Aw yeah!
Mari and I are over here wopping it out over our big day yesterday. My baby, whom I told you in this MyBrownBaby blog post was chosen to join the Scholastic Kid Reporter Press Corp, had her first story published on the Scholastic site. Her piece was part of a package of stories about kids making a difference through volunteer activism in their communities. Her story, Refugees Need Your Help, chronicles a class of 5th and 6th graders at Atlanta’s Paideia School collecting coats for newly-arrived refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Here’s an excerpt:

You know that awesome feeling that springs up on the inside whenever you do something nice for someone? A class of 5th and 6th graders at the Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia, recently experienced that when they made a difference for refugees in their community.

The project began after the class heard an inspiring presentation from Lisa Fierman, Paideia’s Director of Service Learning. She told them about underprivileged people in other countries. The class decided to do something to help.

They learned about an organization called Refugee Resettlement Immigration Services In Atlanta (RRISA). It helps people who are coming to Georgia as refugees. A refugee is a person who comes from another country because of government oppression, war, or extreme poverty.

The students decided to start a coat drive to help refugees unprepared for harsh Georgia winters. Many of these refugees are from much warmer climates. They don’t have coats, hats, scarves, or gloves



AND, the publishing of Mari’s first story happened to coincide with the publishing of my 19th book, “Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man,” an advice book I penned with Steve Harvey. Straight Talk picks up where the #1 New York Times Bestseller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man left off; in it, Steve goes in deeper on how men really think when it comes to relationships and gives specifics on how we can use that information to get what we want from our men.
As with the last book, our writing process went like this: Steve talked. A lot. And I and a group of smart, insightful, funny women, including Steve’s radio co-host Shirley Strawberry, listened and asked a billion questions/sought clarification on some sticky issues. And then I took all his advice/thoughts/musings back to my house and whipped up “Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man.”
It’s available wherever books are sold even at the supermarket, where I stumbled across it at my local Kroger yesterday, all cozy next to Sarah Palin, George Bush and Glenn Beck’s latest books. I’m still not sure how I should feel about this. But I’m glad “Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Find, Keep, and Understand a Man” is readily accessible just in time for Christmas. *hint, hint wink, wink!*
Happy reading, y’all!

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  1. Get it, Mari (and Mommy!)!!! I feel so proud of us for using whatever talents God gave us to nurture our babies' skills and create opportunities for them to practice. Mari's clearly a product of a home environment that pays attention to her, and makes sure that opportunities are available to take her wherever her curiosity (and genetic writing jackpot) and skills may lead.

    Congratulations, Mari Chiles, and hugs to you Denene on your 19th book! Daaaaaaaang, homie – that's cause to celebrate all up and through December!!

  2. Teresha@Marlie and Me

    congratulations to the both of you!

  3. GYF Executive Director

    So proud of my girls!!!!! Congratulations Mari and Mommy- you gals are such an inspiration!

  4. E.Payne of MakesMeWannaHoller

    Congrats to both of you! I flipped through some of the pages of your book at B&N last night.

    We still have to reschedule our meeting…

  5. Alicia@ Mommy Delicious

    Wow! That is amazing news! Congratulations. I love it when I see parents who encourage their children to pursue their dreams. That's so dope!

  6. That's great! Looks like Mari has inherited your writing talent! Congrats on the book too! I will have to pick it up.

  7. Congratulations!!! So proud of both of you.

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