"Novels that address tough topics should also leave the reader with possibilities for concrete action—and the hopefulness that emerges from those actions. In Torch, action and hope grow out of the bonds of friendship that Štěpán, Lída, and Tomáš create with each other."
"Some books want to be written. They refuse to go away. They nag. I like to joke that Amber and Clay (Candlewick, 2021) went to other writers first, and tried to get them to write it. The other writers had sense enough to say no."
"Of course, I hated the thought of readers giving up on my story. But I wanted readers to get a firsthand sense of Rayne’s everyday challenges. The more I contemplated the request, the sadder I got. An able-bodied reader was asking me, a disabled writer, to enable them more."
"Even the one piece I discovered to be missing once the picture was complete felt right somehow. In telling true stories, my goal is to be as thorough as possible, and to see the world through my subject’s eyes as best I can, but my view—and anyone else’s view of anyone’s story—will always have missing pieces."
Our libraries have picture books on every topic a young child might encounter, except this. Although a tough task, I decided to write a book to validate what children might be feeling and encourage dialogue between caregivers and young people.
"Food is a link to our heritage, a bridge to other cultures, a cornerstone of community. There are so many memories and emotions associated with food and the sharing of it. In every food, there is a story."
"As an educator, Hope Wins is the book I wish had existed over the years to give to the young people in my life that were struggling. It tells them, "You can do this. You are strong. You are capable. You are enough. You can hang your heart on hope.”"