Tag Archives: Michelle Graham Fricks

Children’s Corner — Spirit of America series

22 Nov

 

The Spirit of America series is the brainchild of MaryTherese Grabowksi. She and illustrator, Michelle Graham-Fricks, have created a series for elementary-aged children that focuses on the history of America and the democratic process. Here are a few words from main character, America Johnson:

Hello Patriots!

I’m America Johnson and I am so glad you came to visit- let’s take a patriotic adventure together! Along the way my big brother Sam, my BFF Elisa, my BDF (best dude friend) Ben and of course my sassy dog Liberty will be part of the fun.

We all know READING ROCKS!! We want you to read along and learn things at an earlier age to  prepare for that high school civics class. For example: Do YOU know the official address of The White House? What do you know about our first president? Why should anyone vote? These questions and many more are answered in this series of 25 books to date. 

 How about we have fun too? Learning should never be boring and trust me, you will laugh and learn on our patriotic adventures!

You can learn more about this series at spiritofamericabooks.com.

 

MaryTherese Grabowski is an award winning former TV journalist. Her years of covering the military, government and politics helped keep civics top of mind for this admitted Air Force brat. Her love of patriotism and talent as an emcee afforded her the opportunity to entertain our troops overseas for 15 years in the Operation Seasons Greetings morale tours. “MT” was the 2009 Spirit of Bob Hope Award nominee for the United States Air Force Reserve.

Patriotism is deep rooted in her soul. The notion to write the “Spirit of America” patriotic children’s book series came about when she asked her young niece, “Can you tell me who makes up The President’s Cabinet?” The response was “Why do I care who makes his furniture?” So, although humorous Grabowski realized we are missing kids at an earlier age teaching them the basics of civics which they are usually taught in tenth grade and that is two years before these students are eligible to vote.

Grabowski and her illustrator Michelle Graham-Fricks are making this a “movement” to educate students earlier on the basics. “If you can take historical events and information and present them through creative story telling you just might hook these kids.”

Grabowski’s main character America Johnson takes young readers on patriotic adventures that are fun and educational. Each book has a quiz at the end helping young patriots to not only be more prepared for that civics class down the road, it gives new birth to patriotic pride that seems to have been lost lately.

Grabowski is available for books signings, readings, speaking engagements and as an emcee.

MaryTherese lives in the Washington D.C. area with her husband Bob.

Contact “MT” at: soabookseries@gmail.com

Check out her Author’s Page on Amazon!

Michelle Graham-Fricks is an eccentric, passionate, magical thinker, and artist that has a diverse background. Another unique quality she possesses is that she remembers distinctly what it is like to be a kid. She was a military kid, but not a typical one. She was taught patriotism and serving others early in life by her father, who is a Vietnam Veteran and further served through the Air National Guard and her mother who was, and still is, a talented homemaker.

She is the oldest of three sisters, so there was always a lot going on in their house. This did not stop Michelle from finding time to sit in her favorite persimmon tree so she could imagine and draw. Then in Kindergarten she heard many, many stories and listened to fairy tales on small records with the turn-along books. She admired the lovely art in those books so much, and loved when the teacher would turn the book to show the illustrations to the class. Then, the teacher had the students write and illustrate their own books, and the drawings would no longer be called drawings but no illustrations!

Years later, in high school, she would do art for many competitions, in every medium, her favorite being bombastic color drawings, however. Then it happened!  Her art mentor told her something very prophetic. He said, “One day, you will be illustrating for children, because your heart is so young. If you don’t, it would be a shame.” What a wise sage.

Michelle lives in Bayside, Texas with her husband Trey and their seven children.

Michelle is available for speaking engagements, artistic presentations, and career day visits.

You can reach her at: soabookseries2@gmail.com

 

Liberty on The Loose in The White House

Have YOU ever lost YOUR dog before? What is the strangest place you had to look for your dog? If there were ever an adventure to go down in history it should be the day America Johnson lost her dog in The White House! Liberty on the loose in The White House is a fun filled story of Liberty, a sassy Scottie, who just had to break her leash and dash into The White House to check things out. America and her family were excited to be touring The White House on their vacation but now they have to find their dog before they get into trouble. Searching for Liberty was an education for America and her family about the most famous home in The United States and who lives there. Who knew a little pooch could cause so much commotion and laughter at the same time!

To purchase, click HERE.

My Impressions:

In the first book of the series, the Johnson family travels from Middle Georgia to Washington, D. C. to visit historic sites, including the White House. Along for the ride is Liberty, an adventure-loving explorer, who doesn’t hesitate to get up close and personal with off-limits areas. This fun story introduces kids to the home of America’s Presidents. At the end is a quiz to reinforce the facts your child will learn from the story.

Your Vote Counts!

When you are a kid, voting for macaroni and cheese for dinner is just as big a deal as an adult voting for President of The United States! In both cases you want your voice to be heard. Why is it important to vote? In Your Vote Counts America, Johnson learns the hard way that some kids don’t understand why they should speak up. Her dream of running for student council at school turns into an explanation to students about using their voice, making a choice and voting. Believe it or not, sometimes adults don’t understand it either. Ironically, there is a presidential election at the same time as America’s school elections. This helps her Dad explain the similarities in voting and responsibilities. This patriotic adventure will take you through the importance of voting. Even as a kid you get to make decisions. As adults you will be making hundreds of decisions big and small every day. It’s never too early to learn about the importance of voting . . . otherwise you might get something besides macaroni and cheese!

