My Birthday Wish!

I debated hotly (yes, with myself!) as to whether or not I was going to post this. I've never been one to sing my own praises or point the spotlight in my own direction, but this post and this wish is bigger than little ole me, so here goes...

For my birthday this year, I have two wishes:

· One, I want to continue to work on becoming a positive presence in my school as a teacher and in my community

· Two, I hope for my first children’s book, The Reluctant Adventures of Jimmy McMuggins, to be a vehicle to achieve that first birthday goal.

After working on this book for the past almost six years, my first children's book is finally hitting the proverbial shelves. Our first print run is 1000 copies. (Yes, 1000 copies... in boxes... strewn around my living room.)


SO, this is where I need your help. My goal is to sell out (obviously), but not to make money and roll around in it à la Scrooge McDuck although that does sound appealing. Instead, I am hoping for it to fund the production of the next books in the Jimmy series and contribute a substantial donation to a scholarship fund (more on that in a minute!).


For some, $20 may sound like a lot for a children’s book. But if I may for a minute advertise EVERYTHING you’re getting for that $20, I think you’ll realize it’s the deal of a lifetime! :)


For $20, you are:


· Purchasing AN INSCRIBED, SIGNED COPY of a fun story with an uplifting and inspiring message for children of all ages!


· Receiving learning supplements in the back of the book like vocabulary definitions and comprehension questions to help your

learner continue to foster new skills along with the story


· Supporting a female-run, independently-owned small business whose operation represents five other female authors in varied genres


· Donating to an incredible non-profit organization who focuses on building communities through creativity, kindness, and education


· Specifically, contributing to the scholarship fund in honor of one of the kindest, pure-hearted individuals I have ever had the privilege of knowing, Ms. Shelley Raley


· Making me the happiest author, publisher, friend, human on the planet!



Some ways you can help:

* Buy a copy, OR FOUR! I promise, it makes a great gift!

* SPREAD THE WORD. Seriously, I know it doesn't seem like a lot, but people tend to trust the opinions of their friends and loved ones. So it really does help!

* Order a copy and donate it to a teacher or a classroom! I'd be HAPPY to arrange a LIVE zoom reading (for as long as I can) of the story with school classes. (Yes, for free!! I would just LOVE hanging with some awesome readers for a little while, and if they want, they can ask some questions about what it's like to be an author.)

* Buy a copy and donate it to a children's hospital, hospital for their waiting room, or a group home, etc.

* If any of you have ANY contacts of people who could help me spread the word about this book, pleeeease reach out. I can use all the help I can get!


Keep up to date with how we're doing with our goal with our live UNIT tracker! (I know it shows our goal in DOLLARS, but that's only because I can't find a good widget to display it in units. So use your imagination! haha.)


A little about The Reluctant Adventures of Jimmy McMuggins:

Jimmy McMuggins would love to go and play with the other children, but there’s only one problem – he’s afraid of going outside.

Jimmy spends his days dreaming of playing outside, wishing he could muster the courage to leave his house. But one day, a spunky young girl challenges him to step outside of the only world he’s known and try his hand at an adventure of his own


This books is written in a rhyming style and rhythm similar to Dr. Seuss and is truly intended for children of all ages. It can be read to children as young as four and read by children as they develop their literacy skills from ages 7-11.


A little about the US & WE Foundation:

The Us & We Foundation has been a dream of mine for a while now, but I could never quite find the right time to get all of the ducks in a row. The idea started a few years ago when I was really taken by the sweeping trend (which I WISH had run longer) of practicing Random Acts of Kindness and the positive ripple effect it can have in a community. As we have heard time and time again, kindness matters and if we can use kind acts, collaboration and cooperation, and a little creativity, we can build stronger communities – ones full of people who can rely on one another and enjoy the company of one another. We need more US & WE, and less I and ME.

So around the same time, I watched a Youtube video of actor Wentworth Miller speaking at a Human Rights event and was truly moved to tears. His words ignited something in me, and I could never get his words out of my head. He explained how greatly he struggled as a kid growing up and it was so bad that he was forced at an early age to experience the world in "survival mode". He explained how he couldn't ever think about making friends, or being kind or considerate or extracurricular activities or how to be a good a leader, he had to put his head down and focus on just making it through the day. As a teacher, I see this to be true every day. Students, and even adults who are products of difficult upbringings, who live their days in survival mode.


The US & WE FOUNDATION works to build positive relationships between citizens and their communities to help foster a population that values kind acts as social and communal currency. We want to donate, create, and educate our way into building new ways to take care of one another and the communities we live in.

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