Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Leah Henderson

Leah Henderson is the author of the middle grade novel One Shadow on the Wall, an Africana Children’s Book Award notable, and a Bank Street Best Book. From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: How did you come up with the idea for One Shadow on the Wall, and for your character Mor?

A: It all started with a boy. I was on vacation in Senegal while in grad school and happened to look out a car window and saw a young boy sitting on a beach wall. I’m not really sure what it was about him that captured my attention, but he did.

For the rest of the day, I thought about him. I wondered what his day was like and if it was similar in any way to mine. Then later, when my friends and I drove past that same area, the boy was still there. I jumped out of the car, raced across the street and asked his permission to take his photograph.

In the image I took of him, I am convinced he was giving me a challenge. He stared at me in the photo, daring me not to see him, with his shoulders back and his chin held high. He wasn’t an invisible face, or just another picture.

I did see him.

And when I got back to my room that night, I...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue