On October 28, my book club had another virtual meeting! We had three guest authors who shared their stories about being an author and read their books! I personally loved the books that were shared and learned some valuable lessons from them.
Our first author that presented was Jenice Owens. Jenice Owens is an American author, singer-songwriter, producer, poet, and entrepreneur. A Sacramento, Ca native who is currently residing in Dallas, Tx. Jenice is a mother to one son. Her passion is encouraging children and youth to walk in their God-given purpose.
Her book titled, Cocoa Brown, was about a little girl who questioned the difference between her and her sister’s skin color. So she went home and asked her parents why their skin colors were different and the mom responded that skin color can vary for everyone. Her mother and father explained their differences in a way that made her look beyond her skin color and focused on how special they both were. I loved the story line especially the message that the story brings. In the society we live in a society where there is racial divide, I believe this book will provide some inspiration and build self confidence for little girls wondering why their skin is different or feel as though they are not beautiful just the way they are. I would recommend this book for ages 5 to 8 years old.
When being asked by a reader, why she wrote her book her response was, "While growing up I always was pretty different from everyone else. I was darker than everyone in my family and in school sometimes I would be made fun of because I was really dark. Luckily for me, my family loved me and called me chocolate bunny and chocolate drop but to the outside world I would get teased. As an adult I had to learn to face my insecurities and appreciate myself. I am now in my thirties and I felt that it would be great to help my children and other children to love themselves and appreciate who they are from an early age, so that they do not have to go through what I went through."
“It is our differences that makes us unique. It doesn't matter the color of our skin and the texture of your hair, you are all wonderfully and beautifully made,” she added.
We did a fun activity led by Janice where we identify what it means to love ourselves. One of our members, Kioja Turner, shared her work with us. See image below.
Our second guest Author that presented was Ernest Tre Hadrick lll. Ernest “Tre” Hadrick III is an educator, certified counselor, and community leader in Norristown, PA. For more than 15 years he has worked to advance the lives of young children, teens, and their families. He currently serves as a school counselor at Eisenhower Middle School and as an adjunct professor at Villanova University.
He authored the book titled, Cheese Steaks and Clippers. It is about a little boy who went to the barber shop to get his haircut. While waiting for his turn in the barber’s chair, he got to see, hear, and learn what a friendly community is like! The older gentlemen engaged in conversations that would teach him life lessons. The pictures on the wall were iconic heroes such as Martin Luther King, and they also inspired him to believe in himself and his dreams.I loved this story! The message of the story is very important. It reminds me of a saying my mother once told me, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Kids learn from their surroundings and the people they engage with in their community. The story really puts you in the position of the main character! I would recommend this book for ages 5 to 10.
The third author that presented was Carrie Firestone! Carrie Firestone is an author, former high school teacher, and community builder. Her stories reflect a life-long passion for activism, travel, and bringing seemingly random groups of people together for a common cause. She currently co-runs ForwardCT, a civic engagement and service project organization in Connecticut where she lives with her husband, teen daughters, and rescue dogs.
Her books are titled, Dress Coded, and The Unlikelies! At our meeting we spoke about her book, Dress Coded. I was super excited about this book. I had the pleasure of reading Dress Coded prior to the meeting. This book is a chapter book for middle schoolers like myself. It is about a girl named Molly doing a podcast about her experience at Fisher Middle School. It focuses on the issue of young girls being dressed coded in schools unfairly. We had an amazing discussion about this and other issues arising in schools that affect young girls. We even spoke about the Crown Act and discussed our different perspectives. Many of our members learned about the Crown Act for the first time. I enjoy discussions like these and I am looking forward to another session with Carrie Firestone. Carrie, myself, and the rest of the members have decided to create a group with readers who are interested in discussing issues in school and how to write a petition to change these issues. We will be sharing more details about this soon. Sign up to the book club here for notifications.
One behalf of the Love of Literature book club board members and our readers, I would like to thank our guest authors for being a part of our club. We also appreciate the donated copies of your books to our readers.
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We hope to see you at our next meeting.