Introducing our Author Sponsors for MCBD2020!
Honorary Author Sponsor, Jerry Craft
JERRY CRAFT is an author and illustrator. New Kid is his middle-grade graphic novel that has earned five starred reviews, including one from Booklist magazine, which called it “possibly one of the most important graphic novels of the year.” Kirkus Reviews called it “an engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America.”
He is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, a comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995-2013, and won five African American Literary Awards. Jerry is a co-founder of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.
Jerry is also the creator of our official Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 poster! Go here to learn more and download your copy.
Eugenia Chu is an attorney, turned stay-at-home mom, turned writer. She lives on a magical beach in Miami with her husband and son, Brandon, who is the inspiration for her stories. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, yoga and drinking too much coffee. She has been a presenter at numerous schools, libraries and book festivals.
When Brandon was very little, the author couldn’t find children’s storybooks to read to him which touched upon Chinese culture and which included some Chinese (Mandarin) words to teach and/or reinforce his Chinese vocabulary, so she started writing her own.
Her first book, Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi (餃子) is about a little Chinese-American boy named Brandon who gets a surprise visit from his grandma from China, Pó Po (婆婆). While Brandon and Pó Po (婆婆) are making Chinese dumplings, called jiǎo zi (餃子).
Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) is her second “Brandon” story and first children’s chapter book. In this story, Brandon and his cousins are on a trip to visit their grandparents in Beijing, China! While bonding with family, practicing Chinese, touring historic sites and feasting on local dishes, Brandon thinks he sees a tiny panda. However, every time he gets close, the panda disappears! Is Brandon imagining this small creature, or is it real? Will Brandon find out before he has to fly back home?
Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) is a multicultural, multigenerational chapter book. This book includes some Mandarin Chinese (Simplified) with Pinyin pronunciation, adding layers for those learning or interested in the Chinese language and culture.
Kenneth Braswell is the Chief Executive Officer of Fathers Incorporated, a widely recognized national and international nonprofit organization supporting fathers, practitioners, researchers, and policymakers that provides capacity building services to thousands of organizations working to ensure that fathers contribute to the healthy well-being of their children. He is the author of several children’s books, curricula for practitioners as well as a documentarian.
Daddy, Can I Cry?; takes what can be a troubling story and uses the misfortune of a community as a mechanism to stimulate and encourage discussions of pain, loss, trauma, violence with our children. This story; our fourth in the “Daddy Series” continues with the Applewhite family and addresses the loss of Cory’s best friend Michael. As a young boy, Cory learns from his father that grieving is acceptable and that both boys and men can cry.
Braswell’s Children’s Books include
Kwesi and the Ogre (2020)
Maritza Martínez Mejía is a Mother, Educator, Bilingual Author, and Translator. Founder of Luz Del Mes Tri-Anthology and Proyecto de Escritura Luz del mes, Maritza writes to inspire others to be better persons. #LuzDelMes. Maritza’s books include Luz del mes (for ages 9 and up ). Luz del mes is a didactic work that combines poems, stories, anecdotes, and reflections; all this in order to highlight the importance of values and especially the care of the environment.
Hazel Eyes (for ages 18 and up) is an inspirational memoir for teenagers and adults. Hazel Eyes takes the reader on a journey to discover the spiritual experience of faith. Receive Latino Book Award 2016.
Books and FREE activities can be found on Maritza’s website: www.luzdelmes.com
BLOG con poemas, reflexiones, tradiciones, recetas y más. Visita: http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/
¡Gracias!Thank you! #LuzDelMes
Kathleen Burkinshaw is a Japanese American author and the daughter of a Hiroshima survivor residing in Charlotte, NC. She’s a wife, mom, and owns a dog who is a kitchen ninja. She has presented her mother’s experience in Hiroshima to middle and high schools for the past 9 years. Writing gives her an outlet for her daily struggle with chronic pain from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy(RSD). The Last Cherry Blossom (Sky Pony Press,2016), is now a United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Resource for Teachers and Students. And is recently nominated for NC School Library Media Association YA book award and 2019-2020 VSBA, 2018& 2016 Scholastic WNDB Reading Club selection, and Finalist for NC Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award, 2018 Sakura Medal, Japan, and SCBWI Crystal Kite Award(Southeast region).
SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard
Eight-year-old Sissy loves her life. She loves her toys, her Big house, and her Big backyard. But when Sissy’s parents decide they are going to live in a Tiny House on wheels and travel around the U.S., Sissy isn’t sure that she will like the idea of “living tiny.” But as she and her mommy and daddy learn about downsizing, repurposing, and how “stuff is just stuff” in a positive way, Sissy soon understands that living Tiny has BIG possibilities; possibilities for all sorts of adventures and learning.
Written by Rebecca Flansburg and BA Norrgard, both Minnesotans (who have been friends for over 30 years), Sissy Goes Tiny was created to share the idea and process of “going Tiny” from a child’s perspective.
In Sissy Goes Tiny, eight-year-old Sissy and her parents make the bold choice to downsize their life and embark on a journey of living tiny and doing more with less. At first, Sissy struggles to get used to the idea of living in a tiny house on wheels and traveling around the U.S, but as she and her mommy and daddy learn about downsizing, repurposing, and how “stuff is just stuff,” she soon understands that a life of “living tiny” will be filled with the big adventures and learning.
Connect with B.A. via Instagram
Josh Funk is the author of books like the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, the It’s Not a Fairy Tale series, the How to Code with Pearl and Pascal series, Lost in the Library, Dear Dragon, Pirasaurs!, Albie Newton, and more.
HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, illustrated by Sara Palacios, published by Viking Children’s (and imprint of Penguin Random House), Pearl and her trusty robot, Pascal, are in for a treat: a day at the amusement park! They’re excited to play games, eat ice cream, and, of course, ride all the rollercoasters. There’s just one problem: the Python Coaster, the biggest and best ride in the park, also has the longest line. Can Pearl and Pascal use CODE to help them get a seat on the giant coaster? By mastering the use of variables, sequences, loops, conditionals, and more, this duo just might get the ride of their dreams—while having the time of their lives.
With renowned computer science nonprofit Girls Who Code, Josh Funk and Sara Palacios use giggle-worthy humor and bright artwork to introduce kids to the fun of coding.
Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series by Ajanta & Vivek takes kids to a journey across India as they experience festivals, cities, food, music, dance and everything else that makes the Indian culture so vibrant and joyful!
The series has 11 titles so far including festivals, places, mythology, activity books & more! The books provide an in-depth view via fun, non-religious and engaging content!
Ajanta & Vivek also teach fun multicultural content via their YouTube channel whose goal is to provide Cultural Screen Time and includes animations, dance-along videos, trip to Indian stores and more.
CultureGroove’s vibrant books include Let’s Celebrate Holi! (Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series), Let’s Celebrate Ramadan & Eid! (Muslim Festival of Fasting & Sweets), Let’s Celebrate Navratri! (Nine Nights of Dancing & Fun) Let’s Celebrate 5 Days of Diwali! (Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series), Let’s Visit Mumbai! (Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series) Delhi and Taj Mahal and more!
Lauren Muskovitz Ranalli is a children’s book author, public health professional and mom to two high-spirited, fiercely lovable children.
“I am a fully grown adult who still gets excited over the Scholastic book catalog. I can wander for hours in bookstores. I absolutely love a freshly sharpened pencil (like realllly love it). And I have found so much joy in pursuing my dream of being a children’s book author. Inspired by my own high-spirited children, I aim to create stories that excite curiosity and broaden our sense of community.”
Lauren is the author of Places We Have Never Been; a new book that asks readers what questions can they ask to learn about new places? This whimsical picture book ignites creativity and curiosity and is best for ages 3-7. She is also the author of The Great Latke Cook-Off is a Chanukah story about family tradition, friendly competition, and delicious recipes.
Places We Have Never Been and The Great Latke Cook-Off is available at laurenranalli.com.
The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! by Sharon Chappell,
Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education, CSUF, and Director, Little Green Monster Project
What happens when someone you love is diagnosed with cancer? In this inspiring story written by a breast cancer survivor, The Little Green Monster helps Marie and her family survive and thrive through her mother’s treatment.
Author Sharon Chappell says, “The idea of The Little Green Monster came to me the day I was both diagnosed with breast cancer and rescued a Senegal Parrot, who is a wizard at holding things with his three (instead of four) toes. He always makes us laugh with his antics and silly expressions. I realized that if he could make us feel good as I am going through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation–and my family is experiencing this alongside me–surely a little green monster can do this for other families too.”
Imagination, love, and family are in the little green monster’s heart.
The Little Green Monster could be an imaginary friend. He could be a bird with extra joyous feathers! He is yours, mine, ours. We have left the question, “Who is the little green monster?” up to you to answer.
