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Thanku: Poems of Gratitude for Young People

Please join Main Street Books for a last-day-of-summer salute to gratitude.

Four of the contributors to the inspiring children’s compilation Thanku will stop by the store to celebrate the book’s release and chat about the many, many things in daily life that can prompt gratitude - a fortifying message for children on the cusp of a new school year.

Thanku, a poetry anthology edited by Miranda Paul, explores a wide range of ways to be grateful (from gratitude for a puppy to gratitude for family to gratitude for the sky) with poems by a diverse group of contributors, paired thoughtfully with illustrations from Marlena Myles. Kirkus hails Thanku as "lovely lyric lessons in appreciating the ordinary."

A portion of the proceeds from Thanku will go to We Need Diverse Books, a “non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.” For more information, please click here.

About the visiting contributors:

Vanessa Brantley Newton

Vanessa Brantley Newton was born during the Civil Rights movement, and attended school in Newark, NJ. She was part of a diverse, tight-knit community and learned the importance of acceptance and empowerment at early age. 

Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats was the first time she saw herself in a children’s book. It was a defining moment in her life, and has made her into the artist she is today. As an illustrator, Vanessa includes children of all ethnic backgrounds in her stories and artwork. She wants all children to see their unique experiences reflected in the books they read, so they can feel the same sense of empowerment and recognition she experienced as a young reader.

 Brantley Newton has authored and illustrated a wide array of children’s books, including The King of Kindergarten and Let Freedom Sing.

Becky Shillington

Becky Shillington is a former elementary school teacher who has been published in Highlights magazine and in parenting magazines in South Carolina and Texas. A life-long poet, she enjoys presenting poetry workshops at local elementary schools and also writes picture books through YA. Becky lives in Fort Mill, SC with her husband and twin sons.

Megan Hoyt

Megan Hoyt first fell in love with reading on a cozy branch of the crabapple tree outside her Texas home. She devoured Beverly Cleary’s books there, and Marguerite Henry’s “horsey books” still remind her of the loud Texas cicadas at dusk.

Megan’s debut picture book biography is coming out in early 2021. Her poem, "Thanksgiving by the Lake," will appear in the Millbrook Press anthology Thanku: Poems About Gratitude (2019), and her graded reader, Clara O'Hara, Private Eye (TCM) will also be available in 2019. Her first picture book, Hildegard's Gift, released in 2014.

Chrystal Giles

Chrystal Giles is a financial analyst by day and a children's book author by night. She has a strong focus on creating stories that bring the hopes and hurdles of African American children to the mainstream children’s book market. She is a member of SCBWI and was selected as a 2018 We Need Diverse Books Mentee. One of Chrystal’s poems will be published in an upcoming poetry anthology, THANKU: POEMS OF GRATITUDE (Lerner/Millbrook, September 2019). She lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Shana Corey at Random House has acquired, at auction, debut author Chrystal Giles' Take Back the Block and an untitled second book. Take Back the Block is about 11-year-old Wes, who would rather play video games than be dragged to protests by his activist parents. But when his inner-city neighborhood is targeted by a developer, activism becomes personal.

Earlier Event: August 24
Mothering in the Media
Later Event: August 28
Moving Stories with Camerin