During a school visit few months back, I mentioned that Erica, in If You Loved Me was a mix of white, African-American, and Chinese.
A strong voice off to my right said “Lauren.”
I turned to the speaker. “Lauren?”
“Yes. Lauren. It was Lauren, not Erica. Erica’s the girl in But What About Me.”
It took only a moment for me to realize my error. I thanked her for setting me straight. This same girl later caught me in another error of detail. It would have been embarrassing had I not been too old to be embarrassed.
I spoke with my fact-checker, Miss G. R., during a break. A bright young woman (obviously brighter than that day’s guest speaker), a teen mom living in a difficult situation, working diligently to finish high school, G. R. told me that she’d been so caught up in reading Baby Help, and in worrying about Cheyenne, the baby in that story, that she nearly forgot to feed her own baby. “Nearly” is the key word here.
When I returned home, before I even unpacked, I reread If You Loved Me. Then I slipped a note and a copy of my most recent book into a padded envelope and sent it off to
Miss G. R., promising to reread the other nine books in the series before my next school visit.