Guest Post Announcement: MY BIRTHDAY IS SEPTEMBER 11 AND OTHER SHORT STORIES, by Nicole Weaver

My Birthday Is September Eleven and Other Short Stories… A book for children and adults, so we never forget 9/11.

On Sunday, September 11, people across the country will pause to observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It’s important that we tell our children about that day, especially kids who were very small, and those who weren’t born yet, so we never forget. I want to make sure teachers, parents, librarians, and grandparents are aware of a new ebook, My Birthday Is September Eleven and Other Short Stories. This is an ebook dedicated to all children born on 9/11, 2001. The stories are for grades 6-8.

Here’s a recent review from a psychologist. “As a licensed psychologist with a specialty in children, parents often ask me to direct them to a book that they can read with their children. I have no problem sending parents to My Birthday is September Eleven and Other Short Stories. In this book, you will find stories about children with real-life struggles and how they find ways to cope with those problems. These stories present opportunities for parents and children to talk about what is happening in their own lives and possible solutions, while strengthening parent-child communication.”

Many children today know little or nothing about 9/11 or why it’s important to them. On a recent national news program, I saw some man-on-the-street interviews of young people in their late teens and early twenties. A few could explain what took place on 9/11, but sadly, most had no idea. We cannot allow this to continue.

My Birthday Is September Eleven and Other Short Stories will help teachers, librarians, grandparents, and parents with this issue. Additionally, the stories were written to help teach children about having compassion for others.

See description of each story below:

My Birthday is September Eleven– A story about a boy who was born on 9/11. When the reader steps into the world of Matthew, he or she will recognize the undercurrent of mourning that will help all to not forget 9/11.

Zebra Boy – A biracial boy is spared further teasing when his best friend comes to his rescue.

The Good Samaritan – A group of fifth-graders raise funds to help a fellow classmate that needs money for a life-saving surgery.

No More Hunger – Ronald, a Haitian boy whose village was virtually wiped out by a devastating hurricane, becomes a victim of abject poverty. He is later rescued when the well-respected Madame Wilson takes it upon herself to nourish him back to health.

A New Life – A biracial boy experiences many hardships before being adopted by a caring couple.

There is a special web page for My Birthday Is September Eleven and Other Short Stories. You are welcome to lift any material that might help you in communicating with your circle of influence

Reviews and Comments
Nicole Weaver’s latest collection of short stories is a great gift for any middle grader or teen to read about 9/11. While this date only reminds us of tragedy, the author has found a way to weave themes of friendship, loyalty and compassion in these stories which aren’t only educational but entertaining as well. Written in simple language and in an engaging style, My Birthday is September Eleven and Other Short Stories will make a great gift for that special child in your life.
Amazon- Mayra Calvani ( Brussels, Belgium)
Young audiences will love these short stories that teach young children to cope and overcome the many obstacles we all can face growing up. Young readers will learn about pain, suffering, compassion and the willingness to be more accepting of others.

Nicole Weaver introduces readers to Matthew a young boy who has to spend his birthdays celebrating the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. With no friends to celebrate and the sadness that surrounds that day, he really doesn’t want a birthday at all.

Another interesting story for readers is about a boy named Pascal. He is bi-racial and is faced with bullies at school. Two older kids Eric and Tommy spend their time on the playground threatening kids for money. Eric especially likes to tease Pascal by calling him Zebra Boy. Pascal and his friend Marcel must learn how to overcome these challenges and stand up to these kids.

More stories follow that will teach triumph and the celebration of div adversity and helping others. These stories can be a great tool for parents, teachers and homeschoolers.
Teaching children about friendship, forgiveness, and to stand up for themselves as well as others, will help them become better human beings.
Kristi Bernard (Overland Park, KS)

This collection of short stories touches on many different subjects from dealing with tragedy to bullying to giving to self-sacrifice to adoption. Each story has a child main character or characters that have to deal with real-life situations that readers may have or will experience personally or through a friend sometime in their own lives. For those who never have to experience some of the tougher situations like a natural disaster, it offers the reader a glimpse of this tragedy on a more human level rather than just a list of faceless statistics of fatalities and damages.
Lessons learned from the stories are far-reaching. Such as that the way we begin our lives in not always how we are destined to lead them. These stories show how we are all socially connected to the world at large even though we may physically be far away. Sharing these stories with your children will open their minds and hearts to living and thinking beyond themselves.
By having the characters come from many different walks of life, this book will appeal to a wide variety of juvenile and older readers. As the U.S. has always been a diverse blend of peoples, cultures and languages, this book reflects that diversity showing that what we may consider different is actually familiar.
Amazon-Auto mom

These stories provide a great springboard for classroom or parent-to-child discussions on bullying, adoption (infant adoption, older-child adoption) and the world history tragedies of 9/11 and the Haitian earthquake. The stories themselves are tangential to the worst of Ripped from the Headlines news, so they are more palatable to middle schoolers and young adult readers. The stories center around children and are relatable–as children and their families work through problems, not all the way to Hollywood endings but to a place of compassion and understanding. The story about 9/11 is especially telling in this strategy. A boy happens to have a birthday on 9/11. He wants that day to be one of celebration for himself, but always there is this undercurrent of mourning. Thought-provoking for the boy, and for a reader
Amazon-Vicki Gundrum (San Francisco)

Nicole weaver was born in Port-au-Prince Haiti. She came to the United States when she was ten years old. She is fluent in Creole, French, Spanish and English. She is a veteran teacher of French and Spanish. Her second children’s trilingual book titled: My Sister is My Best Friend will be published by Guardian Angel Publishing fall 2011. She is also the author of a children’s trilingual picture book titled: Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle. She has a third book currently under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing titled: My Brother is My Best Friend.

Bilingual Monday Interview: Haitian Author Nicole Weaver

Hi everyone, merry Monday!

Today I’m excited to interview debut author Nicole Weaver, who is Haitian, speaks several languages, and writes tri-lingual books. In addition Nicole works as an educator in French and Spanish. Click here for a–what else?–bilingual review of her debut picture book Marie and her Friend the Sea Turtle, here on MR. And since this is the first day of your week, I thought I’d spice it up with an interview in two languages. You know. In case you missed of those French classes. 😀

Hi Nicole, welcome and thank you for joining us at Multiculturalism Rocks!
Bonjour Nicole, bienvenue et merci de nous joindre sur Multiculturalism Rocks!

You are fluent in four languages: French, English, Spanish and Creole. Did you grow up being polyglot? Please, tell us a little bit about your childhood: What is your fondest memory about Haiti? 🙂
I was born in Port-au-Prince.  In Haiti I learned Creole and French.  At the age of 10 years old I went to New York, where  I learned English. Then during my senior year of high school I studied Spanish, and four additional years at the College of New Rochelle.

Unfortunately, my childhood days in Haiti were terrible.  I lived with my father and he wasn’t very nice; however my fondest memory of Haiti is the beach. I lived nearby. I loved the beach so much that I would visit it often.  The story of Marie and her Friend the Sea Turtle is a true story about my childhood in Haiti.

MR: Tu parles couramment 4 langues: le français, l’anglais, l’espagnol et le créole. As-tu grandi en étant polyglotte? Parle-nous un peu de ton enfance. Quel est ton plus beau souvenir concernant Haïti? 🙂
NW: Je suis née à Port-au-Prince. En Haïti, J’ai bien sûr appris le créole et le français. A l’âge de dix ans, je suis allée à New York, où j’ai ensuite étudié l’anglais. Pendant ma dernière année de lycée  j’ai étudié l’espagnol, ainsi que quatre années supplémentaires à l’université de New Rochelle. Malheureusement, mon enfance en Haïti était terrible.  J’ai vécu avec mon père, qui n’était pas très sympa. Mon plus beau souvenir concernant Haïti est la plage. J’ai vécu près de la plage. J’aimais beaucoup la plage, et  j’y allais souvent. L’histoire de Marie et son Amie la Tortue de Mer est une histoire vraie, tirée de mon enfance en Haïti.

What inspired the story of Marie and her Friend the Sea Turtle?
My childhood in Haïti.  My birth name is Marie-Nicole.  Thus, the story of Marie is based on true events of my childhood days in Haiti.

MR: Qu’est-ce qui a inspiré l’histoire de Marie et de son Amie la Tortue de Mer?
NW: Mon enfance en Haïti.  Mon nom de naissance est : Marie-Nicole.  Alors, l’histoire est basée sur des vraies événements de ma vie en  Haïti.

Have you used Marie and her Friend the Sea Turtle in the classroom? If yes, what was the kids’ response?
I used the book in my level two French class to teach how to use the imperfect tense tells a story.  Since I am also a Spanish teacher, I read the book in Spanish to my students. The students were very happy and proud of me.

