The First "Reading Liberia" Books
The first books for Liberian children by Liberian authors will soon be out. Imagine how exciting that will be for both the children who will hold those books that reflect their lives and for the writers and illustrators who created them!
I first became involved in “Reading Liberia” two years ago, and I’m proud to have been part of a large team that has helped make these books possible. But I must confess there have been moments when I’ve been discouraged enough by challenges, delays, and setbacks to wonder: is there a point to my continuing to be involved?
My husband and I received a card from a friend at Christmastime telling us she had made a gift in our names to CODE (the organization that sent me to Liberia and my husband to Ghana for another program). On the back of the “Wishing Star” card is a short story. “The Starfish” is a great reminder – along with the soon-to-be books – that there is, indeed, a point.
Congratulations to the writers – Watchen Johnson Babalola, James V. Dwalu, Augustus Y. Voahn, and Brandy & Millie Wolova – whose stories will soon introduce Liberia’s children to their own literature. And to the illustrators – Chase Walker, Morton Mansa Mason, Leslie Lumeh, Molu F. Jorgbor, and Duke Appleton – whose art helps bring those stories wonderfully to life.
Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.