Suzanne Slade is the author of 80 books for children. Her titles include picture books, biographies, as well as titles about animals, sports, and nature.
Tell us about your new children’s picture book, Climbing Lincoln’s Steps.
This book is illustrated by Colin Bootman, a very talented artist who has won numerous awards for his work including a Coretta Scott King Honor award. Geared for ages 5-10, this picture book shares important events in African American history which took place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
How much and what kind of research was involved in writing the book?
As with any historical book, there was a fair amount of research for this project. Interestingly, Youtube was an extremely helpful source as it contained a video of Marian Anderson singing on the steps of the memorial in 1939 (and I could hear how she subtly changed some of the lyrics in the song she sang, My Country 'Tis of Thee). I also referenced a transcript of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech", news clippings of the Obama family visit to the Memorial, and many history books. After I'd double and triple checked every fact in the text, I was surprised I also ended up researching some of the details for the illustrations as well.
What kinds of school visit presentations do you anticipate you’ll create to share this book with children?
I've had several requests to visit grade schools this upcoming February (black history month), so my presentations will be highlighting the 14 African American "change makers" featured the book. I also anticipate I will be sharing this book via virtual Skype author visits with students around the country.
When and where can teachers and parents purchase your book?
Climbing Lincoln's Steps releases Sept.1 2010 and will be available in all the usual places - Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the publisher (Albert Whitman), and so on.
Scholastic also picked up this title for their School Book Fairs, so it will be available in many schools. (You can preorder it now by clicking this Amazon link -