Valerie Bolling is the author of LET’S DANCE! (March 2020) and has been an educator for 28 years. Since her book was released a week before the pandemic shutdown, she has been engaged in virtual storytimes and author panels. Immersed in the writing community, Valerie is on the faculty at Westport Writers’ Workshop, serves as the co-chair of the NESCBWI Equity and Inclusion Team and is a member of SCBWI, the Authors Guild, NCTE, and ILA. She is also a 2020 WNDB Mentee and a member of Kid Lit in Color, Black Creators in Kid Lit, Soaring 20s PBs, 12X12 Picture Book Challenge, and two picture book critique groups. Valerie has two books scheduled for release in 2022 and five more slated for 2023. To find out more about Valerie and her books, please visit her website: valeriebolling.com.
“One of my most memorable experiences as a fifth grade teacher was reading Lulu Delacre’s Salsa Stories with my students. The book features Latinx characters with some of the dialogue written in Spanish. Though all of my students enjoyed the book, the comment I still remember is a Latinx student declaring, “This is the first time I’ve read a story that reminds me of my family.” Diverse children’s literature has become even more personal to me recently. I have two nieces, ages 6 and 8; two godsons, ages 9 and 12; and a cousin (my cousin’s grandson), age 6 – I write with these special children in mind. In fact, they have provided inspiration for many of my stories. As I write, I think about the stories I read to them and those that I wish were available to them. I feel I have a responsibility to write stories that I want them – and all children – to read. ”
THE LITERARY CAFE–BOOKS & EVENTS Bookstore Amplify Black Stories Book List, Curated by The African American Children’s Book Project showcases a wide range of topics and talent from the Black Literary Community, including our cohort of Storytellers and members of the Brown Bookshelf. The list includes both non-fiction and fiction titles that will empower, enlighten and enrich all readers. Visit the bookstore.