Have you ever read a book that touched you so much that you had to find the author and communicate your gratitude?
Children’s books can elicit the same response.
Children can love a book so much that parents reach out to authors. The Internet makes it easy to do so. Parents can find authors through their websites and social media platforms. Before the wide use of social media finding authors usually could only be done through sending letters to publishers. I have received letters from parents that were sent to publishers for me and I have received correspondence directly from parents who found my contact information on the Internet. I cherish the letters and I also cherish the immediacy of the contact through social media.
The following is a message I received from a parent in Los Angeles who located me through social media.
“My daughter and I just finished reading When Grandmama Sings and it started a discussion about segregation, acceptance, and loving others. Thank you! We enjoyed the book.”
Mothers not only contact me, but fathers do too. The following is an email I received from a father who discovered my contact information on my website.
“When Grandmama Sings is so realistic and convincing my daughter and I tried to find the history of the singer and her band.”
It brings me much joy to know that my books, not only touch children, but parents as well.
I have even received messages from parents in other countries. The following is an email I received from a father who lives in Israel.
“I am an American-Israeli citizen living practically my whole life in Israel. I have a daughter (5) whom I just finished reading the book you guys wrote and illustrated – Uncle Jed’s Barbershop. Apart from the story beautifully unfolding, the illustrations are amazing and true to life. When I got to the part where she arrives at the hospital and you describe the segregation, I ask my daughter, “What do you think? Are black people and white people any different?” Her answer is simple and touching. “Aba (father in Hebrew), you are a person. She is a person. We are all the same.” Needless to say, the rest of the story was read to her with tears in my eyes. The ending was inspiring and beautiful. And I do not usually go out of my way to find authors and illustrators of the many books I read to her. But this one was a special one. So thank you, for the beauty in storytelling, and the most splendid illustrations accompanying the book. Keep up the good work! With much appreciation!”
Hearing from parents warms my heart. I get such joy from receiving such communication. What makes the letters, emails, and social media messages extra special is that I do not know the people who take time to reach out to let me know that my books touched them.
It is beyond meaningful to know that my words have the ability to touch another human being to their core.
So parents keep up the detective work. Your messages mean more than you will ever know to authors.
For more information about my books click the link to visit my website
Sixteen year old Lauren Moffit is sassy! She sparkles! She has guts and plenty of confidence!
A popular student, Lauren is privileged and overprotected by her wealthy parents. She is one of few African American students in a prestigious prep school in a predominately white neighborhood.
But nothing can prepare her for the devastating scandal that rocks her world when her father is charged with investment fraud.
Her father’s frozen bank accounts cause Lauren to have to live on her own savings, which leads to something she has never done, watch her spending.
Lauren has to write a new story for her life as she struggles to keep her head held high. She finds out who her real friends are as her popularity declines.
Lauren learns to navigate a new normal with help from the people in the park, where she takes her daily run.
For more information about The People In The Park
One August day I was invited to the main branch of the Little Rock Public Library to read Uncle Jed’s Barbershop to 7 & 8 year olds during Storytime. Since school was not in session parents brought their children. After reading the story, the question and answer period was dominated by parents, who were fascinated with the historical aspects of the story. They shared their childhood memories about going to the barbershop. Some animatedly talked about relatives who were barbers.
But there was not one word from any of the children.
I really wanted to hear what the children thought since Uncle Jed’s Barbershop is a book for children. No matter how long I waited, there was no comment from a child.
After all adults had exhausted their questions and shared their barber stories, I packed my bag to leave.
As I was going out the door, a little girl stopped me. She said, “I liked your story about Uncle Jed. I want to be a doctor when I grow up. But my grandmama keeps saying I’ll never be one. Now I know I can be a doctor.”
The emotions her comment generated in me are indescribable. I knew then I had achieved my goal in writing Uncle Jed’s Barbershop. I wanted to inspire children to dream big dreams for their lives and to believe that those dreams can come true.
But that day, this girl ended up inspiring me. As a result, I felt a bigger responsibility; to make sure as many students as possible heard the story of Uncle Jed’s Barbershop.
The Little Rock library visit was my very first appearance with Uncle Jed’s Barbershop. Since then I have travelled throughout the United States sharing Uncle Jed’s story. And countless children have read about Uncle Jed and his dream of owning a barbershop.
Year after year I receive letters from students telling me about their dreams and how hearing Uncle Jed’s story has convinced them that their dreams can come true. The letters come directly to me after school and event visits.
Letters and emails even arrive from students with which I have had no contact. They have found Uncle Jed’s Barbershop in their school library, their public library, or their teachers read it to them. An interesting aspect of the letters is that the students tell me their dreams, and they also share who tells them they cannot achieve those dreams. Oftentimes, it is a close family member.
I am delighted that Uncle Jed’s Barbershop has inspired and continues to inspire children to dream great dreams for their lives, no matter how unattainable others think those dreams may be!
For further information about Uncle Jed’s Barbershop