More About the Author
Karen E. Dabney, a native Detroiter, possesses a BFA from The University of Michigan, and a BA from the University of Detroit Mercy. She is the CEO of Dabs & Company, an organization dedicated to increasing literacy and instilling a love for literature.
She has always been involved with youth as a speaker, mentor, teacher, recreation supervisor, "cheer leader" and friend.
Karen's publications as author, artist, and producer include: Splendor for your Vendors; Unhappiness Is ...; Jenga, poetry by Nuru; The Elephantom in the Room: a psychological tail; I Said It...And I Meant IT!, Detroit Unity Poets and Authors Society (DUPAAS)anthology; I am a YoungStar and I Love Me Some Me! Positivity Poems for Young Adults; I am a YoungerStar and I Love Me Some ME Too! Positivity Poems for Children; StarLeader Guidebook!; The Magic Pencil Black Language Glossary; The Magic Pencil Curriculum Guide; The Magic Pencil novel; 44th Barack H. Obama The Commemorative Edition anthology; Michigan Chronicle, guest columnist; Detroit Metro Times, sales representative; For My People newspaper, assistant; Journal of Non-White Concerns, cartoonist; The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Newsletter, cover artist; The University of Michigan Dearborn's The Michigan Journal, writer and keyliner; To the Poet in You, Creative Press anthology; Dreaming, poetry by Chicara Brassell; and "Necessary Roughness", poetry by Safi.
Karen attended writing workshops with the Voices of Our Nation's Arts Foundation (VONA) and The Hurston/Wright Foundation. She is a member of Gifted in Michigan, the International Reading Association, National Association of Teachers of English, National Conference of Artists, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Motown Writers' Network, Broadside Poets' Theatre, Concept East, Project B.A.I.T., Urban Theater Magazine, and Detroit Unity Poets' and Authors' Society (DUPAAS). She is also an Operation Crossroads Africa alum where she spent over six weeks in Africa and has assisted and recruits others to do the same with the program - begun in 1958 - the precursor of the Peace Corps.
The Magic Pencil is Karen's first novel for young adults. Although the book is geared toward the "tween" crowd, it is enjoyed by people of all ages.
Through the story, Karen has inspired, uplifted, and captivated reluctant and uninspired readers. Her intentions have always been to stem the tide of youth falling through the cracks in life. The Magic Pencil imparts means and methods to increase their skills for successful navigation and mastery through self-determination and self-reliance. These qualities are fostered within the story by its empowering effect on the reader/listener.
Karen feels she was born with a pencil in her hand. She wrote, illustrated, and "published" her first "real" book, Unhappiness Is, at 14 years of age. The book sheds a comedic light on everyday situations and challenges and is appreciated by all who have read or listened to it.
Dabs & Company promotes literacy and keeping minds 'lit'. To that end, The Magic Pencil Series was born!
From the Author:
My reasons for writing The Magic Pencil
To encourage the uninspired, reluctant and discouraged reader to develop the desire to read for pleasure.
To develop the desire to read for greater knowledge.
To increase self-esteem; especially within African American/black youth.
To remove the stigma applied to African American/black people when they use colloquial language. To recognize all people engage in this behavior. To understand that there are special and new words used when one is a part of a particular group (the language among computer technicians, for example) which may or may not become known among the general population.
To increase vocabulary by creating a desire to know exactly what a particular word means and how it relates to what is occurring.
To demonstrate the opportunities available by learning how to effectively navigate unfamiliar territory through education.
To honor the "community/home" language of the speaker and to realize s/he may be articulate within that language. To, thereby, foster a willingness in the person to adopt other ways of speaking while retaining his or her present mode of speech -- if needed and desired.
To encourage respect and tolerance of the differences in others. To focus on the commonalities between self and others.
To foster self-respect, self-determination and self-reliance.
To encourage constructive debate over preferences and beliefs.
To foster empathy towards another's problems.
To learn to work together for the greater good.
To become hopeful about the future.
"Promote Literacy! Keep Minds Lit!"
~Karen E. Dabney
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