Arizona Authors Association member Rico Austin PhD was one of the Arizona authors of children’s books who earned recognition for his educational children’s book, ARIZONA Is Where I Live. This book was showcased by the charitable “Book Heroes,” at the Inaugural Birdies 4 Books Golf Tournament in Tucson, AZ. The golf tourney took place on Sunday, March 21st at the semi-private Rolling Hills Golf Course and Country Club. Rico played in a foursome with three friends who live in Tucson and who also support the 401C Charity of Southern Arizona Book Heroes.
In 2013, Rico wrote his first children’s book, ARIZONA Is Where I Live, and it is wonderfully, colorfully illustrated in pastel crayons by the talented Ms. Cindy Work. It is an educational and fun book for children ages four through twelve, teaching and giving descriptions of the various wildlife and plants that make Arizona unique and a great place to not only live, but also visit.
A young woman named Jennifer Dillon founded a program in 2016 in Tucson, Arizona, under the name “Books to Rescue-Pima County.” In 2019, it officially became a non-profit and changed its name to “Southern Arizona Book Heroes.” This organization is very dear to Rico and other Arizona authors because it helps take young children’s minds off of tragedies with books and their illustrations. From violent acts to car crashes to a growing opioid epidemic, “Southern Arizona Book Heroes” (SABH) has joined the front lines with first responders giving comfort to the youngest and most vulnerable citizens. SABH provides resources that help treat children’s unseen injuries—their emotional wounds. Jennifer and her volunteers equip first responders, victim advocates, social workers, and child-centric agencies with new books and new plush toys to distract, comfort, and soothe traumatized children.
Reading a book is just the first step in building a strong relationship with children in our community. We support our first responders and believe this program helps to build partnerships with our most important community members—our kids. Upon inception of this program in 2016, a good friend of Rico’s, Mr. Manuel “Abby” Cady, purchased thirty of Rico’s children’s books to donate, inspiring both Rico and his wife Connie to donate another thirty books. Since that time, both Abby and his wife Kim Cady have donated another fifty of Rico’s children’s books, as have Connie and Rico.
|Jennifer Dillon - Southern Arizona Book Heroes founder
Rico is so very proud to be a part of this program. If there are any other children’s book authors who belong to the Arizona Authors Association who would be interested in donating their books, here is the web address: www.soazbookheroes.org
Rico Austin, PhD is the author of many award-winning essays and books including My Bad Tequila. His first children’s book, ARIZONA Is Where I Live , was featured in this newsletter and on television. Find out more about Rico and his books HERE.