I feel lucky to live a couple of miles from Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park, one of the newest national parks in the U.S.. I've visited the Great Falls many times, but now there are park rangers giving tours and a welcome center with lots of information about the history of Paterson, New Jersey. Alexander Hamilton saw the potential power of the Passaic River and the Great Falls to fuel industry. Paterson was established as the first industrial city in 1791. Cotton, silk, paper, airplanes, locomotives, and rifles were some of the products built in its mills and factories. How inspiring! I'm working on a story about a girl who worked in a Paterson silk mill and helped lead the protests that led to higher wages for the workers in the early 1900's.
Lee & Low Books is publishing a paperback edition of Yasmin's Hammer in September 2015. In the noisy streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, another busy morning is beginning as Yasmin rides to work in her father’s rattling rickshaw. Yasmin longs to go to school so she can learn to read, but her family needs the money she and her sister earn at the brickyard to help keep the rice bag full and the roof repaired. This is a story of persistence and hope--and the power of education to change a child's life and future.
In July 2015, I completed the Picture Book Intensive at Vermont College of Fine Arts. To do this, I read more than 125 picture books and wrote several myself!
“Unless someone like YOU cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” -- Dr. Seuss