A few weeks ago I received a letter from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot inviting me to read my new book MY RAINY DAY ROCKET SHIP on Chicago Public Library’s Facebook page.

Great people and great things come from Chicago, so I was excited at the possibility to read to young people from one of our nation’s most iconic cities. 

But as I went to sleep last night with the news that 14 people had been shot in Chicago yesterday, I started to feel some type of guilt for promoting a topic as light as picture books. 

After a good night of rest, I came to terms with the fact that a spark of light is what people need in these dark times, especially children. My son hasn’t been to school or camp and freely played with other children in almost 5 months. It’s devastating for me as a parent to keep him at home and constantly explain that we have to socially distance in order to stay safe, and stay alive. 

I can’t imagine what families are thinking and feeling in areas where they have to deal with the lingering threat of street violence and COVID-19. The fear of not knowing if or how one of these threats might attack must be psychologically draining. 

It’s impossible to live in a constant state of fear and thrive. So, I want to do my part to help get people’s minds off of the dim realities (even for a few minutes) and focus on what they can do that is safe and fun. 

If you need a spark of light, then join me for my virtual story time collaboration with Chicago Public Library

letter from mayor lori lightfoot
Markette Sheppard

Markette Sheppard

Markette Sheppard is an Emmy award-winning TV host, children's book author, marketing executive and founder of Glow Stream TV. Follow her online @markettesheppard and @glowstreamtv.

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