The book includes how to express feelings, cancer vocabulary, as well as family cancer resources and activities. The book explores the questions like: what can you expect while the loved one goes through treatment? While science does its work, what can love and everyday magic do to help? $5 donated to Susan G. Komen Orange County with the purchase of this book. “This book provides a meaningful tool for teachers, daycare providers, counselors, or anyone who works with children whose lives are impacted by cancer or other illnesses. Every day students walk through the doors of our schools bearing enormous burdens. The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! can comfort them and be a source of hope.” -Laurel Estrada, Family Resource Center Coordinator, Rowland Heights School District.
Me On The Page Publishing creates materials, sponsors events and publishes books to support building healthy and strong African American Families. Our vision is simple: to provide and promote what is true, healthy and good in presence and communications.
Author Phelicia Lang is a Reading Specialist and Literacy Advocate.
Mari Learns to Read is the first book featuring Spanish vocabulary words by the well-known author of the Tay Series, Phelicia Lang. Early readers will love the engaging pictures, easy to read print and colorful Spanish words. It includes a child-friendly graphic to support early readers, a helpful glossary that translates and defines the Spanish vocabulary words, and a relatable storyline. Meet helpful Mari. She loves her family and her friends. Mari is good at school but is having a hard time learning to read in English. Read along to find out how Mari’s mom helps her learn to read.
Afsaneh Moradian has loved writing stories, poetry, and plays since childhood. After receiving her master’s in education, she took her love of writing into the classroom where she began teaching children how to channel their creativity. Her passion for teaching has lasted for over fifteen years. Afsaneh now guides students and teachers (and her young daughter) in the art of writing.
Afsaneh also grew up in a multicultural family and at school, where she felt she was an “other”. This made her aware of how important it is for kids to feel loved and supported both in and out of the home. Afsaneh has carried this belief into her career as an English teacher and author.
Her book, Jamie is Jamie was originally written for her daughter who’d been told that only boys can play a superhero. “My daughter and every other child deserve a book that gives them permission to be free to play and explore their own way-not the way everyone, ‘thinks they should,'” Afsaneh shared. “I created my book to challenge gender stereotypes and encourages children to make play choices based on their interests. And because playing is fundamental to learning, I’ve created a special section in Jamie is Jamie for teachers, parents, and caregivers where they can find tips on how to make kids’ playtime learning time.”
When free-spirited Jamie arrives at a new preschool, all the kids learn that it’s okay to play whatever you want. The other children love how Jamie plays, but is Jamie a boy? Or a girl? Within these pages, readers see Jamie’s willingness to rock a baby, fix a toy car, dance ballet and even fight off villains has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with the joy of PLAY.
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Free Spirit (www.freespirit.com) is the leading publisher of learning tools that support young people’s social-emotional health and their educational needs. Free Spirit’s mission is to help children and teens think for themselves, overcome challenges, and make a difference in the world.
Author/Illustrator Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing present The Cocoa Kids Collection Books© that puts minority and multiracial children center stage. It’s a self-published book series created for readers ages 6-8, that tackles big issues with wit, whimsy, and chocolate! Learn more about the author at her portfolio page.
Picture Books from the Cocoa Kids Collection include Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain© features Isaiah, the precocious 6-year-old who gets the thing he loathes – chocolate – for his birthday. His anger leads to adventure and a lesson of making choices and emotional intelligence.
Eddie and the Hot Cocoa Hot Rod© introduces Eddie whose daydreams of auto-racing get him into trouble in math class. But, his racing heroes and a special math teacher help him make the grade and learn to never give up.
Lorena and the Magic Mocha Mirror©, follow Lorena who spends summers seaside with her family and is body-shamed by beach-bullies until a trio of mermaids teach her that hers and everybody is beautiful.
Dani Dixon is a comic book creator, author, and publisher. She founded publishing house TUMBLE CREEK PRESS which is the imprint for all her books to date.
Children’s Author, Poet, Librarian, Wife, Mom, Crazy Lady…not necessarily in that order. Nancy Ling is the winner of the prestigious Writer’s Digest Grand Prize and the Pat Parnell Poetry Award. She draws her inspiration from the multicultural background of her family and the interwoven fabric of familial culture which is, on the surface, seemingly every day.
She is the author of My Sister, Alicia May (Pleasant Street Press), Double Happiness (Chronicle Books), The Story I’ll Tell (Lee & Low Books. The Story I’ll Tell is a gentle and moving story of adoption and parental love that is sure to touch the hearts of readers everywhere, no matter how they came to be a family. Best for ages 4-8.
