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August 15, 2022

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P&P Live! Governor Gavin Newsom and Ruby Shamir-Ben & Emma’s Big Hit—with Jill Santopolo

3 min read

California Governor Gavin Newsom & Ruby Shamir present their new picture book about dyslexia in conversation with Jill Santopolo. Purchase BEN & EMMA’S BIG HIT here:

Ben is confident on the baseball field but struggles when it is time to read. He has trouble remembering all of the squiggles and sounds. Meanwhile, his classmate Emma is already reading big chapter books. When a reading group leaves Ben in tears, Emma and teacher Ms. Kim confess their own struggles. Emma is only pretending to read big books, and Ms. Kim loved baseball as a child but could never hit the ball. At recess Ben and Emma coach Ms. Kim to success on the baseball field, demonstrating that if you just keep trying, what feels impossible can be achieved.

Gavin Newsom called on his own experiences as a child with dyslexia to develop this story with writer Ruby Shamir. The book is written in Open Dyslexic font to help people with dyslexia read more easily; backmatter provides resources for more information.

Governor Newsom will be donating all proceeds of Ben and Emma’s Big Hit to the International Dyslexia Association to help create a future for all kids who struggle with dyslexia so they have access to the tools and resources they need to thrive.

Gavin Newsom is the 40th Governor of California. He previously served as the 49th Lieutenant Governor of California and as the 42nd Mayor of San Francisco. Newsom attended Santa Clara University, where he majored in political science and was a left-handed pitcher for Santa Clara’s baseball team.

Ruby Shamir is a writer and literary researcher living in the Bronx, New York. She is the author of What’s the Big Deal About First Ladies, What’s the Big Deal About Freedom, What’s the Big Deal About Elections, and To the Moon. Shamir previously worked at the White House in the Clinton administration for three and a half years, two of which she served in the First Lady’s office. She also led Hillary Rodham Clinton’s New York Senate office.

Our moderator for this event is Jill Santopolo, Vice President and Associate Publisher at Philomel Books, and editor of Ben and Emma’s Big Hit.

Ages 4-8

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