Meena Harris, illus by Marissa Valdez. Little, Brown, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-22969-2
Meena Harris was born into a family of ambitious women whose legacy continues to inspire her. Meena herself is a lawyer and entrepreneur, as well as a New York Times-bestselling author. In 2017 she founded Phenomenal, a female-powered organization that brings awareness to social causes. She currently resides in San Francisco with her partner and two daughters.
I chose her as my first ‘Author of The Month’ because I not only admire the book, but I admire her. I am struck by her witty, straightforward no bullshot approach to everything. She reminds me that there is room for truth in art and living. We should all apply these attributes to our daily lives. I have been following her on all her social media and have not been this inspired in a long time. Of course, I have 20 years on her but she is definitely a little match to my complacent little straw batch. If you don’t follow her go do it. You will be lifted up daily by her honesty, humor and directness.
You can do so here on Instagram
Her twitter is @meenaharris
When it comes to her new book Valdez and Harris’s new bright, largely unlined art, a brown-skinned girl, who walks up the street with three older Black women, is not discouraged by what she sees. Though she sometimes hears “you’re ‘too that’ or you’re ‘too this,’ ” her mother explains that historical figures, shown in a navy wash, “have opened so many doors,” paving the way for this child’s hopes and desires to flourish. The same words once used to criticize the televised woman are seen in a new, positive light by book’s end: digital art shows the girl taking a stage of her own, where she proudly exclaims that she, too, is “AMBITIOUS!”
The new book that they have written is for Ages 4- 8. This is Ms Harris’s second book.