Good news for Emmanuel's Dream

It is so hard for me to believe that I’m still getting good news about Emmanuel’s Dream more than three years after it was published! I thought I’d share some of the most exciting bits with you here:
LittleFreeLibrary Action Book Club logoFirst, you’ve heard of little free libraries, right? Have you heard about the Little Free Library organization? If not, definitely check them out, here. They are doing all kinds of great things, but perhaps my favorite is their Action Book Club™. In a new twist on the traditional book club, this partnership between Little Free Libraries and Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) invites participants to read books on timely topics, engage in lively discussions, and take part in meaningful—and fun—group service projects to benefit their communities. How is that for combining two of my favorite things: reading and social engagement!? Plus, Action Book Club members can share their experiences online, which helps spread a ripple effect of positive activity across the country and around the world. I love everything about this idea, so it was super exciting to learn that Little Free Library selected Emmanuel’s Dream for their current Action Book Club theme of Everyday Heroes, “which celebrates acts of bravery, character, and kindness that transform our world in ways big and small.”
Illinois Monarch Award logoSecond, the Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) announced that Emmanuel’s Dream is included on their 2019 Monarch Award Master List. This means that students and their teachers in participating schools will be encouraged to include Emmanuel’s Dream and the 19 other titles on the master list in their reading or listening experiences during the school year, and then students will vote for their favorite! The author and illustrator of the book receiving the highest number of votes in the statewide balloting will be declared the winners of the Monarch Award and will be invited to attend the ISLMA conference and participate in programs to feature and honor him or her. Squee! I love the ones where students get to vote. Everyone wins!
El Sueno de Emmanuel coverLast, but not least, I’m thrilled that the Spanish edition of Emmanuel’s Dream is not only available, but it’s available for readers of Spanish who live here in the U.S., too! A huge thanks to Mensajero for making this edition possible and spreading Emmanuel’s inspiring story.
That’s all for now. Thanks so much for reading. =D
 

Texas Book Festival 2015

20151017_140152Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the Texas Book Festival in Austin, TX. It was a huge event, with over 300 participating authors and spread out over the capitol area of downtown. I had the honor of reading Emmanuel’s Dream with illustrator Sean Qualls to a huge crowd in the Children’s Read Me a Story tent.
 
20151017_140202First, Sean and I were introduced by the most adorable (and well-rehearsed) class of kindergarteners. They’d each memorized a line of our bios and had them printed on a card for the audience to read as they recited them in order. Best. Intro. Ever.
 
2015-10-17 IMG_2538 CynthiaThen, Sean and I read the book together, taking turns with each alternate two-page spread. This was the first time we’d ever done this, and, in fact, the first time we had ever met! What a treat!
 
2015-10-17 Akiko 1The best part for me was hearing about Sean’s process for making the art. I love the art in the book, and it was fascinating hearing the details behind it. I was able to share some of this new knowledge in a school visit a few days later!

 
2015-10-17 Akiko 2After the reading, our talks, and a Q&A session, we headed over to the signing tent. We met some great people, including some of the kids who had introduced us and their parents, as well as local teachers, authors, and illustrators, including the talented Akiko White. Akiko has been getting her hat signed by illustrators for years, and it is quite a work of art, let me tell you! She was gracious enough to let me sign it… I tried to write small. 🙂
 
Many thanks to local author and friend Cynthia Levinson for the hospitality, camaraderie, moral support, and photos. You all are in for a treat when her new book, The Littlest Marcher, comes out (I got a sneak peek)!
Thank you, too, to Sean for being such a great co-presenter and awesome human being. I’m so happy we finally got to meet!
Thank you to Akiko and my friends Mike and Jeanne Dahmus for taking photos and giving me permission to use them here, and for buying books!
And thank you to the Texas Book Festival organizers and volunteers for making it all happen. It was such an honor to be a part of it all.

Texas Book Festival 2015 authors announced!

A record 300 authors will be appearing at the 2015 Texas Book Festival, Oct. 17 and 18, and I’ll be one of them!
This is exciting for many reasons:
1) I get to talk about EMMANUEL’S DREAM!
2) I get to meet the illustrator of Emmanuel’s Dream, Sean Qualls, for the first time ever!
3) Many of my favorite authors and author friends will be there.
4) I love Austin.
5) I love readers.
I can’t wait!
Many thanks to the folks at Blue Slip Media and Schwartz & Wade/Penguin Random House for making it happen. 🙂

EMMANUEL'S DREAM popping up in some exciting places!

My upcoming picture-book biography, EMMANUEL’S DREAM: THE TRUE STORY OF EMMANUEL OFOSU YEBOAH, has been popping up in a few exciting places lately!
First, I recently got to see–for the first time–how the illustrations by Sean Qualls are progressing, and the artwork is nothing short of amazing! I was sitting in a quiet coffee shop working on my laptop when I got my first glimpse, and it literally brought tears to my eyes, in all the best ways. I wanted to dance around the place and scream with excitement! I love the bold color palette he’s using, the expressions on the characters’ faces, and the way he chose to show parts of the story in silhouetted background images. It’s breathtaking! Unfortunately, I can share any of it with you just yet, but I can’t wait to be able to. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Second, the book is now listed on Goodreads! I hope you’ll click on this link or the button below and add EMMANUEL’S DREAM to your “Want to Read” shelf.

Goodreads button for Emmanuel's Dream

Third, the book is available for pre-order! If you’d like to reserve a signed copy, you may now order EMMANUEL’S DREAM from Secret Garden Books (please leave an extra week or so after the publication date for delivery, and indicate how you’d like it personalized in the “other notes about your order” field). It Is also available for pre-order on Amazon.comBarnes & NobleIndieBoundPowell’s, or directly from the publisher, Schwartz & Wade/Random House.
Keep an eye out for more exciting news!

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