At Mascot Books, we believe that authors from all walks of life deserve a platform to tell their stories and make their voices heard. We champion diversity, welcome new perspectives, and encourage our authors to bring new ideas to the table.
We stand in solidarity with our Black #mascotauthors, and want to take this opportunity to showcase some of the incredible voices and works they’ve shared with the world.
About the Book: For the courageous Rumble Hunters, the things that go bump in the night don’t stand a chance! When James, their fearless leader, hears a curious rumble in the middle of the night, he embarks upon a late-night mission to “hunt that sound.” Along the way, he gathers a heroic band to aid in his quest. It’s hard to know who or what will be found, but one thing’s for sure — there’s fun to be had on this rip-roaring adventure. Allow your imagination to run wild as you come along to help the Rumble Hunters catch this thunderous culprit!
About the Author: This raucous tale comes from the creative mind of first-time author, Courtney B. Dunlap. She smiles now, but as a kid, Courtney was a scaredy-cat and would never dream of exploring in the dark. She’s got a hunch that amongst her younger readers, she’s not alone. For those whose childhoods are a faint memory, The Rumble Hunters might remind you of a time when you, too, heard your first curious bedtime sounds. This is why The Rumble Hunters’ mesmerizing sense of childlike wonder will appeal to all.
Saying she’s ecstatic about publishing her first picture book would be an understatement! She believes The Rumble Hunters will be the first of many that spark imaginations for generations to come. She hopes that with this book, children of all ages will go beyond their fears to see the world through new eyes!
About the Book: Do you remember what it was like to dream about the future? This is a story about one curious boy who hopes to find out different things he and his friends can become when they are older. It is inspired by the author’s own experiences growing up thinking about what possibilities lay ahead.
About the Author: Kestle Bess was born in Guyana in 1981 to parents Adolphus and Anne Bess. At the age of three, his family migrated to America, eventually becoming United State citizens. Graduating from Kingsborough Community College with an A.A.S. degree, he worked in management within the shipping industry. At the age of twenty-three, Kestle married the lovely Tracy and soon after became the proud father to their son Mason.
About the Book: When Ryan finds himself spending summer vacation in Kenya against his will, he has no idea he’s in for more than he bargained for. His special “gift” comes in handy when he has to protect his desperate friend from catastrophe. And all the while, he really wants to know the answer to one question…
Is he just weird…or is he awesome?
About the Author: Donna Sherard lives in Silver Spring, Maryland in the United States with her husband and son. For the past fifteen years she has worked in global health which has allowed her to travel the globe including Kenya and Uganda where she lived and worked. While her journeys have inspired an entire private library of journals and musings, it wasn’t until her son started looking for his own superheroes that she was compelled to write for children and especially for those yearning for books that they can call“home”. Splendiferous is her first novel.
About the Book: Regardless if it’s curly, locked, or in a teeny-weeny afro (twa), your child’s hair is beautiful and that’s something they should know! As you read this fun, empowering, and confidence-boosting tale with your little ones, help them discover that it takes all hair types to make the world go ’round.
About the Author: Roshni Lauren Rountree has gone from print journalist to school teacher to registered nurse to author, which goes to show that you really can be anything you want in this life! Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she developed her passion for writing at the young age of ten years old, winning elementary school essay competitions and more. She attended the Mecca–Howard University–and earned her Bachelors of Arts in print journalism. After a few career changes, she currently works as an emergency department registered nurse and has chosen to revisit her passion for writing with a specialty in children’s books.
Roshni strives to reach young children before they encounter the negativities of the world that may tell them that they aren’t attractive or intelligent, simply because of the color of their skin. Her ultimate goal is to uplift, encourage, and empower young brown children so that they know they are just as great, if not greater, than their counterparts!
By Jamiyl Samuels & Tracy-Ann Samuels
About the Book: Sandy Taylor thinks her brother Amani is weird because he doesn’t talk. After Mommy and Daddy explain why he doesn’t speak, Sandy realizes how important it is to be nice to someone who appears to be different.
When Sandy sees a girl at her school being bullied for being different from the other kids, she has a big decision to make. Will she ignore it, or will she step in and save her?
W.R.E.a.C Havoc Heroes presents the story of a girl who learns to accept people as they are. This is a tale about UNDERSTANDING and a willingness to show compassion to others.
