Bettye Stroud, a former school library media specialist and author of several children’s books is on a “mission” to introduce kids to the joys and benefits of reading at an early age. Reading out loud to children is the single most important thing an adult can do to prepare a child for future academic success and life. “Reading is a skill that they will use for the rest of their lives and embracing it at early age develops their love of books in addition to expanding their knowledge and vocabulary”, says Ms. Stroud.
Ms. Stroud’s entire career was spent working with elementary school children. Because she’s read thousands of books over the years, she knew what kind of stories she wanted to tell. After retiring, she joined a writers group. Years of involvement with the best writers and best literature in the children’s field gave her the background she needed for her new venture. Ms. Stroud loves the personal interaction with children so she spends a great deal of time visiting schools and libraries and inspiring children to read, grow, and dream.
During her visit to the kindergarten class at Adamsville Elementary in southwest Atlanta, the kids were introduced to her latest book, The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom (Candlewick, 2005). It is the story of a brave father and his young daughter Hannah, slaves on a Georgia plantation, who use the patterns in a quilt to lead them to freedom.
Ms. Stroud has always wanted to write inspirational children’s books and books that speak of her African American heritage. Other books by Bettye Stroud are “The Leaving”, “Down Home at Miss Dessa’s”, and “Dance Y’all”. Ms. Stroud also teaches Writing for Children at the University of Georgia. Bettye Stroud can be contacted through her publishers: Lynda Tinari, Cavendish Children’s Books, and Erika Strand, Lee & Low