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Angela Shelf Medearis author's photo

Angela Shelf Medearis has been called "one of the most influential writers of children's literature in Texas" by Texas Monthly Magazine, and rightly so. Medearis has written more than 100 books for children based on African-American history and culture, as well as and seven cookbooks with an international focus. Her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, and are featured on a line of Story Time videos which are narrated by Medearis. Her works have been translated into Spanish, French, Dutch, and Japanese. Among her better known works are Dare to Dream: The Story of Coretta Scott King and the Civil Rights Movement (Putnam/Penguin, 1999)

and Picking Peas for a Penny (Scholastic, 1993).

Medearis combines a general love for children's literature with a particular attention to the reading needs of young African Americans. "I write the kinds of books I always longed to find in the library when I was a child," she says. "Every child needs to find a reflection of himself or herself when looking for a book in the library or bookstore." Her books show African-American life, history, and culture in a positive way, from the celebration of Kwanzaa to life on a Depression-era farm.

Books were an essential part of Medearis' own early-1960s childhood, giving her a sense of continuity and identity throughout her family's many moves (her father was an Air Force recruiter). During this time, she was also developing as a writer — but not until she began writing professionally at age 30 did she appreciate her early efforts. For the next 30 years, she was a tireless advocate for literacy and a prolific children's author who did literally thousands of school visits. Medearis founded and directed Book Boosters, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that provides support for community literacy and health projects.

For the last few years, Angela Shelf Medearis has been the star and producer of THE KITCHEN DIVA! a syndicated television cooking show. She has also been a regular guest chef and segment creator on the DR. OZ and the TODAY show. Her culinary history/recipe/lifestyle column THE KITCHEN DIVA! appears in Hearst King-Features newspapers and is distributed to 1,300 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada, with over 6 million readers.

Medearis is the President of Diva Productions, Inc. in Austin, Texas — one of the few multimedia companies in the United States solely owned by an African-American woman. In addition, Mrs. Medearis has been a member of the Texas Governor's Focus on Reading Task Force.

Email Angela Shelf Medearis

Titles Published by Wings Press: