle on her riveting journey, you’ll be captivated by her beauty and grace.

Beth and Annabel worked together to shape the fictional character Belle. Beth said since Annabel lived so far away, their conversation was through Skype.

While there is no correlation between the two, Annabel was instrumental in helping Beth understand some of the struggles an individual goes through in living with the disorder. The story about the girl with ADHD is shown through the eyes of her sister. It not only deals with the family’s struggles with ADHD, it also deals with bullies in the school Belle attends.

Beth said she read nearly OVERSET FOLLOWS:ten books and over 300 articles over a year researching ADHD before she wrote the book. She also spent two years talking with Annabel.

The book also addresses how important it is to step up for the underdogs. In the book is not only the family and other students who step up to help those who are bullied, but teachers in the school who offer their support and assistance.

The book points to three heroes, the “Belles” in life who have to endure the abuse, families who support the underdog and teachers.

Beth said the book is for adults, young adults and middle school age students. It is not only a must-have for those with special needs, those who are struggling to fit in and those who are bullied, it is also for those who want to learn to embrace their children’s unique qualities, teach or desire to reach out to the underdogs and for those who want to learn about a girl who struggles with ADHD.

Beth said it was pure joy watching Annabel perform for the first time. She said the five-hour drive to the event was filled with drama because Beth and her husband Herb didn’t know if they would make it in time.

After their son was ordained into the ministry earlier that day, the Huffmans took advantage of the speed limits and arrived at the theater with eight minutes to spare.

Beth was equipped with pen and notebook in hand. She wanted to jot down her thoughts and reaction in case Annabel and Beth ever wrote a book together about a beautiful ballerina who soared above her ADHD. “I was too enthralled by her beauty and grace that the few notes I remembered to take were obliterated by tears,” Beth said. “She was magical.”

Beth said another special part of the book is the cover that was done by her daughter-in-law, Lacey Huffman, a professional artist.

Beth will be making a presentation on her book at the Putnam County Library in Ottawa on Saturday, Aug. 8, from 1 to 3 p.m.

In addition to her having her book “Dance Belle Dance” for sale, Beth will also have copies of her other books including “Listen to Me”, “Awesome Andrea” and “Run, Amy, Run!”

Proceeds from the sale of “Dance, Belle, Dance” will go to “Bless a Bulldog”, a program in the Columbus Grove School District that provides children in need with healthy food over the weekends. The equestrian therapy program in Cridersville and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for research.

The book “Dance, Belle, Dance!” can also be purchased by contacting Beth at bethhm@roadrunner.com or www.danceintherain.me and is also available at “Beads by Beth” gift shop in Columbus Grove, Amazon and CertaPublishing.com.