Rookie of the Year — The Inspiration for a Storyline

In Rookie of the Year, the second book in my Rip and Red series, the new girl in class, Takara Eid — a.k.a Tiki — comes from an Egyptian family. A storyline involving her (the girl between Rip and Red on the cover) was inspired by my friend, Kareem.

 


“I met Kareem several years ago when he was still in high school. Following Hurricane Katrina, he traveled with me to New Orleans one summer to help with the clean-up and recovery.


Here’s a serious throwback picture of Kareem and his buddies

(Kareem is second from the left)

When developing the character of Tiki, I sat with Kareem several times and asked him many, many questions. He also beta-read an early version of the book.

This is Kareem today:

 


“Kareem is traveling today. Before he travels, he cuts his hair and shaves. Why? Because as he puts it, “nothing scares white people on planes more than Arab hair.”



“When you read Rookie of the Year, you’ll see how something similar to this plays a role in the story.


Before he started shaving for flights, Kareem was selected for “random” bag checks every time he went through security. Since he started his new pre-travel ritual, he hasn’t been selected once.

When you read Rookie of the Year, you’ll see how something similar to this plays a role in the story.

Follow the fifth grade adventures of Rip and Red. Be sure to pick up copies of A Whole New Ballgame and Rookie Of The Year.

 

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