The day my daughter Katie started in pre-kindergarten was the day my sister’s husband Tommy, was being tested for cancer. Tommy was a man I had known and loved like a brother since I was five years old. That day began a period of time in which I was a caregiver first for Tommy and then, within one week of his death, my mother, who also died from cancer. During that intense two year time period, Katie obviously had a lot of strong feelings swirling around and inside her. I credit her amazing resilience at least in part on the books we read together that normalized and explained the emotions that she was experiencing.
So you can see perhaps why I am passionate about helping children to understand their emotional lives and the lives of others. Whenever I see my daughter Katie in a particular phase of child development or facing an emotional situation, I look for books to help her process what’s going on inside her. She, like me, has always responded to books and taken them to heart.
Sometimes I think the words of others may reach Katie when I cannot. This is particularly true when trying to explain concepts of social justice to a child who lives in a fairly privileged and progressive community. I love that books can bring these concepts alive in a way that she can understand.
My interests in books about feelings and social justice is natural given my background. Before becoming a writer I spent years studying environmental and human rights law. I also worked for a nonprofit dedicated to promoting social justice and taught nonprofit law to others. Long before law school, I studied psychology. I guess I have always been fascinated by how people live together in society.
Through writing, as in my studies, I seek to answer the question of how we can make the world a better, happier place for all who inhabit it. Please join me in that quest.
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