I’m excited to announce my author-illustrator debut, SOMETIMES SHADOW, releasing with Free Spirit Publishing/Teacher Created Materials in summer of 2025.
In this picture book about living with a parent who struggles with alcohol use disorder, a boy realizes his dad is plagued by a troubling shadow that sometimes visits their home and changes dad.
This was a hard one to dig into but I truly feel it’s so necessary. According to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “approximately 7.5 million of U.S. children ages 17 and younger live with a parent who has alcohol use disorder” and current research findings suggest that these children are at risk for a range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems.
Growing up in a household with a father who struggled with alcohol use disorder was confusing, scary, and unpredictable. I know it has contributed to my anxiety as an adult. As a child, I wish I understood the Shadow of alcohol use and all the complexities that come with the disease. I hope SOMETIMES SHADOW will be a comforting and informative story for children and caregivers who are in similar situations and struggles-letting them know they’re not alone, it’s not their fault, they’re loved, and there are things they can do to cope with the SOMETIMES SHADOW that visits their home.
Big, big thank you to Deidra and the team at Free Spirit/ Teacher Created Materials and my agent, Jennifer Unter, for seeing the need and value in this story. I can’t wait to share it with the world with the hope it will help readers through their own challenging times.