Traveling is a passion of mine. My family has inspired my traveling, as well as the diverse students at the elementary school where I used to teach. I was so intrigued by my past students that I decided to embark on a journey to some of their native countries around the world in order to better understand each of them as individuals and to better my teaching. My students became an inspiration for my traveling and my traveling has become an inspiration for my writing.
My objective is to write realistic fiction picture books that teach young readers about different aspects of the world based on my own experiences in the countries I visit. I want to transport my readers to unique locations to have experiences like no other, in hopes of inspiring them to "be the change" in the world.
IT WAS JUST A HOUSE
The smell of freshly baked bread coming through a refugee camp takes a young girl back to happier times in her home country. This memory lasts as long as the aroma that quickly evaporates into the heavy, thick air of the camp. The young girl is forced to embark on a journey of hardship and displacement, ultimately finding relief at the Baqa’a refugee camp in Jordan with her parents and two brothers. While the conditions of the camp are something most would consider substandard, the young girl communicates a strong, powerful message about optimism and family.
This tale is based on true stories and encounters that I have experienced while traveling throughout Jordan, located in the Middle East. My hope is to embed empathy in readers of all ages by sharing this empowering story told from the perspective of a child.
THE BOY WITH THE RED SHOES
A young boy awakes to the sound of horns and sprints through the makeshift camp, where he currently lives with his family. Once he arrives at the local marketplace, he sets up his hand crafted items on the curbside to sell to the tourists from the cruise ships. Selling the items is essential, as it is the only income for the boy and his family. Times have been tough for the boy and his family ever since an earthquake destroyed their home and community, but he is hopeful when he sees the tourists rushing towards him. Then the unexpected happens and he is quickly discouraged. Today is not going to go as planned for the boy. What will he tell his family if he comes home empty handed? The fate of this boy suddenly changes when he meets a young, unforgettable tourist--the boy with the red shoes.
This story is based on some events that took place at a local marketplace in Haiti while I was touring with my family. This tale communicates the hardships that a young boy and his family face after being displaced from a natural disaster. It shares the boy's coping skills through loss, separation, and recovery. Not only will this story take you on an emotional, heartfelt journey, but it reveals how a small act of kindness can inspire others in big ways.
Are you ready to walk a day in this young Haitian boy's shoes?