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Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson (The Children's Book Podcast #486)

January 22, 2019



Cheryl Willis Hudson (@diversitymom_ch) and Wade Hudson (@hudsonwade) are the founders of Just Us Books and the editors of WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES. In this anthology of stories, poems, art, and photographs, fifty of the foremost diverse children's authors and illustrators--including Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kwame Alexander-- share answers to the question, "In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?" Wade and Cheryl found themselves asking the same question after the 2016 election and so they reached out to friends and colleagues who, in turn, answered with words of support and love and comfort to empower young readers across the country. 




What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.


Featuring poems, letters, personal essays, art, and other works from such industry leaders as Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Jason Reynolds (All American Boys), Kwame Alexander (The Crossover), Andrea Pippins (I Love My Hair), Sharon Draper (Out of My Mind), Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer), Ellen Oh (cofounder of We Need Diverse Books), and artists Ekua Holmes, Rafael Lopez, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, and more, this anthology empowers the nation's youth to listen, learn, and build a better tomorrow.







Author, publisher and entrepreneur, Cheryl Willis Hudson began her career doing textbook design for publishers such as Houghton Mifflin and Macmillan.


Noticing a lack of quality Black-interest books for her own two children, in 1988, Cheryl Hudson and her husband Wade formed Just Us Books, Inc., a publishing company that specializes in children's books that focus on Black experiences, history and culture. Hudson's AFRO-BETS® ABC Book was Just Us Books' first published title.


Cheryl Willis Hudson has written over 20 children's books, including the classic Bright Eyes, Brown Skin, Many Colors of Mother Goose, and Come By Here, Lord: Everyday Prayers for Children, Hold Christmas In Your Heart, What Do You Know, Snow!, the What a Baby board book series (Scholastic, Inc.) Hands Can (Candlewick), My Friend Maya Loves to Dance (Abrams) and From Where I Stand (Marimba Books).


As an author, Cheryl Willis Hudson crafts vibrant and engaging multicultural books that allow children of color to see themselves positively reflected in society. As a diversity workshop facilitator and speaker she shares her experience and expertise in developing curricula of inclusions with schools and educational organizations around the country. She loves to visit schools and libraries to talk with children and parents about her books.For fun, Cheryl sings with friends in an amateur acappella vocal group. She lives in Northern New Jersey with her family.


Learn more about Cheryl at


And purchase any one of Cheryl Willis Hudson's books for you, your readers, a friend, or a library HERE.

Wade Hudson's career as a writer spans more than three decades. In 1988, Hudson's passion for writing and life-long mission to help foster positive self-image within the Black community, prompted he and his wife Cheryl to launch Just Us Books, the nation's leading independent publisher of Black-interest books for young people. Another imprint, Marimba Books, was launched in 2008, with a focus on multicultural literature for children and young adults.


An accomplished and award-winning author, he has written more than 25 books for young people including, AFRO-BETS Book of Black Heroes, Poetry from the Masters: The Pioneers and Jamal's Busy Day, Pass It On: African-American Poetry for Children, Powerful Words: More than 200 Years of Extraordinary Writing by African Americans and the Great Black Heroes series. His most recent titles include Its Church Going Time, Places I Love to Go, and Puddin, Jeffrey and Leah: Best Friends.


He is also very active in his community, serving on the board of the Isaiah House in East Orange, NJ and the Langston Hughes Library at the Alex Haley Farm, operated by the Children's Defense Fund. In 2004, he and his wife co-founded The Knowledge Is Power Project, a non-profit youth literacy organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. He is a Stephen Crane Literary Award recipient, was named a "Man of Valor" in Newark, NJ and was inducted into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. His literary affiliations include PEN America and the Authors' Guild.


Wade speaks to students across the country and conducts workshops for teachers and parents. He can be reached at Web Site:


Learn more about Wade at


And purchase any one of Wade Hudson's books for you, your readers, a friend, or a library HERE.

We publish Black interest and multicultural Books for Children and Young Adults.


Learn more about Just Us Books and their books at








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Thank you, JENNY SUE, AMY, SARA, KATE, LISA, DARSHANA, MARIANNE, JARRETT, ANITRA, MIKE, LYNN, LINK, CORRINA, CYNTHIA, ELAINE, DOUG, JUDI, AMANDA, RUTH, LARA, TERESA, and others who are coming with me on this journey. You’re welcome to join us. Just visit and pick the support tier that’s right for you. All the hugs and high fives for all of the many, many ways all of out there listening support this show.


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