To purchase, click HERE.

My Impressions:

In the second book in the Spirit of America series, Your Vote Counts, America Johnson is running for Student Council. When she finds her fellow students think their vote won’t count, she enlists a teacher to help show that every vote or decision makes a difference. In this book the concepts of voting, democracy, and a republic are simply explained, along with easily understood examples of the importance of voting. Again, at the end of the book, are questions to remind kids of what they have learned.

America by George!

Oh the dreaded history report. How many times have YOU struggled to give a report on someone from U.S. history because your teacher said to make it interesting and memorable? The first President of the United States has never been portrayed as he is in America By George! When America Johnson had a homework assignment to give a memorable report on our first president she thought “I know just what to do to get my class to always remember George Washington!” Some false teeth, a wig and a rap set the stage for this fun filled history lesson. (Yes, you read it correctly –  there is a rap in this story!). America By George! will not only help you remember important facts about our first Prez, it may just have you fine tuning your musical skills for other homework assignments.

To purchase, click HERE.

My Impressions:

America by George! is the third book in the Spirit of America series. America Johnson is eager to share with her history class about the first president of the United States. With a bit of creativity, America tells George Washington’s story in a way that will make it easy for your child to remember facts from his life. Questions at the end of the book reinforce what the story shared.

All the Spirit of America books are fun ways to engage you kids in the history of America and our democratic processes. Currently, there are 5 books in the series, including a patriotic take on Clement Moore’s famous poem entitled The Night Before Christmas in America.

Recommended.

Audience: elementary aged children.

(Thanks to the author for complimentary copies of these books. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

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Children’s Corner — The Great Missing Flag Caper

9 Oct

The most patriotic symbol of The United States of America is the flag. Imagine America Johnson’s surprise when she finally got picked to be on Flag detail at her school and her first day on the job the flag disappears! Where could it be? Who took it? Join the search with America and her classmates as they learn some interesting fun facts about “Old Glory” in The Great Missing Flag Caper! Warning . . .  the search takes a turn that’s so disturbing America turns down Mac n Cheese for dinner! Now that’s a big deal!

 

 

MaryTherese Grabowski is an award winning former TV journalist. Her years of covering the military, government and politics helped keep civics top of mind for this admitted Air Force brat. Her love of patriotism and talent as an emcee afforded her the opportunity to entertain our troops overseas for 15 years in the Operation Seasons Greetings morale tours. “MT” was the 2009 Spirit of Bob Hope Award nominee for the United States Air Force Reserve. Patriotism is deep rooted in her soul. The notion to write the Spirit of America patriotic children’s book series came about when she asked her young niece, “Can you tell me who makes up the presidents cabinet?” The response was “Why do I care who makes his furniture?” So, although humorous Grabowski realized we are missing kids at an earlier age teaching them the basics of civics which they are usually taught in tenth grade and that is two years before these students are eligible to vote.

Her fourth book is now available! The Great Missing Flag Caper has America Johnson soliciting help from her fellow students to find Old Glory. The flag detail found an empty closet one morning when they went to get the flag to raise it in front of the school. Find out all kinds of flag facts and etiquette in this patriotic adventure!

The first three books in this series of twenty-five to date are Liberty on the Loose in the White House, America By George, and Your Vote Counts – and they are available everywhere.

Grabowski and her illustrator Michelle Graham-Fricks are making this a “movement” to educate students earlier on the basics. “If you can take historical events and information and present them through creative story telling you just might hook these kids.” Grabowski’s main character America Johnson takes young readers on patriotic adventures that are fun and educational. Each book has a quiz at the end helping young patriots to not only be more prepared for that civics class down the road, it gives new birth to patriotic pride that seems to have been lost lately.

Be sure to visit WWW.SPIRITOFAMERICABOOKS.COM for more information on author/illustrator school visits, book signings and the newest in the patriotic adventures!

Grabowski is available for books signings, readings, speaking engagements and as an emcee.
contact “MT” at : soabookseries@gmail.com.

My Impressions:

One of my fondest memories is of my two sons participating in the lowering of the flag at Mount Vernon. They were so proud to be serving their country in that way! Sadly, patriotism and respect for our flag are at a downturn nowadays. So MaryTherese Grabowski’s 4th book in the Spirit of America series, The Great Missing Flag Caper, is especially timely. The book features the very patriotic America Johnson, an elementary school-aged girl who has been chosen for flag duty. She is bubbling over with enthusiasm as she shares her knowledge on the history of the American flag. When she reports for duty with 3 other kids, she gets a lesson on the rules that surround the handling of our flag. But the flag is missing and the kids go on a quest to discover just what happened. Fun illustrations accompany this fast-paced book. The facts of our flag are shared in an easily understood way with emphasis on pride in our country. The bit of mystery will keep young readers intrigued as well. I liked that the people depicted in the book are from diverse backgrounds too. There is a quick quiz shared at the end to reinforce what your child learns. All in all, this is a great book for children. It would be especially good for the classroom — public, private, or homeschool.

Recommended.

Audience: elementary school-aged children.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to BookCrash for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)