Stuck Between Two Worlds

A heart-warming story about dealing with anxiety and anger 


“I loved this from the first page. Written with joy and warmth, Stuck Between Two Worlds is a lovely tale full of compassion and tools to use to find a safe place inside one’s own heart.” 

Got questions about the book? Scroll down to the FAQs section ….

Will Ruby choose The Wilderness and stay with her other Wildheart friends, or will she return home to the family who doesn’t understand her at all?


Stuck Between Two Worlds is a heartwarming story about a 9-year-old girl dealing with the negative emotions and scary feelings that many school-aged children struggle with.

Author Lisa Parkes draws on a decade of helping families of children with low self-esteem, anxiety issues and behavioural problems to create a beautiful story of a feisty young lady who learns to overcome anxiety and anger by finding special friends just like her.

Firecracker Ruby was in trouble again and whilst angrily crying in her room, Nettie appeared and provided a kind voice of reason and the understanding she had been desperately searching for.  Powered by heart energy, Nettie takes Ruby to the wonderful Wilderness where she learns that she has nothing to worry about because she is, in fact, a Wildheart – a strong-willed child and sensitive soul. Ruby discovers how to use her Wildheart superpowers for good, and she even manages to shrink her worry, overcome fear and learn valuable anger management techniques.

 Stuck Between Two Worlds is an inspirational fiction book that strong-willed, sensitive children can identify with. Their parents can also use the book to talk about difficult life lessons, as they read the rewarding and uplifting story together as a family.

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A magical adventure story with a twist! I really liked the emotional side of this book, the steps taken to address the tangle of feelings and the resolution once they are dealt with. I think it will give children a working tool in their own lives. I like Ruby. She is a smart little girl with a kind heart. You really want her to succeed, but you wonder where she will end up. It’s fascinating to watch her blossom, as she has to unlearn so much and follow her heart. 

Marni M

Inspiring and magical! We loved reading ‘Stuck Between Two Worlds’ and think the book will inspire lots of children to believe in themselves and let their imagination go wild.  Ruby and Nettie prove that teamwork is everything. Tom is also quite funny! The story is kind and positive and the characters are magical, you will want to keep reading.  Anna & Georgina Whitfield,  Age 9

A real joy to read! I found the way Lisa used different characters to describe different emotions really interesting and innovative. A lot of thought, work and research has clearly gone into the book. I really felt a connection to the characters and how they felt. The book was relatable but also not too full on. It was certainly a gentler way of saying ‘We can talk about mental health and feelings’ instead of saying ‘There’s something wrong with you! You need help!’  Nettie stood out for me as she represented my mum, being there for me and listening to my problems whenever I have them. Harvey,  Age 11


Really good fun and lots to discover! I loved the powerful, positive messages in this book. You’ve taken a big important subject and made it totally relatable. The life lessons given throughout were well explained and cleverly woven into the story. It made me think about how I could use them too because I could see how they were really helping Ruby. I loved all the characters and the colourful scenes of the magical world you created. Bella Croft

Fantasy meets the real world and makes sense of our struggles growing up. Wow, what an amazing read! Heart warming and powerful moments throughout plus fun adventure all cleverly pieced together to make a beautifully written and inspiring story. I would have loved to have read a story like this when I was younger to know that whoever I was, was okay and there are no right or wrongs. Even more so now in a world driven by social media pressures and comparisons for young adults, Lisa has cleverly taken all important life lessons and sensitive topics and made them enjoyable to learn about and discover for all children on their journey through this crazy world! Miranda, London

I could not put this book down! A brave story, with a strong message that goes straight to your heart. ‘Stuck Between Two Worlds’ takes you on a magical adventure as Ruby learns to trust herself and her heart. I laughed, I cried and I related to everything Ruby had to go through. Ruby wasn’t broken, she was able to lift herself up and feel good again. She learned to open her heart to life outside of her bedroom window.

This story allows you to feel the deep emotions that children often feel they need to hide, especially if life at home feels scary at times. Ruby moves from sadness, fear and loneliness to hope and joy and so can you! ‘Stuck Between Two Worlds’ encourages readers to be brave and to follow their wild hearts!  Katia B

Got Questions? Let me help you …

Click on your questions to get your answer!
Who is this book for?

The book is for everybody! 

I wrote this book for ‘Wildhearts‘ –  strong-willed sensitive children (you can read more about the lovely Wildhearts here).



You will like this book if you are:

  • a child who struggles with anxiety and anger
  • a child who has been bullied or feels like they don’t fit in
  • a child who struggles with social situations or friendships
  • a child with low self-esteem or who lacks confidence
  • a child who has been adopted or fostered
  • a SENCO worker, ELSA, Counsellor, Healer or Therapist
  • an adult who has childhood trauma or who has been raised by narcissistic parents
  • anybody who is doing inner child work or re-parenting themselves
What age is the book for?

The recommended reading age is 9-12 years. It tackles big subjects, using age appropriate language – mental health, emotional intelligence, parenting, abuse, trauma, self-esteem in a light-hearted and magical way.  You will see the world through the eyes of a child – with curiosity, innocence and imagination.

Parents are enjoying it because it gives them ideas to add to their parenting toolkit. It will also indulge your inner child and reconnect you to that part of yourself which can be very healing. 

How much does it cost?

It’s available to buy on Amazon. Please share with people that you know or people that you think will benefit from reading the book. 

The paperback is £12.99. The Kindle eBook is 2.39 and you can get it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Where can I get a free copy?

If you have an Amazon Prime account you can get the book for FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Why are you recommending that adults read it?

We all have an inner child inside of us that needs our time and attention. The more connected we are to him/her, the easier it makes your job as a parent.

What reader level is this book?

I think it’s an easy read. It’s a page-turner. The story moves quickly and you want to find out what happens to Ruby. It also makes you think. The font is big, but it is a 70,000 word book.  So slightly longer than your average child fiction book. 

Why did you write this book?

This is so much more than just another children’s fiction book. It’s healing, it’s parenting, it’s magic and coaching all in one!

I never intended to write this book. I started off writing a jolly story – thinking that I was Enid Blyton!! If somebody had said to me write a story that incorporates your life lessons, your recovery, what you’ve learnt as a coach, your clients and all the important parts of the thousands of books you’ve read….oh and top it off with some laughter, magic and fantasy……..

I WOULD HAVE SAID NOOOOO WAY!! But that is what it has turned out to be!

Watch this video to find out more!

MEET the author

Smiley Coach Lisa 

Hi there! Nice to meet you. I’m Lisa;  better known as The Smiley Coach. For 10 years I’ve helped hundreds of lovely children feel gorgeous from the inside out using fun and practical coaching tools. My favourite way to feel good is to step inside my imagination and get super creative. 

Truth teller. KINDNESS Spreader. Creative Doodlebug. Ninja Detective. Recovering Perfectionist. CURIOUS Life Explorer. Empathy Educator. 

I wrote this book for all the Wildhearts in the world. For those of us that feel like we don’t belong and are constantly searching for that special friend who truly understands!

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”  Marie Curie

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