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Opening a New Chapter

Theresa and me with mock up of our book cover.

A new chapter is opening in my life. Totally unexpectedly, I have become a children's book author! Let me tell you about it. 

My daughter-in-law Theresa Howell (Brian's wife) is a highly regarded children's book author and editor. A couple years ago she and I were chatting at my kitchen table and we observed how few children's books there were about women in politics. We felt girls needed to know about the women who led the way, ignoring obstacles, to shake up and improve our political system. 
 
And so, Leading the Way: Women in Power was conceived. Our vision was to highlight fifty American women who stood up, blazed trails, and led the way. We also wanted to provide future leaders (nine years old and up) guidance on how they could develop leadership skills right now. So the book includes a guide for budding activists.
 
Much to my surprise, three major publishers vied for our book. We selected Candlewick Press -- and they have totally supported our ideas. They also selected a talented illustrator, Kylie Akia, to draw a portrait of each woman. Each of the political leaders has a biography, a portrait, and highlighted quotations. Children will be able to skip around the book, read it from cover to cover, or dip in and out. 
 
Hillary Rodham Clinton caught our vision. She has written a moving, uplifting Foreword to the book. When Theresa and I first read her words, we both were moved to tears. 

Selecting fifty women was not easy. Our hope is that every girl reading the book will find someone like herself. The women are from varied political, ethnic, racial, religious, and geographic backgrounds. Each has an inspiring story. Each overcame resistance to move America forward. Many are largely unknown now and deserve recognition.
 
Recently, Theresa and I were in New York for the BookExpo. This was a totally new experience for me! Even though it won't be published until October, our book was highlighted. Theresa and I were center stage on a panel with Susan Rice and Samantha Power. Promotional materials were plentiful. We signed hundreds of autographs. Especially heartening was the response of teachers and school librarians -- they said a book like this was long overdue. We agree!

I continue to love being your State Senator and am eager to solve any problems you may have with state government. Contact my office at district32@senate.virginiaa.gov or 703-709-8283.

I will be on the ballot November 5, 2019 and would appreciate your support and your vote.