I grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, surrounded by writing and books: my father was a journalist and my mother is a retired school librarian. For many years, I broadcast news on ABC Radio WMAL in Washington, D.C., where I began reviewing and discussing children’s books.
I graduated from Brown University, where I studied international relations. I once worked in Paris, France and traveled with a backpack through Indonesia, but then I met my Egyptian husband right in Washington, D.C. We have two adult children and have been lucky enough to visit Egypt many times – especially Alexandria, my husband’s hometown. Now my husband and I are the leaders of a group called Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Maryland, D.C., Virginia), which supports the Children’s Library in Alexandria, Egypt.
In 2012, my first children’s book – and illustrator Susan Roth’s 40th (maybe more) – was published: Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books. I find it very exciting to share modern Egypt with young readers through my book and my conversations with students.
Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words
Illustrated by L.C. Wheatley
Published by StarWalk KidsMedia, 2014
New edition coming from Lee & Low 2018
Ages 8 - 12
“…her words and her storytelling are clear and moving, revealing a real talent for understanding young audiences. Instead of introducing or explaining the Taliban within the body of the story, for example, she leaves it in a longer endnote, so that the main narrative can focus on Malala herself. “
Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books
Illustrated by Susan L. Roth
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012
Ages 8 – 12
"Freedom and libraries: an essential combination...A stunning visual recreation of a recent historical event."
- 2013 Middle East Outreach Council Children’s Book Award
- 2013 Arab American Book Award
- 2013 Notable Social Studies Trade Books
- 2013 Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books
- 2013 Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices
- 2013 Notable Books for a Global Society - International Reading Association
- 2013 National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Recommended Book
- 2013 Best Books for Young Children - Children's Africana Book Awards Committee
Handsaroundthelibrary.com includes resources, activities and ideas for teachers and students; photo galleries of large and tiny libraries all around the world; background about the Bibliotheca Alexandrina; and a blog about Egypt, libraries and much more.