MILLBURY, Mass. — The Millbury Public Library had Shrewsbury author April Jones-Prince at its Celebrity Reader Program on Wednesday afternoon to read her book on Jackie Robinson in honor of Black History Month.
Jones-Prince spoke to a crowded conference room of children as well as adults about what goes into writing a book for children, the research and the many edits that take place before the book goes into print.
Her research for "Jackie Robinson, He Led the Way” took months she said. In addition to the many trips to libraries searching for background information on Robinson, as well as baseball, she made the trek to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and saw Robinson’s plaque as well as his uniform.
Speaking to the children in the audience, she shared that she had wanted to be an author since the age of 8 and had a book she wrote for her school at that age but the no one was allowed to read it.
“If you dream of doing something when you’re older,” she told the children, “it may someday come true. You can make it happen,” she added.
She shared why Jackie Robinson was so important. In addition to being the first black baseball player in the major leagues, he served as an important trailblazer for blacks in general, not just in the field of sports.
She then read her book to the crowd and shared that, despite her hometown Minnesota Twins winning a World Series when she was young, she didn’t become a true baseball fan until she was an adult.
In Massachusetts, she said, her children got to experience the Red Sox World Series championships, and baseball has become a family activity. She was also interviewed live by Millbury Public Access television, which will broadcast the event in the near future.
Speaking with The Daily Voice briefly after the reading, Jones-Prince shared that her next book is about Frederick Douglass, who escaped from slavery to head up the abolitionist movement and became a famous orator. She has two books being released in March, “Dig-In” and “Dive-In,” and will be submitting her manuscript on Douglass to her publishers in the next two weeks.
For more information on Jones-Prince and her books see her website by clicking here