Author of New Book Says Cell Phone Addiction is Hijacking Our Families

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ Being a child used to be filled with possibilities: playing in the mud, climbing jungle gyms and pretending to be anything that could be imagined. But today, more children than ever are dealing with ADHD, anxiety and depression. Digital addiction may be to blame, says Patsie McCandless, a retired primary school teacher who authored the new novel Becoming Jesse: Celebrating the Everyday Magic of Childhood (Light On Publishing).

McCandless says, "We can't turn back the clock on cell phones, video games and tablets, all of which take parents and children away from each other, but we can and must decide to be more present in our children's lives to support the magic of their growth and learn how to have fun with them again."

In an interview, she can talk about:

  • Why the original tech leaders didn't allow their children to have digital devices.
  • How parents end up choosing their cell phones over their children without even realizing it.
  • Ways cell phone use rewires children's brains—and not in a good way.
  • Strategies for living life in the digital age without sacrificing the preciousness of childhood. For instance, putting phones in airplane mode while with children, and having screen-clean intervals in your home.
  • Becoming Jesse, a powerful, poignant story of a six-year-old orphan boy of comic charms and soul-searching wisdom, raised by his wise grandmother, Dearie –who owns her own theater in 1950s New York City. Jesse finds the light within himself to let love guide his life and his quest to find his other "disappeared" grandmother.

Praise for Becoming Jesse

"Jesse's ability to connect with those around him is wholesomely addictive." — Jake Schomp,

"Becoming Jesse has so much action, color and light woven into a great tale. Thank you for warming my soul."— Wasik-Zegel, author, Stop Means Stop

About the Author

Patsie McCandless is an educator, artist, musician, mother and grandmother who gave a TEDx talk on Saving the Magic of Childhood. Becoming Jesse is her first published novel. Her award-winning paper art and miniatures are on display at St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Art and the St. Petersburg Opera Company. She has been featured in the Tampa Bay Times and as a guest for radio and television programs in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.

Contact: Patsie McCandless, (727) 608-7381;;

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