Mike Walker spent nearly 15 years teaching locally, most of those years educating students about math at Leo Junior-Senior High School.
The Leo-Cedarville resident frequently saw students teasing other students and witnessed some minor bullying. He stopped it when he saw it, but what he enjoyed more was seeing other students put an end to it.
Those incidents provided the inspiration for his recently released first book, a youth novel, “The Bully Busters.”
Walker, who graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in public relations and communications, started writing the 244-page book in January, he said. He finished before the end of last school year, and then spent about three to four months editing and rewriting the book.
At the same time, he decided to leave classroom teaching to concentrate on writing.
“It's gotten more corporate, less personal,” he said of teaching. “I am way more of a free spirit than that.”
Walker wrote the book for a middle school-age audience, so he weaves in plenty of humor.
The story revolves around 13-year-old Jackson Trotter, an average middle school kid who is not especially good in school or sports, Walker said.
But, one day, he decides he has had enough of other kids bullying some of his classmates, Walker said. Working with his younger sister, Jazzy, 10, he sets out to do something about it.
“What they really do is turn the tables on the bullies — give them a taste of their own medicine, but in humorous ways,” Walker adds.
It's a funny, quick read, he notes. “But, obviously, because of the message, we do want to tie it in with curriculum.”
Working with his wife, Amber, also a former teacher, they developed curriculum aids and anti-bullying activities on the book's website, www.bullybustersbook.com. Walker hopes to speak at schools about bullying.
Walker has written a sequel, “The Bully Busters: Boot Camp Crazy,” that now is going through editing. The sequel follows Jackson and Jazzy to summer camp, where they encounter more bullies, he said.