Georgia Center for the Book

Jessica Alexander

Georgia Connections

  • Atlanta, Fulton County

Notes of Interest

Jessica Alexander is the co-author of several picture books and an editor for the children's book publisher, Peachtree Press. "This is the Dream," a book she co-wrote with Diane Z. Shore in 2006, was selected in 2010 for inclusion on the Georgia Center for the Book's inaugural list of "25 Books All Young Georgians Should Read."

Jessica Alexander was born in 1972 in Houston and was raised in Los Angeles before moving to Atlanta at the age of 18. she is, she says, "a city girl with deep Southern roots." She spent her childhood summers shuffling between Houston and Natchez, Mississippi, where she cultivated "an abiding love for cold, muddy rivers and hot, humid nights."

Her first picture book, "Look Both Ways," was published in 2005. Aimed at pre-schoolers and written in rhyme, it has been translated into French and German. "This is the Dream" is her second book, and a third, following the history of baseball in America, is due in 2011. She is active in community theater and recently directed productions of "Nate the Great," "Aladdin" and "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing." She is a founding member of StageWrite Playwright's Group in Roswell which is hosting a staged reading of her first full-length musical, "Don't Shoot the Messenger." Her previous play, "The Recipe Box," was featured by the Jewish Theater of the South as part of their Theatrical Buffet series.

"This is the Dream" was co-written with Diane Z. Shore and illustrated by James Ransome. Critics called it "a soaring tribute to the accomplishments of the civil rights movement," and it gives young readers a graphic look at how symbols of injustice were used as well as how they have changed. The co-authors write that the book "celebrates the power of nonviolent change. It is a simple look at the way things used to be, the steps that ordinary people took to change those things, and the way they are today in America. The journey is not over, however; imperfections and inequalities remain in our society, and there is always room in the world for the kind of bravery that takes nonviolent action to create a better place."

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