Derrick Barnes is the author of the empowering New York Times bestsellers The King of Kindergarten, I Am Every Good Thing, which won the NCTE Charlotte Huck Award and the Kirkus Prize, and Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, which received a Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King Honor, the Kirkus Prize, and the Ezra Jack Keats Award. He also wrote the bestselling chapter book series Ruby and the Booker Boys. Derrick is a native of Kansas City, MO and a graduate of Jackson State University and was the first African American male creative copywriter hired by greeting card giant, Hallmark Cards. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and their four sons.
Vanessa Brantley-Newton has illustrated numerous picture books, including The Girl Who Heard Colors (by Marie Harris), Mary Had a Little Glam (by Tammi Sauer), One Love (by Cedella Marley), A Night Out with Mama (by Quvenzhané Wallis), and The Youngest Marcher (by Cynthia Levinson), as well as the chapter book series Ruby and the Booker Boys (by Derrick Barnes) and Jada Jones (by Kelly Starling Lyons). She wrote and illustrated Let Freedom Sing and Grandma's Purse. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.