Print: A Bookstore is proud to be working with Maine author Maryann Cocca-Leffler in support of her forthcoming picture book, Fighting for YES!: The Story of Disability Rights Activist Judith Heumann. All copies will be signed by the author and can be personalized—make sure to include your request in the checkout section!
Maryann Cocca-Leffler is an award-winning author and illustrator of over 70 books for children. A Kirkus reviewer said of Maryann; “Cocca-Leffler knows children inside and out.”
Maryann’s inspiration comes from all around her; children, family, school visits, current news and the people she meets along the way. Details on her three upcoming books are included below, and other popular books include The Power of YET inspired by the Power of Yet growth mindset, The Belonging Tree, which celebrates diverse neighborhoods, and Same Way Ben, which is loosely based on an autistic boy who has difficulty with change.
Her daughter, Janine Leffler, inspired the book Janine as well as We Want To Go To School! The Fight for Disability Rights, (co-authored with Janine). Together they have developed a corresponding website, with a mission to help change public perception of children with disabilities. (www.JaninesParty.com).
Maryann grew up in the Boston area and has a BFA in illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She enjoys visiting schools (both in person and virtually) to promote literacy and share her books with children. Maryann now happily lives and works in Portland, Maine, (though her Boston accent travels with her wherever she goes.)
Fighting for YES!: The Story of Disability Rights Activist Judith Heumann publishing August 9th, 2022 from Abrams Books for Young Readers
A picture book biography celebrating the life and work of disability rights activist and icon Judith Heumann, highlighting one of her landmark achievements—leading the historic 504 Sit-in in 1977
From a very young age, Judy Heumann heard the word NO. When she wanted to attend public school, the principal said, "NO." When she wanted her teaching license, the New York Board of Education said, "NO." Judy and people with disabilities everywhere were tired of hearing “NO.”
In the 1970s an important disability rights law, Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, was waiting to be signed. Judy and other disability rights activists fought for “YES!” They held a sit-in until Section 504 was signed into law. Section 504 laid the foundation for the American with Disabilities Act, which was established thanks in large part to the ongoing work of Judy and her community.
Along with a personal reflection from Judy herself, this picture book biography captures the impact and influence of one of America’s greatest living activists.