FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, Wednesday, January 18, 2012 ¾ Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers announced today plans to publish an illustrated children’s book by Second Lady of the United States, Jill Biden. The book will be titled DON’T FORGET, NANA, GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS and will be illustrated by award-winning artist Raúl Colón. The book will go on sale June 5, 2012.
Dr. Biden will donate all net author proceeds to charities to support military families and children, and will not accept an advance for the book. In honor of the book’s publication, Simon & Schuster will make a contribution to a charity that supports military families and children.
“As a military mom and a teacher, I wanted to write this book to make all Americans, especially children, aware of the unique experience of children who have a parent or other relative deployed in our armed forces,” said Jill Biden. “I saw with my own grandchildren just how difficult it is to carry on while you are worried about a parent who is serving in a war zone … and I also learned what a difference it makes when members of the community show support. I hope my granddaughter Natalie’s story, which inspired the book, gives readers some insight into the strength and character of our military families, and encourages them to reach out in their neighborhoods and communities.”
“We are honored to be working with Dr. Jill Biden on this inspiring project in support of our troops and their families,” said Jon Anderson, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. “Jill Biden’s lifetime of experience as an educator, wife, military mom, and grandmother bring to light the challenges and hardships, especially for children, of having parents in the military. But, more importantly, Jill Biden inspires a message of hope and strength that will resonate with Americans all across the country.”
Jill Biden has long been a strong supporter and advocate for military families. Her eldest son, Beau Biden, Natalie’s father, was deployed to Iraq two years ago. In April 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden joined together to start a national initiative, “Joining Forces,” to encourage Americans to join together to support military families in their communities. Jill Biden frequently travels across America and abroad to speak to troops and their families.
Inspired by the real life experiences of the Biden family, DON’T FORGET, NANA, GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS will be told through the eyes of Vice President Joe and Jill Biden’s granddaughter, Natalie Biden. The story is inspired by Natalie’s life at home when her father was deployed. Natalie’s father, Beau Biden, is a Major in the Delaware Army National Guard and was deployed to Iraq for a year. Readers will follow Natalie’s experience as she learns to cope with missing her father and finds comfort in the kindness of members of her community, including teachers and neighbors, and the strength and pride that she and her mother and brother felt from being part of a military family. The book will also include resources about what readers can do to support military service members and their families serving at home and abroad.
Raúl Colón is the illustrator of several highly acclaimed books for children, including MY MAMA HAD A DANCING HEART by Libba Moore Gray, a New York Times Best Illustrated book; ANGELA AND THE BABY JESUS by Frank McCourt; and GOOD-BYE, HAVANA! HOLA, NEW YORK! written by Edie Colon. Mr. Colon’s work has appeared in the New Yorker, Time, and the New York Times.
The agreement was negotiated by Jon Anderson and Robert Barnett of Williams & Connolly LLP and includes audio rights. The book will be edited by Paula Wiseman.
ABOUT SIMON & SCHUSTER CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, one of the leading children’s book publishers in the world, is comprised of the following imprints: Aladdin, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Beach Lane Books, Libros para niños, Little Simon®, Little Simon Inspirations™, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Simon Pulse, and Simon Spotlight®. While maintaining an extensive award-winning backlist, the division continues to publish acclaimed and bestselling books for children of all ages. In addition to numerous Caldecott, Newbery, and National Book Award winners, Simon & Schuster publishes such high-profile properties and series as Eloise, Olivia, Raggedy Ann & Andy™, Henry & Mudge®, The Hardy Boys®, Nancy Drew®, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Nickelodeon’s® Dora the Explorer®, and SpongeBob SquarePants. For more information about Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, visit our website at http://kids.simonandschuster.com.
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Contact: Paul Crichton, Vice President and Director of Publicity