Good News from Africa

Laptops for Liberia have begun to trickle in. More are needed. Please help spread the word anywhere that a laptop of use to a writer in Liberia might be found. And don’t forget to email me if you have a laptop you’re finished using and would like to donate.

Liberian illustrators are now bringing to life visually the next round of Liberian stories being published as part of the Reading Liberia program, referred to in last week’s post. A publisher in Ghana is working with the We Care Foundation in Liberia on the design of the books which it is hoped will be ready for the printer by the end of March. Stay tuned!Brave Music of a Distant Drum

One of the manuscripts submitted for consideration for the Burt Award for YA Literature in Ghana (another CODE program) had been published in Canada. I had the pleasure of acting as the editor of Brave Music of a Distant Drum for Red Deer Press. Its author called me a tough taskmaster, but the Kirkus review suggests that his hard work paid off in a fine book.

Providing great inspiration to Liberian writers and illustrators and the teachers now introducing their books in Liberian classrooms – and to women and men all over Africa and beyond – is the country’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. You cannot read her acceptance of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Peace and fail to understand why she was a great choice to receive it. The last time I was in Liberia, I asked my driver if he liked his country’s president. His response: a heartfelt “I love her.”

I wish Ellen Johnson Sirleaf many years of leadership of this fine country I’ve had the privilege to visit and make a part of my life.

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