My Books




Yusra Swims_Jacket

Yusra Swims, Creative Editions, 25 February 2020, illustrated by Sally Deng
A biography in rhyme relates the story of Olympic swimmer and Syrian refugee, Yusra Mardini.

“A true and inspiring story of a refugee hero.” – Kirkus Reviews

Penguin cover

The Old Man and the Penguin: A True Story of True Friendship,  Kids Can Press,  October 2020, illustrated by Pierre Pratt. A touching true story told in rhyme, of an oil-soaked penguin, the man who rescues him and an unlikely friendship.

“An entertaining introduction for young readers to the harmful effects of oil spills on marine wildlife.” – Kirkus Reviews, July 2020

“The Old Man and the Penguin, a warm story of an unusual friendship, will be well-received by its young listeners/readers” – CM Magazine, October 2020

“Few readers will be able to resist this charming tale, based on true events.” – Booklist, Starred Review, November 2020

Booklist Editors’ Choice Books for Youth 2020

2023Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award, Washington Library Association, Nominated


Sak cover KCP

Sakamoto’s Swim Club : How a Teacher Led an Unlikely Team to Victory, Kids Can Press, May 2021, illustrated by Chris Sasaki. The inspirational and little-known story of a dedicated teacher who coached Hawaiian swimmers all the way to the Olympics, beautifully told in simple rhyme.

“A vibrant, original picture book.”Booklist, starred review, February 2021

“Exudes inspiration and dedication.”Kirkus Reviews, April 2021

sure to appeal to young readers and is a great contribution to sports history as well as Hawaiian history.”School Library Journal, May 2021

2021 Junior Library Guild Gold Standard book selection (Sports Elementary Plus)

“Chris Sasaki’s vibrant and detailed images perfectly complement Julie Abery’s sparse rhyming narrative to tell the story of this unconventional coach who led a group of kids…(to) the Olympics…” Honolulu Magazine, July 2021

“Abery tells the story in tight, driving verse…Sasaki supplies detail in gracefully composed spreads…” – Publishers Weekly, August 2021

“A brief but compelling introduction to an unlikely sports hero.” – Horn Book, September 2021

Booklist Editors’ Choice Books for Youth 2021

NCTE Orbis Pictus Award (Nonfiction for Children) Recommended Book, 2022

Cybils Award Finalist Elementary Nonfiction

(CLR SIG) Notable Book for a Global Society, 2022 (Nonfiction in Verse)

USBBY Outstanding International Book List, 2022

2022-2023 VA Reads Picture Book List, Virginia Association of School Librarians