MR: As-tu déjà utilisé Marie et son Amie la Tortue de Mer dans la salle de classe? Si oui, quelle a été la réaction des enfants?
NW: J’ai utilisé avec mes élèves de français deux. On est en train d’étudier l’imparfait, alors J’ai montré aux élèves comment on doit utiliser l’imparfait pour raconter une histoire.  Je suis aussi prof d’espagnol, j’ai lu le livre en espagnol, les lycéens étaient très contents et aussi très fières de moi.

You’re giving a portion of Marie and her Friend the Sea Turtle‘s proceeds to help the victims of the earthquake that shook Haiti last year. Did you have an opportunity to visit the island ever since? Could you tell us a bit more about that project?
No, I can’t return to Haiti right now.  My brother returned to Haiti twice. I will try my best to go next year with the Lambi Fund, but right now my daughter is a junior in college and my son a sophomore in high school.  Lambi Fund is a very good organization that is helping the Haitian people a lot.  Karen Ashmore, director is an incredible woman.  She adopted three Haitian children.  I have a lot of confidence  in her.  This  is why I give a portion of the proceeds of Marie and her friend the Sea Turtle.  I wrote several articles about the Lambi Fund and Karen.  Read the article here.

MR: Tu donnes une partie des profits de  Marie et son Amie la Tortue de Mer pour aider les victimes du tremblement de terre qui a eu lieu à Haïti l’année dernière. As-tu pu retourner à Haïti depuis cet évènement? Peux-tu nous parler un peu de ce projet?
NW: Non, Je ne peux pas retourner en Haïti maintenant. Mon frère  a pu retourner  à Haïti deux fois. Je vais faire de mon mieux l’année prochaine pour aller en  Haïti avec Lambi Fund, maintenant ma fille est dans sa troisième année de l’université et J’ai un fils qui est à la deuxième année de lycée. Lambi Fund est une très bonne organisation qui aide beaucoup les gens en Haïti.  Karen Ashmore qui est en charge est une femme incroyable.  Elle a adopté trois enfants Haïtiens.  J’ai beaucoup de confiance en elle. C’est pourquoi je donne  une partie des profits  de Marie et son amie la Tortue de Mer à Lambi Fund.  J’ai écrit plusieurs articles sur Karen et Lambi Fund. Lisez l’article ici.

What are you favorite bilingual books?
I have several books that I like a lot.  I love Haitian author, Alexandre Dumas. I also like the French/English version of Alfie’s Angels by Henriette Barkow and Handa’s Hen by Eileen Browne.

MR: Quels sont tes livres bilingues préférés? 🙂
NW: J’ai plusieurs livres que j’aime beaucoup.  J’adore l’écrivain Haïtien, Alexandre Dumas.

What is your favorite Haitian dish? (Yum!)
I love griot and fried plantains and of course rice with black beans.

MR: Quel est ton plat Haïtien préféré? (Miam!)
NW: J’aime beaucoup le griot et la banane frite et bien sûr le riz avec du pois noir.

Any particular message you would like to share in honor of Black History Month?
Liberty is so precious; I am very appreciative of Martin Luther King for giving his life so we can have a chance to better ourselves.  In my opinion the best way to better oneself is to go to school and to get an education.

MR: Y’a-t-il un message particulier que tu aimerais partager en l’honneur de Black History Month?
NW: La liberté est très précieuse, et je suis très contente que Martin Luther King ait donné sa vie pourqu’on puisse avoir de la chance de s’améliorer.  A mon avis la seule façon efficace pour s’améliorer c’est d’aller a l’école pour s’éduquer.

Nicole, thank you from the bottom for this interview and for your time. Your writing experience is really unique, and I wish you much success in your career.
Thanks Nathalie; I am very lucky that I met you.

MR: Nicole, merci de tout coeur pour cet interview et pour le temps que tu nous as accordé. Ton expérience en tant qu’écrivain est vraiment unique, et je te souhaite beaucoup de succès dans ta carrière.
NW: Merci Nathalie, je suis très chanceuse d’avoir fait ta connaissance.

Nicole Weaver has a new book coming out this year, published by Guardian Angel publishing.

Nicole’s Links:
o Children’s author website
o Education expert
o Freelance writer
o Melange of Cultures blog
o Marie and her Friend the Sea Turtle blog
o Twitter
o Interview @ Kristi’s Book Nook

Nicole supports:
o Lambi Fund of Haiti

Nicole’s Book:
o Marie and her Friend the Sea Turtle
o On Kindle
o Book Trailer

Edited 02.07.2011