What’s the Story?

Dear Readers,

On July 9, I revealed the cover for Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse, Book 2 in my Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series. Glad that’s finished!

Leading up to the book’s release on October 20, 2020, I plan to share two excerpts in chapter order each Thursday.

First, let’s start with the story’s synopsis. (Kids, that’s just a power word for “plot,” or “what the story is about.”)

So now, I present to you Book 2:

In 1945, Isabela de Cordoba’s great-grandfather, the famous silent movie actor Lorenzo de Cordoba, mysteriously hid a legendary, multimillion-dollar emerald somewhere on the family’s sprawling Eucalyptus Street estate. Seventy years later, the gem remains concealed. Nicknamed the “Green Curse,” the emerald is blamed for the Southern California familia’s numerous, untimely deaths.

On her twenty-first birthday, Isabela receives a secret letter with a cryptic poem. These documents from the long-deceased Lorenzo invite her to hunt for the gemstone. But first, she must decipher the poem’s six stanzas for clues.

To assist, Isabela hires her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the four Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, and their best friends, Moki Kalani and Rani Kumar. Eerie footsteps inside the mansion, unexplained occurrences in the adjacent cemetery, and the mysterious tenant in the backyard casita challenge them. But they ingeniously make progress on the poem’s meaning with startling discoveries. Sliding wall panels, a secret room, and hidden passages reveal much. The detectives aren’t the only ones looking for the emerald. The perilous race for the de Cordoba treasure is on!

So, get a clue, Readers. Come back next Thursday when I will share excerpts from Chapters 1 and 2. Until then, keep reading and writing! Thanks so much.

My Book 2 Cover, Finally Revealed!

Dear Kids, Teachers, Librarians, Parents, Grandparents, and Other Readers,

At last! Here is my cover for Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse. What do you think???

It depicts our four detectives hard at work. They have just solved a piece of the Puzzle Poem and are one step closer to finding the treasure. The Puzzle Poem has six stanzas that the detectives must decipher to reach their goal.

To celebrate the Cover Reveal and the book’s October 20 release, I will feature two chapter excerpts per week starting next week. At some point between now and October 20, I will also release the entire Puzzle Poem!

If you’re reading this today, July 9, please join me on my personal Sherrill Joseph Facebook page at 2 p.m. PDT when I go live to celebrate my Cover Reveal.

So, get a clue, Readers. Check my blog every Thursday at sherrilljoseph.com/news to get a head start on reading Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse!

A “Grand” Experience

Dear Kids and Other Readers,

The current Pandemic has separated many grandparents and grandchildren.

Wouldn’t it be fun to bring them together safely in a Zoom Book Club?

That’s just what I’m organizing with a local non-profit agency that has a bank of grandparents waiting to interact in this fun online activity. Better yet, they’ll be using my book, Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets!

“Grand” Book Clubs can promote reading for fun, family dynamics, and getting my book into kids’ hands and hearts. The Grand pairs will read together at their leisure however they like. I will provide book club discussion ideas and ways to improve reading comprehension and kids’ engagement in the process from my years of teaching.

On a selected day, all the Grand pairs will come together on Zoom to meet me, have more book discussions, and ask questions! I’m so excited to see this unfold and to continue to hone my Zoom skills.

So, get a clue, Grands and All Readers. Stay tuned for more information in future blogs . . .

10, 9, 8 . . . Cover Reveal RSVP Time!

Dear Kids, Teachers, Parents, and All Readers,

Well, the countdown is finally on for my much-anticipated Cover Reveal for Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse, Book 2 in my Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series!



What: My Online Book 2 Cover Reveal live on Facebook!    There will be Giveaways all day!

Who:  It’s being hosted by Adam Ross, a bookstore owner in Colorado, who kindly helps indie authors, especially during the COVID-19 shutdown. I will co-host.

When: Thursday, July 9, beginning at 8 a.m. PT.              ***I will go live at 2 p.m. PT.***    (That’s 3 p.m. MT, 4 p.m. CT, and 5 p.m. ET.)