Currently, she resides in Walpole, Massachusetts with her husband, Vincent, and their two girls.
Lump Lump and the Blanket of Dreams
Inspired by Navajo Culture and Folklore*Two ALA reviews*In the library and the bookstore at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian*Winter is coming, but the little black bear, Lump Lump, isn’t ready to go to sleep! With the help of his mother, the wise Bluebird and his forest friends, Lump Lump gathers materials for Spider Woman to weave him a Blanket of Dreams. Inspired by Navajo/Diné culture and folklore, and featuring the blanket of famed Navajo weaver Barbara Teller Ornelas, this beautiful tale of family and friends takes the reader on a journey through the spectacular traditions and landscapes of the Southwest.Gwen Jackson graduated magna cum laude from Lincoln University with a B.A. in psychology. She won a Ford Foundation and attended the University of Michigan, where she received an M..A. in psychology.Because of Gwen’s background as an educator, she wanted to ensure that her book was accurate. She frequently consulted with Navajo weaver Barbara Teller Ornelas, who allowed Gwen to use her “Child’s Blanket” in the book. Ms. Ornelas wants more people to know about Navajo weaving. Ms. Ornelas’ blankets are in the British Museum and many other galleries.Gwen also received advice (pro bono) from Dr. Paul Apodaca of Chapman University, a past-regional advisor to the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. Dr. Apodaca, a Navajo, made many suggestions, including the title of the book.Navajo weaver Lynda Teller Pete, whose work is in many museums and galleries, did a lesson based on the book on SMART Exchange. Western Wildlife Outreach (Washington) generously consulted on the pictures. This book is also in the Nanticoke Indian Museum, which is especially meaningful to Gwen because of family ties.The author’s website has many educational activities.
This early childhood book, available in both English and Greek, is written from a mother’s point of view with the purpose of helping children with hearing loss and their families at the critical inclusion stage.
In the book, a little girl named Angelia is curious about her classmate Jacob, who is a hearing aid wearer. Jacob briefly explains what hearing aids and cochlear implants are. He explains what audiologists and speech pathologists do, and along the way, he playfully introduces his hearing ear dog that helps him tackle challenges.
There is an emphasis through the different components in the book for a broader understanding of hearing loss and illustrates classroom tactics and facilitation for easier communication. When young children get exposed to differences in others, they learn tolerance, empathy and create new ways of learning. For educators, the book provides a tool to start conversations with their students about hearing loss.
LaDonna Plays Hoops is written by Dr. Kimberly A. Gordon Biddle, a Full Professor of Child Development. This book is an inspirational and contemporary story of a young, African-American girl who goes to visit her grandma for a family reunion and plays her older male cousin in a game of one-on-one basketball. It’s during this game that she learns some valuable life lessons.
The story was a finalist in the American Fiction awards for 2019 in 3 categories. In Spring 2020, LaDonna will have an adventure in Paris during the Easter Holiday. There she will learn the universality of hope and love. Dr. Biddle has also co-authored two textbooks relevant to the field of Child Development. She won an Excellence in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2018 and a Career Achievement Award from the University of Redlands in 2019.
Kimberly has a PhD for Stanford University in Child and Adolescent Development. She is also a professor of Child Development at Sacramento State in California and a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the American Educational Research Association, and the American Psychological Association. She is also a proud member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
As a mom, dedicated kidlit reader, author, and co-founder of the non-profit Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia Wenjen has been on a decade-long journey to discover the best diversity books in children’s literature. With a determination to change the world, one book at a time, Wenjen created BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 as a way to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.
Inside the pages, readers, parents, caregivers, educators, and librarians will find extensive book recommendations for Native American Heritage Month #OwnVoices, Muslim #OwnVoices, Holocaust #OwnVoices, African American #OwnVoices, Asian American #OwnVoices, Latinx #OwnVoices, LGBTQ #OwnVoices, Sensory Issues #OwnVoices and much more. While change is a long time coming, it starts with a single book.
Mia Wenjen is CEO at PragmaticMom.com; a mash-up covering education, parenting, and multicultural children’s books. Her blog receives over one million views a year. She is a co-founder of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.
Currently, this book is available on Amazon Kindle in ebook form. Take a sneak peek at this robust diverse and #OWNVOICES children’s book resource by clicking the image below or visiting Amazon.com.