About the Authors: Jamiyl Samuels is the founder of W.R.E.a.C Havoc Enterprises, a company that fosters growth, creativity, and education through informed written content, film, and recorded music. He began his college career as a Theater major at Morgan State University in 1996, but ultimately graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Media Arts with a concentration in screenwriting from Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York. His ultimate goal is to expand the W.R.E.a.C Havoc brand worldwide. He is currently working on various projects related to The Amazingly Awesome Amani series and other works based on the importance of fatherhood in communities of color.
By Farissa Knox
About the Book: Before Farissa was a successful business woman, wife, mother, and mentor to young women all over the country, she was a 20-something trying to figure it all out. In her debut memoir, Farissa tells her story of navigating an early career in advertising, the journey of falling in love and making grown-woman decisions in her relationship, and the strength and courage true friendship brought her during this time in her life. In her conversational storytelling approach, Farissa takes the reader through the decisions, opportunities, and experiences that helped her become the confident 30-something-year-old woman she is today and creates a sense of “none of us are in this alone” for readers of all ages
About the Author: Farissa Alexander Knox was born and raised in The Bronx. Attending New York City public school, having international childhood friends and living in a bubble of inclusion and real diversity are just some of the things she attributes to her view on life today.
Eventually attending high school and college in Virginia due to her parents’ moving, Farissa majored in Communications and Advertising at Christopher Newport University, graduating in 2003. Jumping straight into her career after school, she spent two years selling advertising in Richmond, Virginia, then moved back to New York to do the same for a few more years. From there, her personal life brought her to Chicago where her career truly blossomed as she took her years of experience selling advertising, along with the relationships developed over that time and turned it into her first business.
RLM Media, a media buying advertising agency and holding company established in 2008, specializing in the Health-care, Political, Recruitment and Consumer space. Then later creating WhatRUWearing, a digital content publishing house focused on creating engaging, beautiful digital content for brands and platforms who need to talk to today’s young woman who loves fashion, style, beauty and creativity. Farissa currently lives in Chicago’s Lake View neighbor-hood with her husband Larry and two daughters, Chloe and Isabelle.
By Toriè Anderson
About the Book: Why be ordinary if you can be REVOLUTIONARY?
About the Author: Toriè J. Anderson is a native Detroitor, urban educator, writer, literacy advocate, and activist. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English Language Literature and Writing, a Master of Arts in Education, and a Master of Education in Literacy Studies. Needless to say, she is well over her head in student loan debts, like most Americans her age.
By Jason J. Howell
About the Book: Can you still achieve the American Dream? You don’t have a pension. Social Security and Medicare may not be there when you need them. You pay much more for housing, even adjusted for inflation, than your parents ever did. College education prices have skyrocketed. You may have gone to a good school and you may make good money (even saved some of it), but this is not the life you imagined. You are stressed, you are too “busy,” and most days, you feel really tired.
What happened to your big dreams?
Blending his career in finance and background in politics, Jason Howell has outlined 7 financial strategies to help you reclaim your American Dream. Joy of Financial Planning shows this generation how to overcome the challenges of a highly competitive, politicized economy. The good news is you can still make an impact on a world desperately in need of your financial success.
About the Author: Jason Howell is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional, former U.S. Congressional candidate, and President of Jason Howell Company. With an emphasis on building family wealth, the Jason Howell Company has created a process that develops parents into future patriarchs and matriarchs.
By JaLeissa Speight
About the Book: You are a part of me. You are my Sonshine.
A mother and son’s bond is a special one. Explore that bond with this beautifully illustrated story, complete with activities you can do with your son.
About the Author: JaLeissa Speight was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan, and now resides near Detroit, Michigan. A graduate of Wayne State University and Walsh College, she has recently embarked on the wonderful journey of motherhood. With overwhelming happiness, JaLeissa welcomed her firstborn son, Amir, in July 2018, and every day thereafter with him has given her purpose in life. So much that she doesn’t even remember what life was like without him in it. This book is her dedication and promise to love him unconditionally like only a mother can and to walk through this journey of life with him so that they can navigate through life’s challenges together.
