Hello! Do you want your students to experience the magic of having a real, live author visit their class? I’m available! I offer book readings, book signings, skype visits, book sale appearances and more! I even teach literacy sessions for elementary and middle school book lovers.
I am a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), and I have been writing since I could hold a pencil. I have also been reviewing books for trade publishers across the US for over 15 years and I love giving away brand new books to the children I encounter. I have won several writing awards, including:
a. 2022 Texas Bluebonnet Award
b. 2022 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award
c. 2021 Comstock Read-aloud Award
d. 2021 Crystal Kite Award
e. 2021 Floyd’s Pick Award
f. Donald Scaif Conference Scholarship, 2018
g. State of Tennessee Professional Development Grant, 2017
h. 2014: East TN Historical Society Community History Award
i. 2014: SCBWI Letter of Merit – Multicultural
j. 2012: Lee and Low Books New Voices Award Winner
k. The Haven Foundation Grant, 2009
l. 2009: First Place, Google Knol Competition
m. 2007: Innerlit Moon Best First Chapter Contest (unpublished Romance)
MOST RECENT CHILDREN’S BOOKS
I have two children’ books that I’m very proud of.
1. The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read (Random House, 2019). http://theoldeststudent.com. It is the true story of a formerly enslaved woman who was freed at age 15 by the Emancipation Proclamation, but who did not learn to read until she was 116 years old! It has received STARRED REVIEWS from The Wall Street Journal, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, and School Library Journal. Thank you!
2. Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story. (Lee and Low, Sept. 2018) – http://hammeringforfreedom.com. It is the true story of an enslaved man who RENTED HIMSELF from his owner and used the money he earned to free himself, his wife and his entire family. It received STARS from School Library Journal, Hornbook, Kirkus and Booklist. Thank you!
I’m also the author of AFRICAN AMERICANS OF CHATTANOOGA: A HISTORY OF UNSUNG HEROES (The History Press, 2007). This is a pictorial history book that documents the presence and contributions of African Americans in Hamilton County, Tennessee from its incorporation to the present day.
Salem Press published four of my nonfiction articles in its Great Lives from History: African American series (2010) and I contributed a historical article called DR. EMMA ROCHELLE WHEELER: A BEACON OF LIGHT for the book Tennessee Women of Vision and Courage, sponsored by the American Association of University Women.
My other titles include PLAYWRITING (Cavendish Square, 2017); GETTING A JOB IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY (Rosen Publishing, 2013); and GETTING THE MOST OUT OF MOOC and THE RIGHT DEGREE FOR ME IN HEALTH CARE (both published by Rosen Publishing, 2015).
Tell Me About Your Classroom
WHAT YOU GET
When I speak to your students, I read from my latest book and then provide a Q&A session during which the children can ask anything they like about the writing process, the publishing world, and what it’s like to see your book on the shelves.
Want to get the ball rolling? Complete the Contact Form to the left and let’s chat about your manuscript.