Gotcha! There’s nothing more exciting than being caught reading your favorite book. To be asked what you’re reading is one of the most magical feelings; your eyes light up, your mouth opens wide with a smile, and suddenly you’re sitting up straight and animated, exclaiming I’m so glad you asked, it’s this book about . . . Sharing one’s favorite book is a way of bonding with others, readers and not. And who knows, maybe someone else’s favorite book could become yours! As part of a year-long campaign to inspire a love for reading and promote how fun it can be for readers of all ages, Get Caught Reading, managed by Every Child a Reader, provides free posters of people who have gotten caught reading to teachers, librarians, and booksellers. Recently, they caught Cardinal Rule Press’ own Vanessa Garcia! Garcia was featured in a recent release of six new Women Leading the Way posters, along with five other women.
Garcia was “caught” reading Los Zapaticos de rosa by José Martí and illustrated by Lulu Delacre. Her poster describes her as a multidisciplinary Cuban American writer who has written and worked for many children’s shows including Caillou and Sesame Street. She’s written for The LA Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, ESPN, and many others. Getting her Ph.D. from the University of California Irvine, she published the children’s book What the Bread Says: Baking with Love, History, and Papan, illustrated by Tam Palin, with Cardinal Rule Press! Read on to learn more about the other featured women!
Zalia Avant-Garde is described on her poster as the author of It’s Not Bragging if It’s True (Published by Random House Books for Young Readers) and Words of Wonder from Z to A (Published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers). Highly awarded, she has been named the 2021 SportsKid of the Year, has multiple Guinness world records for basketball, and was the 2021 National Spelling Bee, the first Black American to win. Avant-Garde was caught reading The Return of the King by J.R.R Tolkien.
On her poster, Raya Kennedy is studying art History at Kenyon College and is the CEO and founder of the National Memorial to the Women Who Worked on the Home Front Foundation. Kennedy is also a lover of music, poetry, and vignette writing. She was caught reading Rosie the Riveter by Penny Coleman.
Mia Wenjen’s poster describes her as the author of Food for the Future: Sustainable Farms Around the World (Barefoot Books) and Sumo Joe (Lee and Low), the latter of which was selected as Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year. Food of the Future is now a Junior Library Guild Selection. Wenjen is also the President and co-founder of Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Wenjen was caught reading Wishes by Muon Thi Van and illustrated by Victo Ngai.
Paula Young Sheldon is described on her poster as the author of Child of the Civil Rights Movement and Just Like Jesse Owens, illustrated by Gordon C. James and written with her father, Andrew Young. A graduate of Duke University and with a master’s in education from Bank Street College, Young Sheldon has been an early childhood educator for over thirty years. She was caught reading Black Was the Ink by Michelle Coles.
Erin Yun’s poster describes her as the author of the middle-grade series Pippa Park. A former student of NYU, Yun also studied art at Cambridge. She has also developed a writing workshop for kids on storytelling. Yun was caught reading When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller.
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Nia Saxon is an editorial intern at Cardinal Rule Press and a student at the University of Michigan studying English and Psychology. A lover of all things story related, she can be found reading, writing, or binge watching whatever show or movie she is obsessed with. She hopes eventually to become an editor in the publishing industry.