© Larry Dane Brimner, 2023


A Work in Progress (WIP): Something not yet completed or

finished. Evolving.

As an individual I have always tried to be a better person today than I was yesterday--I’m a Work in Progress, if you will. Toward that end, I try to learn something new every day, whether it be about myself, life, history, or the characters that inhabit my head. As a writer, I like to explore the people and events that helped to shape the U.S. into what it is today. While I am working on a manuscript, it, too, is called a WIP because it is in flux and changing. Once I am happy with it, and with a mega-dose of luck, it becomes a book. Herewith, my latest book or two. RACING ACE: In this mini-series for first-grade readers, Ace builds a car, tackles riding a skateboard, and enters a bike race. Racing Ace is a character based on all the strong women I have known through the years--fellow teachers, close friends, and especially my mom. These were smart, intelligent women who knew their own mind, who were self-reliant, and who were always up to a challenge, whether that challenge was leading a school system, enrolling in an auto- mechanics class when such a thing was unheard of, or taking tools in hand to build something magnificent. Like the strong women in my life, Ace is unafraid to be her authentic self What I hope young readers will take away from Ace’s adventures is that success is not in the winning, but in the trying to do something new in the first place. (Illustrated by the talented Kaylani Juanita) WITHOUT SEPARATION: PREJUDICE, SEGREGATION, AND THE CASE OF ROBERTO ALVAREZ (grades 4 and up): Roberto Alvarez’s world changed the day he could no longer attend Lemon Grove Grammar School in the small, rural community where he lived near San Diego, California. He and the other Mexican American students were told they had to go to a new, separate school on Olive Street. A school just for them. Author Larry Dane Brimner follows Roberto and the other Mexican American families on their journey in 1931 as they battle against separation and prejudice in one of America’s landmark segregation cases. (Illustrated by Maya Gonzalez) FINDING A WAY HOME: Mildred and Richard Loving and the Fight for Marriage Equality (ages 13 to adult: publication November 2020) “Richard was White and Mildred was Black and Native American, and the young couple only wanted to live together as husband and wife. Married in Washington, D.C., in 1958, the newlyweds couldn’t cohabitate in their home state of Virginia because interracial marriage was still ilegal there. What followed was almost a decade of arrests, legal battles, and separation until their case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court. Brimner presents the facts in no-nonsense prose while providing context for the couple’s plight . . .. The concluding chapters show how the Loving case had a direct impact on the legalization of same-sex marriage, bringing home the lasting effect of this historic Supreme Court decision. This thoroughly researched, attractively designed work is rich with primary sources, making history tangible.” Kirkus Reviews, September 2020 ACCUSED!: The Trials of the Scottsboro Boys: Lies, Prejudice, and the Fourteenth Amendment (ages 13 to adult; publication date: October 2019) “Brimner revisits the history of injustice in America. Brimner has extensively researched the heartbreaking story of the suffering and stolen futures of nine African America teens falsely accused of the rape of two white women in Alabama in 1931, laying all the facts on the table in a concise, gripping volume. The engaging, easy-to-follow text will draw readers into a historical account that mirrors many of today’s headlines. . . . a must-have for both school and public libraries. . . . Engaging and historically accurate, highly recommended.” (from Kirkus Reviews, STARRED) “Brimner . . . gives the narrative both heft and heart.” (from Booklist, STARRED) Blacklisted!: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment (ages 12 to adult): A Cold War is brewing between communist Soviet Union and the United States. Tensions between the two countries are at an all-time high. In America, peole begin to see communist threats everywhere, and the U.S. government forms a committee to investigate those threats. Even Hollywood comes under the microscope. Acclaimed nonfiction writer Larry Dane Brimner follows, in vivid detail, the story of nineteen men from the film industry who are summoned to appear before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Un-American Activities. All nineteen believe that the committee’s investigations into their political views and personal associations are a violation of their First Amendment rights. When the first ten of these men refuse to give the committee the simple answers it wants, they are cited for contempt of Congress and are blacklisted. The story of the Hollywood Ten is one of courage and defiance--a story that shows just how important it is to fight for one’s beliefs and rights. (from the flap copy) A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. (Titles are available at your favorite bookstore or online retailer.) TOP
Larry Dane Brimner