You’ve probably read about Senior English major Morgan LaMonica on the Stevenson website or read her creative work in the Greenspring Review. Either way, she is an accomplished student. Now, she has published a children’s book!

The book is called Hearts of Gold, which is about a “little girl who goes into a dollmaker’s shop and asks for the most beautiful doll. [H]e . . . shows her around the shop and shows her . . . all these dolls from around the world. [T]hen he takes her into the back and he shows her this box full of little golden hearts and he says ‘the most beautiful thing about these dolls is their hearts of gold on the inside.’ None of them are the most beautiful.”

The book was the result of the B’nai B’rith International Diverse Minds Writing Challenge. This scholarship required an original story about diversity with at least 18 fully illustrated pages. Her classmate and partner, Maddie, found the scholarship a month before the deadline and asked Morgan to be on her team since Maddie “couldn’t draw.” Morgan thought it’d be cool to do a “toys-come-to-life” story and felt that the dolls from around the world worked well so that the story would showcase diversity.

Morgan’s responsibilities consisted of illustrating the book, digitally editing the illustrations, and placing the texts on the pages. Morgan drew the pictures with markers and used gold glitter for the hearts. Since the project was on a tight deadline, her friends called it “glitter hell” as Morgan would have glitter in the bags of her eyes and her hairline. Regardless, “It was a fun scholarship that didn’t have to do with writing an essay.”

The night of the awards ceremony was also the night of their prom, so they came dressed like winners in their gowns. Morgan joked, “It kind of looked rigged from other people’s [perspective], I’m sure.” The two actually went on a book tour, reading and signing at local libraries.

So, where can you get a copy of the book? Morgan actually has tons of books for those that want it, so just ask! Also, the Rising Sun Branch library has a copy.

Morgan has always been interested in children’s literature and wants to publish more books. She actually read her newest children’s story at the recent Baltimore Book Festival! (check that blogpost out here) When she graduates in December (yay!), she will work towards an online master’s degree in Library Science while working in the Cecil County library system. Morgan’s ultimate goal is to be a librarian and write children’s literature on the side. We can’t wait to see what else she does!