Join us for an interview with Drs. Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins and Ann Hazzard, authors of Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice (@MaginationPress). 

Something Happened in Our Town follows two families — one White, one Black — as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children’s questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.

Includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues.


Author Bios: Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPP, Marietta Collins, PhD, and Ann Hazzard, PhD, ABPP, worked together for more than two decades as Emory University School of Medicine faculty members serving children and families in Atlanta. All three psychologists have been involved in community advocacy efforts focused on children’s behavioral health and social justice.

Dr. Celano and Dr. Hazzard have developed and utilized therapeutic stories in individual and group therapy with children and teens. All three authors valued story-time with their children, who taught them important lessons about what children need from adults.

This is their first picture book for children.

Illustrator bio: Jennifer Zivoin has always loved art and storytelling, so becoming an illustrator was a natural career path. She has been trained in media ranging from figure drawing to virtual reality, and earned her bachelor of arts degree with highest distinction from the honors division of Indiana University.

During her professional career, Jennifer worked as a graphic designer and then as a creative director before finding her artistic niche illustrating children’s books.

When she is not creating art in her studio, her favorite hobbies include drinking cocoa while reading a good book, swimming on hot summer days, and spending time outside with her family.

Jennifer lives in Indiana with her husband and two daughters.

Parent & Educator Resources:

Book Lists and Online Resources: Lists of books for young children about resisting racial bias, advocating for civil rights, accepting oneself, and valuing diversity; books supporting racial pride for children of diverse ethnicities, resources for multicultural families, anti-bullying books, resources about community violence, and resources about racial injustice for older children; resources for parents; and resources for teachers.

Read Aloud Tips For Educators:  Specific ideas for educators when reading Something Happened in Our Town to a group of children, including a sample introduction and possible discussion prompts at various points in the book.