Author Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrator Courtenay Fletcher met in a local Mommy and Me class 12 years ago when their kids were tots. The pair indie-published their first book Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs together in 2012 to reassure children coping with loss and separation — now they are a dynamic duo committed to creating books to heal and inspire children of all ages!
Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is a timeless picture book with a powerful message: love is forever. It’s a wonderful bedtime book for any child, but especially helpful for children grieving a loss or coping with separation anxiety for any reason (divorce, deployment, foster care, etc). Soothing, lyrical text and heartwarming illustrations portray a diverse spectrum of children, engaged in joyful activities in nature.
As of 2019, Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs now has a new bilingual edition, Besos de sol, abrazos de luna.
New releases include Bernardo’s first novel Inspired (February 2018), a book intended to empower and encourage tween and teen girls, and a picture book biography of Theophile Steinlen entitled The Artist Who Loved Cats (Spring 2018). Find healing art activities and more information at www.sunkissesmoonhugs.com.
Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!
Ann (Ana) Morris writes bilingual children’s books and consults on a variety of Spanish language projects.
As a teacher and community worker, Morris has collaborated with and served people from many cultures new to our country. She speaks and writes Spanish as well as English. She hopes to encourage children and parents learning to read their native language, as well as to motivate language learners.
Ann has written many bilingual books including
Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez! shares the story of three-year-old Amy who is off on an adventure-a sleepover at her aunt and uncle’s house. Readers can jump into this bilingual book and join Amy on her most exciting day, all while learning another language! When you finish reading, you will no doubt want to do it again! This delightful picture book for ages 4-6 is also available in both English and Spanish.
Ann’s other books include Mommy and Mikel Go for a Walk, Mami y Mikel dan un paseo, Surprise in Auntie’s Garden!, ¡Sorpresa en el jardín de la tía!, Everything Is Different, Todo es distinto.
Janet Balletta & Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean
Janet is a full-time educator and part-time bilingual children’s books author, advocator, and promoter. Her books are about Hispanic legends that teach a strong message of family values, traditions, and culture. Janet currently has two books available in English and Spanish and just published her third book, Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean.
Marlene and her six mermaid sisters are on a mission to save the oceans from mankind’s pollution. One mermaid is assigned to each of the Seven Continents to protect the surrounding oceans. Together the seven mermaid sisters take care of the sea animals and raise awareness on water pollution, conservation, and recycling around the world. The story is fiction but builds an important bridge for young children to connect with real environmental issues occurring in Florida and around the world. Join the movement of these mermaids on a mission to preserve the lakes, rivers, and oceans of the blue planet for future generations.
Her books The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid, The Legend of Roberto Cofresi – Puerto Rican Hero and La Leyenda de Roberto Cofresi – Un héreo de Puerto Rico have won numerous awards including:
2015 Mariposa International Latino Book Awards
2015, 2016 & 2017 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards
2016 & 2017 International Latino Book Awards
Evelyn is a retired elementary school teacher born in Puerto Rico and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She is using her love of children and writing to tell stories that will hopefully spark the imagination and encourage the readers to learn more about the beauty in the diversity of the world.
In Bruna Bailando por el Mundo, Bruna is a little girl who loves to play and use her imagination. On a rainy day, Bruna and her grandmother pretend to go to different countries around the world and dance traditional dances. Come join Bruna and her grandmother on their adventure.
Evelyn’s debut picture book, Diego’s New America / La Nueva America de Diego, tells the story of a curious young boy named Diego who liked to ask a lot of questions. One day he is assigned a project at school and he realized what he doesn’t know. Diego knew nothing about his family’s cultural heritage. Join him in learning about his family, the wonderful countries they came from and how their cultures are part of all that surrounds him. Both books are available in English and Spanish and also in ebook form.
Shoumi Sen is the creator of “From The Toddler Diaries”, a series of children’s books on Indian culture and mythology. Her books ‘Celebrate Holi With Me!’ and ‘Celebrate Durga Puja With Me!’ have received rave reviews from kids and parents alike! ‘From The Toddler Diaries’ began as a series of poems that Shoumi wrote for her daughter. This collection was the life of several bedtime story sessions and play dates with friends. Inspired by this interest among kids and encouraged by their parents, she decided to publish the collection.
Shoumi Sen is a Strategy, Sales and Marketing professional at a leading global energy management company. She studied engineering at BITS Pilani and The University of Maryland, College Park, and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. Her childhood in Paris, Bombay, and Dubai provided her with opportunities to appreciate how Indians preserve their cultural connectedness even while living abroad.
