Author Spotlight: Local Children's Authors

Published Monday, March 18, 2024

I'm sure you have heard of those big city authors such as James Patterson, Dr. Seuss, or J.K Rowling. But have you ever wanted to read an author that was closer to home?

Well now's your chance! Here are a few local children's authors and their books to try out.

Alton ABC
Written by Renee B. Johnson and Illustrated by Mary A. Curvey, John F. Rogers, Laurin L. Davidson, Sophia M. Smith, MacKenzie R. McElyea, Aspen Maryah Payge, Jacquelyn M Buettner, Sabrina A. Ward, Derek Van Deusen, and Kaylee E. Pollard

A delightfully descriptive picture book on the local sights to see! Written in rhyme, the various sights and history of the area are highlighted by the wonderful mix of drawings and real pictures. A short description of the historical figures and places are at the end of the book.

This book has so much about the area, you may learn something you never knew!

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Annemarie and Boomer Wait for Grandma
Written by Pat Goehe and Illustrated by Joe Bowen

This cute little story tells of a young girl waiting for her grandma to visit. In the meantime, she has to go to school. During class, the teacher asks the girl to describe what she does with her grandmother.

This book is the perfect story for grandparents to read with their grandkids.

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Black girls can: An Empowering Story of Yesterdays & Todays
Written by Rachel Garlinghouse and Illustrated by Tracey Taylor Arvidson

This inspiring book gives numerous positive examples of what little black girls can be. All examples, such as Rosa Parks and Bessie Coleman, have short biographies at the end of the book.

Parents can use this book to spark a conversation about history with their children, as well as elaborating on the historical womens' character strengths.

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Donut Day in Ramadan
Written by Mariam Quaizar and Illustrated by Zahra Alebooyeh

In this story, a girl named Zehra is fasting during Ramadan. But she sees that later in the month there's a Donut Day at school! Will she eat a donut or continue her fast? There's only one way to find out!

This story helps those who are not Muslim understand just what Ramadan is and what those who practice that faith do during that time.

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Fishbone the Potter
By Mark A. Levy

Author Mark A. Levy wrote this fantasy story intertwined with historical facts of the local Cahokia Mounds. The main characters are twelve years old and amateur detectives, with a supporting character of a Piasa dragon! What mysteries will unfold? One will only figure it out by reading!

Middle grade readers who enjoy fantasy or history or both will be sure to enjoy this story.

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Over in the Garden
Written by Jennifer Ward and Illustrated by Kenneth J. Spengler

Counting and bugs go hand in hand in this story. All the bug families in this story are going on a journey, using delightful verbs along the way. A list of fun facts about the different types of bugs in the story are at the end of the book.

Any bug lover will have a splendid time reading this story.

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What's That?
Written by Kevin Rader and Illustrated by Tim Gusewelle

Filled with wonderful pictures that may remind you of things that make this area special, this book describes what things may or may not be in descriptive rhyme. The illustrations are distinct and colorful, catching the eye on every page.

Families can read this together with their little ones and ask them "what's that?" to see what they think.

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Young Lincoln
By Jan Jacobi

This fictional biography of Abraham Lincoln is told from Lincoln's own point of view. Jan Jacobi wishes to humanize Lincoln in this way, having the reader empathize with Lincoln's thoughts and feelings as he ages from a young boy to a young man.

Readers who have an interest in history, especially of Abraham Lincoln, will find this an engaging read.

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About the Author

Rachel is the Youth Services Assistant. She loves to read science fiction and romance novels. She also loves to watch terrible B-movies that no one likes.

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