By Jane Jimenez
About the Book: Rearing twins is not easy by any stretch of the imagination—and raising Kiko and Pez is even harder when you’re a single mom. Their mom made sure they were raised to be best friends so they would always have each other. As close as they are, they became very competitive and challenged each other at every turn. This goofy, hilarious story relates a series of challenges which spill into every activity they come across. Oscar, their best friend, adds to their daily adventures and provides them with plenty of good laughs along the way.
This book is published in memory of author Jane (Cookie) Jimenez, whose family felt it was important to finish her story. The characters are lightly based on her children and other relatives. Half of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be made in memory of Jane to the American Cancer Society, with the other half to be shared equally between her two boys, Josh and Randy.
About the Author: Jane was the youngest daughter of West Indian parents from Dominica, W. I. She attended Cardinal Spellman High School and received a degree in Business Administration from Iona College. She held various positions as an office manager as well as a receptionist at a family practice. She was referred to as Cookie, Janie, or Cook Cooks. She married her soulmate, Ray Jimenez on August 27, 1993 in New York. Jane was the proud mother of twin boys Josh and Randy whom she cherished and adored dearly. She doted over them day and night.
By Nijaah Howard
About the Book: Raising John’s Boy is a raw, honest approach to how the author raised her son. The hope is that you take away practical tools to alleviate any concerns of successfully raising your boy into a good man, while aiming to change the stereotype that places limits on both of you.
A woman can only do but so much as she hears the silence of the loud dismissive cries from a young man raised without his father. Can you imagine how much easier it would be on the mother and the son if we STOP SAYING that “Women cannot raise boys into productive men” or “Only a Man can raise a Man”? What message are we sending young men who are growing up in a single parent household when they hear that?
It sounds like our mothers and boys are trying to fight a losing battle. This could be the very negative seed planted that is telling them both that they are not enough (and they will never be enough), which contributes to low self-esteem and an inability to perform at their greatest potential.
I can only imagine what the world would look like if more mother and son teams actually believed they were ENOUGH! Raising John’s Boy confronts these issues – and more – in this personal, essential book.About the Author: Nijaah Howard is a Mental Health Counselor, Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor, graduate of NYACK COLLEGE, Alliance Graduate School of Counseling, member of American Counseling Association, Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling and recipient of multiple Community and Women of Distinction Awards throughout New York City. She is also the publisher of THOUGHTS/ ACTION, the first multicultural uplifting magazine for men and women of color. She served as Vice President of Parent Teacher Association and Vice President of Youth Affairs, National Action Network, West New York Chapter, and Chaplain under the Worldwide Association of small Churches.
By Shevelle Ford
About the Book: Liesa is a bright and spirited little girl who enjoys helping her mom around the house. Her most favorite thing to do with her mom is go on walks around the neighborhood. When she meets a new friend, a happy little dog, she’s soon plunged into a world of curiosity. Will her new friend ever bark?
About the Author: Shevelle Griffin Ford wears many different hats—wife, mom, daughter, sister, author, pharmacist, entrepreneur, evangelist, playwright, and pastor, just to name a few. The author of I’m Not God, I’m Just a Woman, she loves God and loves life!
By J.R. Smith & Chris Smith
About the Book: J.R. and Chris both have dreams of playing in the NBA, but they quickly realize they can’t do it alone. Join these two brothers on their quest of commitment as they learn the value of teamwork and work toward achieving their ultimate goal!
About the Authors: Earl Joseph Smith Jr., better known as J.R. Smith, was born in New Jersey in 1985. J.R. was a star member of the St. Benedict’s High School basketball team before entering the NBA Draft in 2004. He spent his first two seasons in the NBA with the then New Orleans Hornets before being traded to the Denver Nuggets in 2006. During the 2011 lockout, J.R. played in China, leading the league in scoring and making the All Star Game. He then returned to the NBA with the New York Knicks, playing alongside his brother, Chris. J.R. now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, with whom he won a championship with in 2016. During the offseason, J.R. returns to his hometown of Millstone, New Jersey, with his wife and kids to be near the rest of his family and the place he calls home.
By Jon Alston & Neka Alston
About the Book: Selecting a few of the University of South Carolina’s most-loved sites and locales, this delightful children’s story is filled to the brim with a mixture of vibrant illustrations and whimsical rhyming, dispensed through the use of lyrical text. Without Excuses promotes positive emotional development and underscores the fundamentality of partnership for young people to practice.