In Shoumi’s words, “Living outside India, it is sometimes tough for parents to ensure that their children remain connected to their Indian roots, while at the same time, appreciating the culture of the place they are growing up in. Books can certainly help with that challenge and my hope is that ‘From The Toddler Diaries’ can play a part in helping our children grow into global citizens.”
Sarah Jamila Stevenson is a writer, artist, editor and graphic designer in Northern California. Her most recent book is a graphic novel for middle schoolers, ALEXIS VS. SUMMER VACATION, with Veronica Agarwal (Avenue A Books, 2019).
She is also the author of three YA novels: THE LATTE REBELLION (Flux, 2011), UNDERNEATH (Flux, 2013) and THE TRUTH AGAINST THE WORLD (Flux, 2014). Her first novel for young adults, THE LATTE REBELLION, was a Scholastic Book Club pick as well as an IPPY Bronze Medalist in Multicultural Children’s Fiction. Her work has been featured on Capital Public Radio’s Insight and NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is also an active blogger: since 2005 she has been posting children’s literature reviews and information at Finding Wonderland (writingya.blogspot.com), a blog she shares with fellow young adult author Tanita S. Davis, and she is a regular participant in the Cybils Awards.
Sarah’s books have also won many awards including the IPPY Bronze Medal – Children’s Multicultural Fiction, Florida Teens Read List 2013 – 2014, Scholastic Book Club Selection, Third Prize, 2005 Smartwriters Write It Now short story contest for YA fiction and the Haworth Prize in Young Adult Fiction, Mills College, 2004.
Teresa Robeson draws upon her Chinese heritage, Canadian-American sensibilities, as well as her background in science and love of nature when she writes. She has been published in children and adult magazines. QUEEN OF PHYSICS, a picture book biography, is her debut. Teresa’s hobbies include making art, making soap, knitting, baking, helping out around the homestead, and wowing the chickens with her bilingualism (they are not impressed).
Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom
When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, most girls did not attend school; no one considered them as smart as boys. But her parents felt differently. Giving her a name meaning “Courageous Hero,” they encouraged her love of learning and science. This engaging biography follows Wu Chien Shiung as she battles sexism and racism to become what Newsweek magazine called the “Queen of Physics” for her work on beta decay. Along the way, she earned the admiration of famous scientists like Enrico Fermi and Robert Oppenheimer and became the first woman hired as an instructor by Princeton University, the first woman elected President of the American Physical Society, the first scientist to have an asteroid named after her when she was still alive, and many other honors.
Best for Ages 5 And Up/ Grades K and up.
Nadishka Aloysius is a teacher, actor, author and mother of two boys. As a teacher of Drama and English Language with 20 years’ experience, and a mother of two sons who love storytime, she finds inspiration in the everyday details of life. Although all her books are about the wildlife and culture of her home country of Sri Lanka, they are also generic enough for an international audience. Her greatest wish is to Educate & Entertain and introduce Sri Lankan culture and wildlife to the world.
Nadishka loves reading crime fiction and fantasy and this is reflected in her writing for Middle Grade and YA audiences.
She conducts creative writing workshops and school visits to share her love of literature. As an actor, she prefers to play the antagonist since it allows her to explore the darker side of human nature.
Roo The Little Red Tuk Tuk is a charming picture book for ages 2-6 about Roo; a little Tuk Tuk. Join Roo as he recalls the many ups and downs of his life on the roads of Colombo (the commercial capital of Sri Lanka). From road races to Polo tournaments to animal rescues, this little vehicle has lived life to its fullest. Experience the joys and perils of Tuk Tuks on the streets and learn many life lessons along the way with this courageous Tuk Tuk who is always ready to lend a helping hand and spread some cheer. You are never too little to make a difference…
This book is available in ebook and Paperback form on Amazon and is due to be translated into Sinhala and Tamil.
Nadishka is also the author of Eyesha And The Great Elephant Gathering, Ronan’s Dinosaur, Raavana’s Daughter, Petscapade, and her latest release The Little Lost Fishing Cat
Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore is a stress-free group for girls, which encourages reading, vocabulary expansion, comprehension skills, and confidence in a fun environment. Their club currently consists of members in first grade to eighth grade. As young leaders, they were featured in the School Library Journal, they’ve recorded several podcasts, appeared on stage at the Baltimore Book Festival, the National Archives in Washington, DC, and headlined a reading series during the Highlandtown Art Walk in Baltimore, Maryland to promote their book.
“Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club” is an anthology that consists of five short stories written by some of our 8th-grade members, Sarah Ford, Aubrey Heiges, Nadia Lessing, Valerie Swing, Makayla Wright. These creative writings showcase the bravery and confidence of teens trusting their decisions, standing in their power, and protecting their friends through challenges and in some cases, time travel. This book is best for Elementary, Middle Grade, and Young Adult.
#gbcbaltimore #StoriesByTheGirlfriendsBookClub #bookclubmovement
Celebrating Inclusion of Children with Disabilities by Sharing Their Stories
Finding My Way Books has 14 nonfiction picture books featuring children with disabilities from all over the world. Each book follows a child’s interest and provides a unique glimpse into their lives.
Author Jo Meserve Mach spent 36 years as an Occupational Therapist. She is very passionate about sharing the stories of children with special needs. Jo embraces the joy that individuals with disabilities bring to our communities through their unique gifts.
Author Vera Lynne Stroup-Rentier worked professionally in Early Childhood and Special Education programming for 25 years. She has a PhD in Special Education and is currently working at Westat. Vera is passionate about the inclusion of each and every child in settings where they would be if they did not have a disability. Parenting two children with special needs enrich her life.
Mary Birdsell is a professional photographer and a former Speech and Theatre teacher. She strives to create images that reflect the strengths of each child. Mary’s background in education, theatre, and photography intersect as she visually creates our books. She uses colors and shapes to tell a story. For her, each book is like its own theatre production.
Waylen Wants to Jam is published by Brown Books. Waylen has autism and his story shares his love of drumming. Playing the drum is so much fun. Waylen could do that all day long. But learning to be in a drumline is different. How will Waylen learn to drum with his line? What happens when Waylen is jamming?
Waylen Wants to Jam is part of a six-book series. Graded reading level, interest level, and both English and Spanish Lexile ratings are included.
The Finding My Way Books’ website is filled with fun extras! As you explore its many offerings you’ll discover interviews with children in the stories, Word Find pages, inclusion activity pages, lesson plans, discussion starters, classroom activities and links to wonderful videos about individuals with disabilities.
Born in Southern California to Chinese-American immigrant parents, author Diana Huang struggled academically and socially in her k-6 years. But ever since kindergarten, she had developed a strong passion for the visual arts. She has been working in various art and non-art industries while also creating her own stories from her own story worlds.
Katie Mah was your average Asian American kid living an average life, going to an average school, getting average grades in an average town in the dull suburbs of Southern California. Katie was subjected to all kinds of average unpleasant experiences of growing up. On a fateful 6th-grade science camp trip to the mountains, her average life was so unbearable, she ran away, and landed herself into a lot of trouble, not on Earth, but on Alpha Centauri. There she befriends the centaurs who desperately need her help. Intrepids is for ages 7-18 and is available in ebook form.
The Five Enchanted Mermaids celebrate diversity in our world and the belief that each child deserves to have a mermaid that looks like them. Through their individual personalities and traits, they weave stories that help teach skills for children in this age group.
The idea for the Five Enchanted Mermaids was born to provide a fun but educational backdrop for girls aged 3 to 7 years. The characters address emotional skills (making friends, resolving conflicts, coping with change, making their own choices and “being good people”) and educational skills (learning to read, the alphabet, counting, symmetrical shapes, time, value of monetary coins/notes) that are important at that age in the development of young girls. The stories use each of the diverse mermaids as a role model for behavior and values.
LifeMadeSimple and acclaimed children’s book author, Lois Petren, are collaborating to provide a series of books, party accessories and other appropriate items to support these goals. Lois, along with business partner, Jackie Bunn, has been working on developing the Five Enchanted Mermaid merchandise line and spreading the word about the mermaids.
The Five Enchanted Mermaids book series includes Sally’s First Day of School, Happy Birthday Miss Molly, You Can Do It!, and a coloring and activity book. All books are for ages 3 to 7 and perfect for readers who like unique stories that help develop emotional intelligence and a growth mindset.
Elizabeth is a self-described “joyous observer of the beautiful, a collector of tiny things, writer, actress, teacher, a caretaker, mentor, fairy, clown, friend, and kid magnet.” She currently lives in Los Angeles and still has fond childhood memories of growing up on a farm in Louisiana.
