Working with Tina and I, Abbey Thole in Portland has written the first part of a new reader, working with the Louisville-based illustrator Derek Ashby.
Why is this a big deal? Because it will be the first books to fly off the FCR table during Free Choice Reading time. Why? Because it will deal with issues that impact kids hard. What issues?
Real issues. Trying to get out of a gang. Issues of racism and poverty, sexual identity, how it feels to be shot at in a school building. I wish I could provide a sample of what Abbey has done so far but it’s not ready yet.
To be more specific about content. Trying to get out of a gang. We would like to see someone who has lived it, or find a person who has been gang-affected, to write the book, or write WITH an author, etc. Or we do not do it. We only want real, true voices.
Here’s the invite – anyone feeling that readers/chapter books of this type are needed and has any ideas about how to be a part of this new book initiative that Tina and I are excited about making happen, pls. let me know at
Tina and I are not blowing smoke about this project in our little company and intend to ACTIVELY push our work in the direction of diversity and all the others issues facing REAL kids these days. We want to stir things up. If you can help us further this dream as an author, illustrator, etc. in any way, pls do so.



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