Author spreads message of "non-violence" through new book

Sharon Saddler accessorizes with a smile despite a traumatic past experience.

"To look down the barrel of a gun and wonder if you're going to breathe your last breath," says Sharon Saddler, author of H.U.Y.O.E., or "Hold up your Own End."

A life-alterating situation that took the 34-year educator two years to work through. But in the process it moved something inside her.

"It stirred up a passion in me to say I want to help young people understand that this is not the way," says Saddler.

Instead of using their hands for violence, Sharon wants young people to open her new book called H.U.Y.O.E. She wrote it in coordination with Fre Vman Watson, a Flint native who currently lives in Atlanta.

"If they understand that there is a progression of violence they can recognize it and do something about it so we teach them all about this in this book."

Violence is a word that Flint knows all too-well, already tallying 62 homicides so far this year. For law enforcement it's hard to keep up.

"It's overwhelming the workload just because it limits your time and attention to each case" says Trooper David Vansingel.

But Sharon hopes to change all that.

"One thing I learned is if you put the solution in the hands of the person that you are trying to help the most it makes a difference."

A difference accomplished by opening this book and closing the chapter on a violent Flint past.

"Hold up Your Own End" is available at Pages located along 2nd street in downtown Flint.

The cost of the book is $17.76 to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and that all kids are entitled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Local artist Jaquan Williams is responsible for the illustrations in the book.