As elementary school reading tutors, the teens of Reach noticed that few children's books reflected their reality. They decided to do something about that: they wrote their own. Now these teens are diversifying children's literature, one smart-fun-real-brave-bold story at a time.
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The Project That Launched Shout Mouse Press
In the summer of 2013 the teens of Reach Incorporated defined an important mission: to create stories the students they tutored could relate to. They knew that there is a troubling shortage of characters and authors of color in the children's book market, and they set out to change that, as well as to produce stories that would foster a love of reading.
Within workshops led by SMP founder Kathy Crutcher, fifteen Reach teens brainstormed, drafted, workshopped, and revised. They worked with talented emerging artists to design illustrations for their stories. Ultimately, their hard work paid off, and they produced four emotionally resonant and totally engaging original children's books.
These first books were the inspiration for Shout Mouse Press. These teens showed us the power and potential of supporting unexpected authors, and of providing platforms for leadership through publication. We are grateful to Reach for giving us this great start, and we're thrilled to continue our work with these talented teens as they add to the exciting and inspiring series, Books by TEENS.