About the Authors: The Alstons share Without Excuses hoping to unite all hearts receptive to its message of the relentless pursuit toward a more nurturing community. They enjoy spending time with family and friends, trips to amusement parks, helping with community service and outreach activities, and all things Carolina. Go Cocks!
By ShalomIsrael Diggs
About the Book: Jam-packed with exciting activities involving new vocabulary words of empathy, creativity, understanding, self-esteem, and commitment to self and others, Alphakey’s Alphabet Activity Book is a great addition to the library of any kid with big dreams! Color, draw, and play your way through fun activities involving a new, powerful take on an early education staple, from Achieve to Zeal!
About the AlphaKey Club: The mission of AlphaKey Club Art & Dance Youth Workshops is to encourage empathy, creativity, understanding, self-esteem, and commitment to the self and others through art and dance.
Through national and international partnerships, AlphaKey Club connects youth across the globe to encourage empathy, philanthropy, and promote understanding through travel beyond neighborhood and national borders. Learn more here: www.alphakeyclub.com
By Sylvia Baffour
About the Book: No matter how old you are, where you come from or what you do for a living, the desire to have satisfying and meaningful relationships is one we all share. Relationships are key to everything we do, and the bonds and connections we make with others is what gives us the greatest sense of meaning, happiness, and fulfillment. Nothing interferes more with your ability to enjoy rewarding relationships than an inability to understand your own emotions and manage their impact on you and those around you. Emotional intelligence, the currency of the 21st century, is the essential skill set that separates those who fail in their personal and professional relationships from those who succeed.
About the Author: Sylvia Baffour is a professional speaker, trainer, and executive coach ranked among HubSpot’s Top Fifteen Female Motivational Speakers. She is the founder and president of Baffour International LLC, an organization committed to improving how individuals and companies leap beyond their barriers to achieve peak performance. Her roots began more than four decades ago in her native country of Ghana, and since the tender age of one and a half, her life’s journey has taken her through several countries across the globe. Sylvia is one of the most sought-after speakers and trainers in the fields of personal empowerment and professional development and she is a highly respected thought leader in Emotional Intelligence.
By Joshua White
About the Book: Legend is a typical boy, but he has just one problem–the only thing he wants to do is play games on his phone. What happens when his phone frenzy goes too far? What games can he play without his phone? Join Legend on this messy, silly, and creative journey as he finds out what happens when he has to put his phone down.
About the Author: Joshua White calls Northern California home. You can catch him gazing at the universe through his telescope or at your local car meet. He entered Bethune – Cookman University to learn and departed to serve. He enjoys the great outdoors and doesn’t have any games on his phone that you can play.
By Nikos Cox
About the Book: In this heartfelt story, the readers discovers that lessons about life and death can be found in the unlikeliest of people. In Jurni, a young girl with a love for all things math, science, and space shows us how we can all deal with grief and death.
The pain and fear of tragedy affects us all, no matter our age. After losing her mom, Jurni’s dad encourages her to look up at the night sky, and explains that her mom will always be with the stars above. From that time, Jurni’s goal is to become an astronaut so that she can be close to her mom again. The only obstacle in Jurni’s way is a regional NASA space competition that could clear the way for her most important dream.
Join Jurni as she journeys on a quest that will give her a closer knowledge of her own capacity to get through the pain of loss.About the Author: Nikos Cox is a designer and photographer currently residing in Northern Virginia. Hailing from Hampton Roads, he has photographed countless future world leaders as a school yearbook photographer, traveled to three continents and ten countries, and helped produce short films and theater productions while studying at Virginia Tech. When he isn’t writing, you can find him spending time with family and friends.
By Quinn Woodard
About the Book: Zoey loves math and science, but she doesn’t know what she can be when she grows up. As she says: “It’s difficult to see what I can be when no one looks like me.”
With the help of a friend, Zoey learns all about the amazing things she can become if she follows her passions just like the pioneers who have come before her.
Aimed at introducing new possibilities in STEM for young children, Like Me is perfect for the budding scientist in your family.About the Author: Quinn Woodard is a STEM advocate, mentor, author, and speaker. At an early age, he showed an aptitude for math. However, it wasn’t until high school that he had his first exposure into STEM careers through Project Lead The Way. After completing the program, he leveraged his newly developed appreciation for STEM to pursue an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Tulsa. It was while completing his engineering degree, that he realized there weren’t many individuals who looked like him in STEM. Through his involvement with serving on curriculum advisory committees, mentoring students, and his own personal experience, Quinn realized that early exposure to STEM is critical for minority students. With his book, Like Me, he hopes to provide that early exposure and provide a brief history lesson of those who came before.