I hope many of you–especially teachers, kids, librarians, and parents–will join in all day, but especially when I go live!  Please mark your calendars.

Where: The online Reveal will be on July 9 on Facebook. You can drop in and out during the day, but I hope to see you live at 2 p.m. PT.

How:  Please RSVP now  as “Going” using the following link. Use the same link to join in on July 9:


Or go to the Events tab on my website at sherrilljoseph.com/events for the link beginning July 1.

Or go to my website and click on one of the floating social media icons on July 8 or 9 for the link.

Why:  It’s time to celebrate virtually my stunning new cover in anticipation of Book 2’s October 20 launch.


So, get a clue, Readers. Join me for my Cover Reveal on July 9. Then, please share the cover on your social media platforms. That’s how you can help me build excitement for the book’s October. release Thanks so much for helping!


“Window, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors”

Dear Teachers, Librarians, and Other Adult Readers,

In seeking anti-racist resources for my last two blogs/news items (June 4 and 11), I discovered Rudine Sims Bishop. She is professor emerita of education at Ohio State University and considered the “Mother of Multicultural Children’s Literature.” You can Google her name for more fascinating information about her and her work.

She explains the value of acquiring and reading books to teach diversity via these three metaphors:

  1.  “Mirrors”:  Books are mirrors that allow readers to see themselves within the pages, thus affirming their own cultural beliefs, social values, and self-worth.
  2.  “Windows”:  Books are windows that introduce cultures different from the reader’s own, thus fostering changes of negative attitudes and stereotypes, appreciation of differences and similarities, and gaining knowledge of the history of another culture. Bishop says kids need both “Mirrors” and “Windows.”
  3.  “Sliding Glass Doors”:  Books are the glass doors that can provide a safe environment for readers to look through, open, and walk through in their imaginations to enter and become part of whatever world, new or known, the author presents.

So, get a clue, Readers. When looking for books for kids, think about Bishop’s three metaphors. All kids deserve a bookshelf full of Sliding Glass Doors that are both Mirrors and Windows to help create happy, confident, anti-racist citizens.



Sad Stats But More Resources

Dear Readers,

According to HealthyChildren.org, “As early as six months, a baby’s brain can notice race-based differences. By ages 2 to 4, children can internalize racial bias. By age 12, many children become set in their beliefs–giving parents a decade to mold the learning process so that it decreases racial bias and improves cultural understanding.”

So, get a clue, Readers. Amidst the peaceful protests and the anger, hate, and injustice around us and via the news and social media, there is hope–hope for a better future. Books can help. Children need to see not only themselves but others different from themselves in books they read. And such books can provide a great way to start conversations about race with kids.


To that end, here are a few more anti-racist resources and links that I found beyond what I already reported in my June 4 Blog:

  1. readbrightly.com/anti-racist-resources-for-kids/     “Books and Resources to Help You Raise Anti-Racist Children”
  2. publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/     “A Children’s and Young Adult Anti-Racist Reading List”  (Fiction and nonfiction books for various ages are categorized into lists entitled, “Understanding Race and Racism”; “Raise Your Voice: Activism and Protest”; “Windows and Mirrors from Black #OwnVoices Creators”; and, “Novels for Teens.”)
  3. SocialJusticeBooks.org/booklists/     “60+ Carefully Selected Lists of Multicultural and Social Justice Books for Children, Young Adults, and Educators”
  4. nbcnews.com/know-your-value/feature/5-books-read-your-children-celebrate-diversity-ncna1224351     “Five Books to Read to Your Children that Celebrate Diversity”
  5. bookshop.org/lists/diverse-indie-author-titles     “Forty-One Multicultural Books by Multicultural Indie Authors”   (There are titles for children and adults.)
  6. blog.leeandlow.com/2020/06/10/10-fun-and-joyful-black-childrens-book/     “10 Fun and Joyful Black Children’s Books”
  7. nymag.com/strategist/article/anti-racist-childrens-books.html     “7 Books About Race to Read to Your Kids”