Wisconsin Native Launches Her Debut Novel to Promote Awareness of Teen Bullying

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Photo: The Cat That Went To Homecoming

MILWAUKEE, Wis., March 4, 2014 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Julie Otzelberger shows the bully what it's like to be on the other side, while showing the victim how to overcome obstacles through volunteer work. "The Cat That Went To Homecoming" (ISBN: 9781612358215; paper) published by Fire and Ice Young Adult Books, was released on as a Kindle edition, and on in both paperback and ebook on February 24, 2014.

"The Cat That Went To Homecoming" is the coming of age story of Ellen Jones, an overweight teenage girl from a single family home. She is under constant attack by her peers, bullied because of her weight and her family's poverty. Through volunteer work with her cat, Hershey, Ellen finds her self esteem and the courage to stand up to her bullies. Along the way, she discovers what true friendship and forgiveness are and tells us how Hershey became "The Cat That Went To Homecoming."

"'The Cat That Went To Homecoming' addresses many serious social issues including family separation, bullying, homophobia, social isolation, and depression. The compelling story is also about fun, friendship, and forgiveness," says Paula Scott-Ginn, Pet Partners Marketing Coordinator.

Mrs. Otzelberger's goals in writing this novel were to create awareness of teen bullying and to show young adults how they can benefit from volunteerism. The author herself is a registered handler with Pet Partners, and she and her cat Bear underwent the same training and testing as Ellen and Hershey do in the novel.

Julie Otzelberger is grew up in Hartland Wisconsin and has been a Milwaukee area resident since her high school years. She is no stranger to bullying, having been bullied for most of her school years. The comments classmates made still haunted her after thirty years. In an effort to overcome her self esteem issues, Mrs. Otzelberger underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2010.

The unconditional love that pets offer can heal almost any pain. Gastric Bypass surgery changed Mrs. Otzelberger's appearance, but it could not heal the scars of bullying. The work she does with her therapy cat, Bear, gave her the self esteem she was lacking.

Julie Otzelberger has been married to her husband for 17 years, and their daughter still lives at home while attending college. They have four cats and one dog-several of her coworkers refer to her home as "Noah's Ark"

"Hershey is a combination of each cat God has blessed me with over the years," says Otzelberger. "My life was similar to Ellen's, but I did not find anything like Pet Partners until very recently. I hope I help a young girl finds her way to Pet Partners and follow her altruistic path with her best friend."

Find the book on Amazon at: - or on Lulu at:

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REFERENCES: The Cat That Went To Homecoming, Kindle edition, The Cat That Went To Homecoming, ISBN 9781612358215, paperback, published by Fire and Ice Young Adult Books, Amazon Kindle edition, Lulu, Julie Otzelberger, news, press release from Julie Otzelberger, Mar 5, 2014, Books and Publishing, Family, General Editorial, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Native Launches Her Debut Novel to Promote Awareness of Teen Bullying