Local Children’s Book Encourages Girls to Take the Lead

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cover finalThis is a political campaign we can all get behind.

Sadie McGrady, Leading Lady is the story of a spunky young girl who runs for president of the United States, and, like any candidate, she needs your support. Her creator, local writer Mary Parry, has teamed up with photographer Corey Williams to create the book, which helps explain the election process and encourages girls to seek leadership roles. They are crowdfunding the book through Inkshares, founded by Chapel Hill High alumnus Thad Woodman. When supporters preorder 1,000 copies, Inkshares will publish the first run of the book. As of today, Mary and Corey have only about 325 orders to go.

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Mary Parry

Mary worked as a women’s vote director during the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and often needed to bring along her daughter, Emma, who was captivated by the process. Mary wanted to inspire other kids and to address “the reasons people don’t put themselves out there, particularly girls without role models.” So while the cute photos and rhyming verses are designed to charm, the message to girls is that they can move beyond their fears and into leadership roles. “Sadie gets nervous. She has to debate
the other guy. She worries about [what happens] if she doesn’t win,” explains Mary. When she does win, readers get to see Sadie make a positive impact.

Having a truly relatable role model is 
the reason Mary and Corey teamed up to put photographs in the book instead of illustrations. “We really wanted girls to see themselves very clearly in the imagery,” says Corey, “so the opportunity to illustrate the book with photography was really exciting to me as well as the ability to work with real kids in our community.”

To help Mary and Corey reach their goal, preorder up to 10 copies by visiting inkshares.com and searching for “Sadie McGrady.”

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Corey Williams

The book features photos by Corey Williams instead of illustrations, so that young readers can see themselves in leadership positions.

And Caroline Krouse, a family friend
of Mary’s who lives in Raleigh, modeled as Sadie McGrady for the book cover. Look for several Estes Hills Elementary students elsewhere in book, playing the parts of campaign managers and parade goers.


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Virginia Robinson

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