, Salem, MA

November 8, 2013

Trouble the Dog visits JCC book fair

By Will Broaddus
Staff writer

---- — Trouble the Dog will be in Marblehead on Monday to kick off the holiday book fair at the Jewish Community Center.

Trouble was created by Kendra Duncan of Marblehead in 2006, when she was 12 years old, to raise the spirits of young children with cancer.

“We had had a number of cancer losses in my family,” said Sheila Duncan, Kendra’s aunt. “When the St. Jude’s telethon came on, her head snapped around.”

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee treats pediatric cancer patients.

Trouble eventually served as the model for a plush toy and a book that Sheila wrote, “Here’s Trouble,” which she will read at the JCC at 10:30 a.m. on Veterans Day.

“When I saw how people reacted to the look of the dog, in the beginning, even I was drawn to it,” Sheila said. “But it’s definitely got some sort of magnetic quality.”

Monday’s event will also feature an activity in which children color their emotions on Trouble’s doghouse, Sheila said.

“Hope, believe and dream are the last three words in the story,” Sheila said. “And that’s what we’re trying to do with kids. There’s so much going on with kids today, it’s breathtaking.”

A bagel breakfast will also be served on Monday during the book fair, which will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. The fair will feature a range of titles and gifts from Scholastic Corporation that are available for sale.

The fair continues throughout the week at the JCC, which is at 4 Community Road, on Tuesday from 8 to 10 a.m., noon to 2:30 p.m. and from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, the fair will be held from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on Thursday, between 8 and 10 a.m., noon and 2:30 p.m. and from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Next Friday, the fair will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There will be a few titles for adults, but most of the books at the fair are for children from infant up to fifth grade, and they feature a wide range of themes, said Stephanie Walsh, early education director at the center.

“Proceeds go to early-childhood programming at JCC of the North Shore,” Walsh said. “It’s a great event just to get people out.”