Willie Powell had been told, “If you are going to get ahead in this world, you can’t be as good as the white children; you have to be twice as good.” He took this advice to heart.
Willie dreamed of becoming a professional golfer, but his accomplishments went far beyond playing the game of golf. Willie was often denied the opportunity to play golf because he was African American. Determined, he decided to build his own course, and welcome people of all color to play golf.
Richard Michelson’s twenty three books for children, teens and adults have been listed among the Ten Best of the Year by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The New Yorker; and among the Best Dozen of the decade by Amazon.com. He received the 2018 National Jewish Book Award and the Sydney Taylor Gold Medal for his latest book, The Language of Angels. His previous book Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy received a Junior Library Guild Gold medal and was chosen to represent the state of Massachusetts at the 2018 National Book Festival. Michelson is a 2016 recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship and served two terms as Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. He is the owner of R. Michelson Galleries www.RMichelson.com which represents many prominent children’s book illustrators.
Eric Velasquez, the son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, was born in Spanish Harlem and grew up in Harlem in New York City. As a child, his love for doodling and drawing was strongly encouraged by his mother. From his grandmother he inherited a love of music and from his father he developed a love of movies. Growing up in this setting, Eric says, “Becoming an artist was a natural choice for me. I have never thought of being anything else.”