Selah and her best friend, Ami, look nothing alike and hail from very different neighborhoods, but that doesn’t stop them from becoming best friends. They even mix and match their lunches, with Selah swapping her mom’s homemade arroz con pollo for Ami’s packaged cookies.
The only snag in their friendship? Ami isn’t allowed to cross the log bridge that spans from Meadow Park to Selah’s neighborhood. According to her dad, Mr. Thrash, it’s a dangerous place, full of criminals. Selah, of course, disagrees. She doesn’t see danger; she sees neighbors walking down sidewalks and visiting Mr. Rodriguez’s corner store. She doesn’t see criminals; she sees kids of all backgrounds playing hopscotch together.
On the day Ami defies her father and steps onto the log bridge, many things begin to break: Ami’s arm, Selah and Ami’s friendship, and the ties that once connected their two communities. What’s more, Mr. Thrash becomes determined to build a fence between Meadow Park and Selah’s “dangerous” neighborhood.
Facing the prospect of losing her best friend and her favorite park, Selah takes action by tapping into her most valuable resource: her community.
But can she gather enough support to defeat Mr. Thrash’s proposal to build a fence? And will she ever mend the rift between herself and Ami? All she can do is speak her truth and count on people to see the humanity in others.
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Zion Singh Ponder (8) is proud to be the co-chairman of Story To Tell Books. Zion loves reading, writing, swimming, gymnastics, and performing. In addition to working on Selah’s Bridge, he also spends his time on stage! During the summer of 2019 he performed in Mago De Oz in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and in the fall of 2019 he was in Milwaukee Youth Theater’s Aladdin and was the youngest member of Black Arts MKE 2019 Black Nativity cast. Zion also sang in the choir of the official “We are the World” remake. Zion believes that everybody is equal, and that should be reflected in our reality!
Zephaniah Singh Ponder (12) is grateful that he is able to co-lead Story To Tell Books. He enjoyed writing Selah’s Bridge! Zephaniah also loves acting, reading, building, swimming, and traveling. In addition to running Story To Tell Books, he also has extensive theater credits. His work includes First Stage’s Mockingbird; Judy Moody; and Nate the Great, and starring in Snowy Day; Black Arts MKE’s Black Nativity (2016-2019), starring in Aladdin with Milwaukee Youth Theatre, and voice-over in the award-winning documentary The Point Is. Zephaniah believes that everyone has good inside of themselves, it just takes work to find it!
Nilima Singh comes from a line of professional artists. From the time she was very young, it was clear she possesses advanced fine motor skills and a knack for creativity. Her artwork is displayed in a museum! Nilima was selected to take part in an Art Docent program with the Museum of Modern Art, through which she studies advanced art and art history.
Nilima is also very proficient in math, science, and writing. Nilima takes pride in representing girls as a top math student nationwide. Nilima also chooses to represent girls as an individually-minded person with a love for sports, particularly basketball. Nilima hopes to become an engineer and to minor in art.
A wonderful, powerful example for all children! “I am a girl of color” showcases the beauty, possibility, and love that exists in our young girls. A must have for every school library!
Angela Patterson - Principal, Lake Blu Elementary
“I am a girl of color” is a must read... genuine and heartfelt, voicing every girl’s self discovery, the sense of joy and wonder in the possibilities of today’s multi-faceted world... dwelling in those.
Dr. Lalita Pandit Hogan - Professor, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
As an early childhood professional with 30 years of experience, I understand how important it is for children of color, especially boys, to see and be reinforced with positive images of themselves. It’s important for society to see those images as well. This book is a wonderful example of those positive images.
Ann Terrell - Executive Director, MPS Foundation