I love summer when the days are longer and much warmer. It’s a beautiful time to reflect on the school year, to think about what went well, and what I can improve for next school year to encourage more reading joy. I bike more and catch up on reading and writing. I work in the garden, enjoying the many shades of green. And, I soak up the scents: Japanese lilac blossoms, Russian sage, and roses. But lately, it’s been harder to be outside because of the poor air quality.
As distressing as it is to receive air quality warnings (I realize that unfortunately, some people live with poor air quality all the time), it is a reminder that what we do affects others, and vice-versa. And we can change habits to help reduce air pollution. Through local Juneteenth events last weekend, I had the honor of meeting some amazing peace and plant people that are working hard to improve our planet. I was especially thrilled to participate in a dedication for a special solar peace pole, designed and built by teens. These examples of people working together to promote positivity fill me with hope.
Here are a couple of resources to share with young readers:
Old Enough to Save the Planet (picture book)
by Loll Kirby and Adelina Lirius, PreK-4th grade
Fresh Air, Clean Water: Our Right to a Healthy Environment (chapter book)
by Megan Clendenan and Julie McLaughlin, Grades 5-7
Find a copy at your local library, Bookshop.org, or bookstore near you.
My short story “Michelle and Yvette in Kaiserslautern” is now out in the world in the Inkyard anthology Boundless: Twenty Voices Celebrating Multicultural and Multiracial Identities, edited by Rebecca Balcárcel and Ismée Williams. Please check out this amazing collection with stories by Erin Entrada Kelly, Torrey Maldonado, Shannon Gibney, Anika Fajardo and so many other great writers.
Books can be pre-ordered now. Illustrator Ken Daley and I invite you to join us for a hybrid book launch on August 6th at 2 pm! Whether you want to come in-person, or join us virtually, we hope to see you! Registration details will be available soon on my website.
6/24/23 ALA Chicago—TCM/Free Spirit booth at 10:30, or the Harlequin Trade Publishing (HarperCollins/Inkyard) booth at 11:15 if you’d like your book signed!
8/6/23 Jaydens' Secret Ingredient Book launch at Strive Bookstore in Minneapolis
8/25/23 MN State Fair Alphabet Forest
9/16/23 Wild Rumpus Story time
I love hearing from you! You can write to be through my website:
If you’d like me to visit your school, library, or organization, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions about contracting me to write a book, or licensing, or book/translation/film rights, please email my agent Miranda Paul at email@example.com
Thank you for your interest and my work, and for your efforts to encourage literacy!