There’s a wonderful African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” It’s also true, “It takes a village to write a book.”
The photograph you are looking at is of the eleven people at Candlewick Press who helped me “raise my book.” They include my editor, who critiqued more drafts of Beyond Courage than even I want to think about, her wonderful assistant who gathered photo permissions, the graphic designer who exquisitely integrated the archival photographs into the text, the two copy editors, who clarified uncertain words and terms, the tech specialist who made sure the book was prepared for printing, etc. etc. etc.
But that doesn’t cover all the people in my village. In the Acknowledgments of the book, there’s a list of forty people who answered innumerable questions and clarified information and saved me from errors. And I don’t want to forget perhaps my toughest critics, the students of Elmsford High School in Elmsford, New York and of the Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School in Falls Church, Virginia, who critiqued the book in embryonic form. As a former teacher, I continue to meet with students in their classrooms and seek their ideas and suggestions. I trust their questions. I trust their judgment.
I am grateful to all the people in my village who helped me “raise my book.”