Tuskegee Author Bridging the Gap on Race and Diversity in Children’s Literature

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"The Fun-G-kins," book one of four installments. This fairy tale follows Clara Gooday age 9 on her amazing adventure. Becoming just inches tall, she's whisked off to Mushroom Valley.

“The Fun-G-kins,” book one of four installments. This fairy tale follows Clara Gooday age 9 on her amazing adventure. Becoming just inches tall, she’s whisked off to Mushroom Valley.

Tuskegee, AL, June 7, 2016 (Newswire.com) – ​​​​Author C. Raymond Gray joins parents, teachers, and librarians nationwide in addressing  the lack of diversity in children’s literature. Gray says, “When there is diversity in children’s books, as a whole, society wins hands down.”

In 1985 of the approximately 2,500 trade books that were published only 18 were created by African Americans. In 2015 the numbers were up from 18, of the 3400 books the Cooperative Children’s Book Center received 106 were by African Americans. Gray has made it his life’s mission to assist in the bridging of this gap. With more than forty finished manuscripts he is fully aware of the arduous task at hand.

To aid in closing the diversity gap he’s rereleasing “The Fun-G-kins,” book one of four installments. This fairy tale follows ClaraGooday age 9 on her amazing adventure. Becoming just inches tall, she’s whisked off to Mushroom Valley.

A mythical place filled with magic and mystery. Here there are Fun-G-kins from every race on earth. The funny thing is they’re all living in perfect harmony; no matter the color of the skin they’re in. But how could this be? And just why can’t big people or humans do the same?

The author comments, “Metaphorically of course, this is about the human condition- its past, present, and future.” Gray points out that it is incumbent on us as authors, parents, and educators to expand upon this factor.

The FunGkins have come to realize we are all the same no matter the color of our skin. This book teaches that anyone can be a brother, a sister, or a friend. Someone once asked, “Can’t we all just get along?” This family-friendly, enchanting, thought provoking tale touches on everything from the environment, saving animals, to race relations. 

Reviews:

“With all of the splendor, magic and wonder that could put Oz to shame, C. Raymond Gray’s story telling reminded me instantly of the great J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. What I really liked was how when our villain appears the writing style became lyrical. By the story’s end, you are left hanging in suspense for the next installment. The FunGkins is a wondrous, captivating book that can be enjoyed by all ages. All I can say is … Wow!”
– Readers’ Favorite

“Specifically written and highly recommended for young readers ages 8 to 12, The FunGkins, is a superbly crafted fantasy adventure that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to households, schools, communities, and library collections. It is certain to be a thoroughly enjoyed read from beginning to end”
– James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Children’s Book Watch

About the Author:

From star athlete to writer, C. Raymond Gray’s journey to authorship hasn’t been an easy one.  He’s the sixteenth of twenty siblings. This native Tuskegee, Alabamian has been a storyteller for the past twenty years. He recalls that he first became captivated with the written word at the age of ten when he found a torn, tattered, and waterlogged copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. It then and even now gave him a thirst for writing and storytelling that he hopes is never quenched. Visit www.craymondgray.com to learn more details.