Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 19, 2020

Book Giveaway: Walkout by Tina Shepardson

Tina Shepardson has written a new picture book, WALKOUT, illustrated by Terry Sirrell and publish by Spork Children’s Books. Tina has agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Tina and Terry.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Inspired by a true story, WALKOUT shows democracy in action as Maddie organizes a safe school’s anti-violence walkout. Other kids throughout the States are walking out, but Maddie’s principal has announced that only older grades can participate. At the same time, Maddie’s best friend Stella is too scared to help. Can Stella find her courage and join Maddie in walking out?


My debut picture book, WALKOUT, illustrated by Terry Sirrell, is the culmination of my years working with kids as a teacher and mother. Whether teaching through books, the news, or my own stories, my goal has always been to help children be better thinkers and the best versions of themselves. During my 32 years of teaching, my students and I have witnessed tragic school shootings, Columbine, Sandy Hook, etc. My students and I always sent care packages to those communities which carried poems, seed packets such as Forget Me Nots, and letters of comfort to let them know we were thinking of them.

When the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School happened on Valentine’s Day 2018, I was now also a mother of a teenager in high school. I couldn’t sleep and by this point had the wonderful fortune of taking several terrific writing courses with the Children’s Book Academy directed by Dr. Mira Reisberg. It was during The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books Course my rough draft for WALKOUT was written. The story was inspired by a New York Times article entitled, “How Young Is Too Young For Protest? A National Gun-Violence Walkout Tests Schools.” Dr. Reisberg saw the value in the topic because while she was a professor at Northern Illinois University, she lost a student to gun violence. When she read the draft, she encouraged me to develop the additional layer of friendship between the main characters to help readers understand that you can agree to disagree and still remain friends.

Once Clear Fork Publishing acquired the manuscript, the journey continued with Terry Sirrell creating his colorful and animated illustrations, and Mira Reisberg directing the editing process. The combination of Mira and Terry’s attention to details was fascinating to witness. I am so grateful to have been included in this process as it has helped me understand in depth the process of creating a book from the beginning to end. We had good discussions about the importance to include different cultures, details that reflected today’s modern classrooms, and word choices that heightened the importance of the story and back matter. We all knew WALKOUT’S topic was important to share in a way that inspired its readers to connect with the topic of school safety and the final product accomplishes this.

As a teacher and mother, I am excited for the impact WALKOUT will have on readers everywhere. There is a strong message about friendship and advocacy. I hope the characters inspire kids to pay attention to include others in their endeavors, to know there are peaceful ways to protest that unite us rather than divide us, and that friendship is very special. Just because we do not always agree, doesn’t mean the friendship has to change. For anyone who wishes to be a part of the change, the back matter lists important organizations in the fight to stop gun violence. There is also a complete teacher’s guide with activities for every age level to use as a teaching tool.


Tina was that child who LOVED to write stories on paper (yes, on paper), draw pictures, hole punch them, tie with string and yarn, and read them to the younger kids in her neighborhood. The crinkling sound of the pages was her favorite sound in the world! She even made paper doll characters to act out the scenes. This was a huge door opener for her into babysitting and eventually teaching. As an author, she is thrilled to share her stories! Tina’s mission is to inspire children to be the best person they can be and to nurture their love of reading.

As an award-winning teacher for 32 years, Tina Shepardson has shared thousands of books with children. As a passionate advocate for children and reading, she finds her best stories are inspired through her favorite roles in life: mother and teacher. Find her in Upstate New York with her family, enjoying the latest snowstorm with her Akitas. Learn more at:



Cartoonist and Humorous Illustrator Terry Sirrell has been embedding his images in the American psyche for many years. You may have seen his work on the back of Cap`n Crunch and Kellogg`s Corn Flakes cereal boxes.

His cartoons and characters also have appeared in the advertising of numerous major corporations and in dozens of publications including Reader`s Digest, Family Fun, Disney, Newsweek, Workman Publishing, Scholastic Inc., National Geographic Kids, Weekly Reader, Orlando Magazine, National Wildlife, Dynamath, The New York Daily News and The Chicago Tribune.

He created over 120 illustrations for “Oh,Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty”, which has over 1,000,000 books in print. He also illustrates children`s books, cartoon maps, eBooks, websites, magazines, brochures , games, greeting cards and jigsaw puzzles.

To see more samples of his artwork please look at where you can buy cool t-shirts, mugs and more.

Thank you, Tina for sharing your book and journey with us. I love how you provided a book to help children realize how they can stand up for what you believe in like Maddie did and be part of the solution to problems in their school. Terry’s illustrations are a great addition to the book. Kids will surely enjoy this book. Good luck!

Please note: You can join Tina on Saturday, 12/5, 12pm-1:30 EST, where she’ll be part of the Children’s Book Academy Picture Book Palooza, presenting on Teaching Democracy ($20 for 3 days of amazing sessions that will be recorded and shared. The $20 goes straight to CBA’s scholarship fund.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. It sounds like the topic of walking out is handled just right for a younger audience. I look forward to reading this picture book! Thanks for sharing with us. 🙂 Congratulations!

    Shared on Twitter and I follow by email. 🙂


  2. Congratulations, Tina and Terry! Several important and timely topics in this story! I’m sure this book will facilitate many discussions. Every school and library should have a copy on their shelves.


  3. Congrats, Tina and Terry! (I tweeted, and I’m signed up for the emails.)


  4. Congratulations, Tina and Terry. This is a much needed book, and I’m sure kids are going to love it. I follow this blog and enjoy all the excellent interviews!


  5. Great post! I am so excited to read this book. Congrats, Tina and thanks for sharing, Kathy.


  6. Great post and great book. I’m lucky to already have read it. Please don’t put me in the giveaway, it should go to a current teacher or librarian.


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