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Annie the Porcupine in the Classroom

Last week, I received a heartwarming message from an old friend, a fellow teacher I knew back in high school. She shared a story that left me both honored and inspired. During a recent educational conference, she decided to read “I Don’t Celebrate Anything” to her colleagues. By the end of her session, several other teachers had purchased the book. She went on to say that it’s a book everyone should have in their classroom.

As an author, there’s nothing quite like hearing that your work is resonating with others. But what made this moment particularly special was the realization that Annie's story, a tale about a porcupine navigating life without celebrating holidays, is addressing a genuine need in today's classrooms.

When I first sat down to write "I Don’t Celebrate Anything," I wanted to tell a story that was both relatable and enlightening. Annie's experiences reflect the lives of many children who feel different because of their cultural or religious practices. I wanted to offer a narrative that could foster understanding and empathy among young readers.

The reception of my book among teachers highlights a significant trend in education: the growing recognition of the importance of diverse stories. Classrooms today are more diverse than ever, with students coming from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Stories like Annie the Porcupine’s can help teachers address this diversity by providing stories that reflect the lives of all their students.

So…to every teacher who has picked up "I Don’t Celebrate Anything" and shared it with their students, thank you. Your support means the world to me, and it reinforces the idea that stories have the power to connect us, teach us, and bring us closer together. Knowing that my book is making a positive impact in classrooms is an honor I cherish deeply. I am grateful for the support of educators who see the value in Annie's story. Together, we can continue to foster empathy, understanding, and inclusivity in our classrooms, one book at a time.

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