Ribbon’s Traveling Castle is as heartwarming, silly, magical story, Ribbon, traveling with her father, learns that a big heart grants your tolerance. And it’s okay if things change, they’re supposed to shift. Change happens to everyone and the solution to the struggle is love, love for yourself and others.
Each character is of a different race, Ribbon & her father – American (caucasian), the old lady is Asian, the painter is of African descent, and the acrobats are Russian. At the end of the book, the characters have formed their own new family that does not follow the “standard family role model”. This “new way” to make a family speaks to divorced and LGBTQ families. This delightful book is perfect for ages 6 and under and is also available in ebook form.
Greenhorn is Anna Olswanger’s middle-grade novel and short indie film of the same name.
A young Holocaust survivor arrives at a New York yeshiva in 1946. His only possession is a small box that he never lets out of his sight. Daniel, the young survivor, rarely talks, but the narrator, a stutterer taunted by the other boys, comes to consider Daniel his friend.
The mystery of what’s in the box propels this short work, but the real power of Greenhorn lies in the small human drama it describes. The stutterer and the boy whose family members died in the Holocaust are both ridiculed and excluded by the other kids. In the end, Aaron, the stutterer, finds his voice and a friend in Daniel, and their bond offers hope for a future, one in which Daniel is able to let go of his box.
Based on a true story, Greenhorn gives a human dimension to the Holocaust. It underscores our flawed humanity and speaks to the healing value of friendship. Greenhorn is a provocative book that middle schoolers and their families will want to ponder and discuss.
This book is best for ages 10-14 and is available in ebook form as well.
Anna Olswanger is both an author and a literary agent. After nine years at Liza Dawson Associates in New York, she now has her own agency Olswanger Literary LLC. Her clients include the New York Times best-selling author Michael Hall and the Newbery Honor Book winner Vince Vawter. “The Home of the Blues” (Memphis) is the backdrop to many of Anna’s fiction stories, including “Chicken Bone Man,” which won Maryland’s F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Contest. Her first children’s book Shlemiel Crooks is based on a Yiddish newspaper article she uncovered about the attempted robbery of her great-grandfather’s kosher liquor store in St. Louis in 1919. Shlemiel Crooks is a Sydney Taylor Honor Book and PJ Library Book. In 2011 the Kaufman Center in New York adapted “Chicken Bone Man” and Shlemiel Crooks into a family musical, which premiered at Merkin Concert Hall. Anna’s latest book for young readers is Greenhorn, an illustrated children’s novel inspired by the true story of a young Holocaust survivor. In 2014 Anna co-produced a 25-minute indie film adaptation of the book. Greenhorn premiered at the Landmark NuArt Theatre in L.A. and at The Museum of Tolerance in New York. It was named the 2015 Audience Award Winner for Best Short Film Drama at the Morris and Mollye Fogelman International Jewish Film Festival in Memphis and subsequently aired on public television in Memphis and Kentucky. It was part of the Festival Internacional De Cine Judio en Mexico and screened at the L.A. International Children’s Film Festival at WonderCon.
My Big Brother Troy is the endearing story of an African American family and their journey of navigating through life with a developmentally delayed son. The story is told from the point of view of Sasha, our main character’s younger sister. Troy is developmentally delayed, but that does not interfere with Sasha and her big brother becoming best friends.
Troy’s brain works in a special way that makes it harder for him to control his actions, communicate his words and emotions, and learn in the same manner that his peers learn. Sasha faces the same problem as so many other children–getting other people to understand a member of her family. In bringing us this universal story, she also happens to bring us an understanding of something many of us may not encounter in our families, but do in our lives.
Sasha explains how she views and interacts with her brother and shows how everybody around them views and interacts with him as well. For all the things that are difficult for Troy, Sasha highlights everything he is good at and all of his efforts to learn in the best way he knows how. The hope is for parents and caretakers to view developmental delays as assets based in the same ways that Sasha does, as opposed to deficit-based. This is best for ages 5-9 and is also available in ebook form.
Author Danielle Wallace is a product of Detroit Public Schools and a graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Education, Danielle Wallace is a children’s book author with hopes of giving a voice to underrepresented communities. She is a graduate student studying at Eastern Michigan University, as well as a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Additionally, she is a freelance writer for The Blasting News online publication. Upon completing her undergraduate degree in education and entering the work field, she has worked to design and facilitate youth programs and staff professional development workshops targeted toward enhancing cultural competence/proficiency and aimed at students who may need individualized attention. She has also worked in areas of community and family engagement, bridging communities, families, and schools.