About the Book: What’s a kid to do without his shoe?
Dave and his family are ready for a fun trip to get ice cream – until disaster strikes! Dave hops on one foot all over town trying to find his missing shoe, and enlists the help of his friends and neighbors (and even zoo animals!) to locate his lost shoe. After searching high and low, Dave finally discovers that the help he needed all along was with the person he least expected – and the last place he looked!About the Author: Candace Coleman resides in Mobile, Alabama. She is an Early Childhood Development Education Major at Spring Hill College. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Candace is also an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist. She enjoys working with children and being a part of their learning processes. She discovered a love for writing when she was in her Education Literature class. Candace was inspired by many of the authors she studied. She wanted to include diversity in her book so that every child can see different ethnicities. In her spare time, she enjoys decorating, being with family, and reading.
By MJ Romain
About the Book: Fudo Town is no easy place to live: it’s a developing city that’s being milked by greedy corrupt leaders.
Every couple of years, the Guvu Tournament–a tournament of strength and strategy–is held in the city. Fifteen- year-old Kuro Simba has his sights set on entering this year, but soon forces out of his control come together to teach him what is truly important.About the Author: MJ Romain was born in Canada and raised in the United States by Haitian Parents. MJ finds his inspirations through his friends and family. The stories he tells reflect the struggles and triumphs of his and his people’s lives. Storytelling has always been a passion of his and this is one of many outlets he uses to tell his story. MJ’s goal is to represent his Haitian heritage in a respected light.
By Destiny Fernandez
About the Book: In the world of children’s dreams, anything is possible. Find adventure as you follow an alphabet of possibility, remembering that one day your little one’s dream could be reality.
By Takisha M. Payne
About the Book: This is a book about a small child understanding and using her God-given talents. Although her mother is skeptical, she never loses focus and, along with encouraging words from her father, she excels with her hip hop dancing skills.
About the Author: Takisha Payne was born in Warrenton, Virginia. Her love for writing began at an early age. In 5th grade she received an award for an outstanding paper on “Saying No To Drugs”. This began her love for writing. Specializing in poetry her love to write increased. She began to write short poems with rhyming patterns. In 2008 Takisha began to focus her rhyming ability into stories which in turn have become her children’s books.
By Kimberly F. Monroe
About the Book: It’s time for homecoming at Grambling State University, and Charlie P. can’t wait! Along with his parents, he tours the school and finds out everything there is to know about Grambling State and its alumni and traditions. With its fun facts and school spirit, this children’s book is perfect for any true GSU fan.
About the Author: Kimberly Ferren Monroe is a two-time graduate of Grambling State University. Having received her B.A. in History and M.A. in Mass Communication and History in 2014, she is a proud alumna who wrote this book as a way of giving back to Grambling State University. A native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Kimberly grew up using writing as a way to express herself. At Grambling, she was a part of various organizations, including Sigma Alpha Iota and Lyrical Quest, and served as an editor for The Gramblinite—the school newspaper. In addition, in 2011 she founded Natural Sistahs, an organization promoting self-confidence for natural haired women at GSU. At an HBCU full of rich traditions, there was a lot of history to include, but she chose what would stand out to fans and potential students. Kimberly is receiving her Ph.D. in History at Howard University and her proposed graduation is 2018. She plans on being a History professor at an HBCU—hopefully Grambling!
By Latrice Collins
About the Book: Come along as we explore North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. From being at the forefront of civil rights, politics, and space exploration to having the greatest homecoming on earth, learn about the rich heritage of this Historically Black College and University (HBCU) as you take a tour of the yard. Can I get an AGGIE PRIDE?
About the Author: Latrice Collins is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, University of Virginia, and the Savannah College of Art and Design. When she’s not being a CPA and running her collegiate brand Rated HBCU, you can find her traveling the world, having a dance party with her son Christian, and telling everyone how much she loves HBCUs. She currently resides in Dallas, Texas, with her son and his fish. Visit her at latricecollins.com.
To see more of our #mascotauthor’s stories, visit the Mascot bookstore.