Actress and Autism Spokesperson Holly Robinson Peete and Daughter to Publish Picture Book with Scholastic
New York, NY — April 2, 2009 — Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, is delighted to announce the acquisition of world rights to a picture book written by actress Holly Robinson Peete and her eleven-year-old daughter Ryan Elizabeth Peete. My Brother Charlie, to be illustrated by Shane W. Evans, is scheduled for publication in Spring 2010, to coincide with Autism Awareness Month in April. The deal was negotiated by Jennifer Gates and Jason Anthony from Zachary Shuster Harmsworth for Holly Robinson Peete and Andrea Davis Pinkney, Vice President, Executive Editor, from Scholastic, along with Rebecca Sherman from Writers House, who represents Mr. Evans.
A heartwarming fictional story of patience, love and acceptance, My Brother Charlie is based on the Peete family's own experiences living with Ryan's twin brother RJ who has autism. The story is told from the twin sister's point of view. My Brother Charlie is bestselling author Holly Robinson Peete's first children’s book, and will include additional information from both Holly and Ryan about living with a child who has autism.
"We're honored to welcome Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete to Scholastic," said Andrea Davis Pinkney, Vice President, Executive Editor, Scholastic. "My Brother Charlie is so much more than a book about autism. This is a story about the joy we all find in the uniqueness of people and the power of love."
"My daughter and I cherish the opportunity to partner with Scholastic to introduce our family's journey through autism with My Brother Charlie," said Holly Robinson Peete. "Children with autism are often misunderstood. Our hope is that this book will help families embrace and accept these exceptional people."
Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete will donate a percentage of the proceeds for My Brother Charlie to the HollyRod4Kids Foundation to help children with autism gain access to affordable treatments and therapies. For information about HollyRod4Kids visit www.hollyrod.org.
Actress, author, activist and philanthropist Holly Robinson Peete has been a part of the entertainment industry all of her life, and her career as an actress dates back more than two decades. Robinson Peete was recently named a Board member of Autism Speaks, and travels internationally to advocate on behalf of autism causes. Since 2000, when Holly learned of her son RJ's autism diagnosis, she has worked tirelessly to help families everywhere who are raising children with autism. Ms. Robinson Peete is the wife of former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, and the working mother of four children, Robinson, Roman, and twins, RJ and Ryan. With her husband, Ms. Robinson Peete founded the HollyRod Foundation in 1996, with the mission to help improve the quality of life of people plagued with devastating life circumstances inspired by her father Matthew Robinson's battle with Parkinson's disease.
Holly Robinson Peete's television credits include roles in "21 Jump Street" (1986) opposite Johnny Depp, "Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper," "For Your Love," and "One on One." She recently starred in the original Lifetime movie "Matters of Life & Dating" for which she was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. An accomplished author, Robinson Peete won the 2006 Quill Literacy Award with her first book Get Your Own Damn Beer, I’m Watching the Game: A Women’s Guide to Loving Pro Football (2005, Rodale).
Ryan Elizabeth Peete, age eleven, wrote My Brother Charlie with her mother Holly to help share awareness about autism with other children who have been touched by autism in some way. Ryan travels with her mother speaking to kids about her experiences with her twin brother RJ. She based the narrative for My Brother Charlie on events that happened in her family.
Shane W. Evans is a successful illustrator, designer, and photographer. He has illustrated many acclaimed books for children, including When Gorilla Goes Walking by Nikki Grimes, and Nobody Gonna Turn Me 'Round by Doreen Rappaport. Mr. Evans lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri.
About The HollyRod Foundation
The HollyRod Foundation was formed in 1996 with the mission to help improve the quality of life of people plagued with devastating life circumstances. The foundation was given life through Holly Robinson Peete's father's sad but inspiring battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Last year, inspired by her son, HollyRod4Kids was formed to focus on children’s causes and improving the lives of children affected by circumstances beyond their control. Through hollyrod4kids and her family’s personal experiences, Robinson Peete has become an advocate for consistent and reliable education, outreach and support on autism. Her activism is respected around the world and she has appeared on such programs as “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Larry King Live,” “CNN,” “Access Hollywood” and many other news, political, informational and entertainment shows.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs and school-based book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, television networks and the Company’s Internet Site, www.scholastic.com.
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