Shelly Boyum Breen–the author, creator, and prototype of Shelly Bean–grew up in Brainerd, Minnesota as a girl who like to play.
She wasn’t into reading and whenever she would be persuaded to order from the Scholastic Book Order forms, she always chose sports books or joke books. Her mom was well-rehearsed in Fozzie Bear’s Side Splitting Jokes and “wacka wacka wacka!” Shelly was never able to find a character she could relate to. All she could find was stories about horseback riding and cheerleading, and that didn’t interest her at all. It wasn’t until she read Where the Red Fern Grows that she began to enjoy reading fiction, and she started to devour animal stories.
As she grew, her love for sports never waned. In fact, she organized and started a nonprofit called Foundation IX that issued grants that provided opportunities for girls to play sports more readily. It was during her work for Foundation IX that she discovered that books about girls playing sports was still not prevalent.
So she set out to change that. She sat down and wrote 22 books featuring Shelly Bean–the Sports Queen. Hiring Marieka Heinlen (the illustrator of the Hands are Not for Hitting series) to illustrate the stories, Shelly launched a kickstarter campaign to self-publish her books.
Three books are currently published.
- Shelly Bean, the Sports Queen, Plays A Game of Catch
- Shelly Bean, the Sports Queen, Plays A Game of Basketbal
- Shelly Bean, the Sports Queen, Learns to Skate
Shelly Bean is a kid who loves to play games and to learn something new. She and her best friend Maya or her brothers are always busy learning something. It’s okay to not be good at something, but even when Shelly Bean falls, she keeps trying. In fact, there are tips in the back of each book that help interested kids learn how to play that particular game.
Shelly Boyum Breen is so passionate about this message of playing and learning and growing that at book signings, she autographs her books with “Read. Live. Play.”
You can have the chance to meet Shelly Boyum Breen in person at Pacifier in Edina on Saturday, January 24 from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
But before you do that, Shelly has offered her Sports Queen Books as a giveaway to one lucky reader. Contest closes on Friday, January 9 at 1:00 CST and you must live in the USA to enter.
How you Enter
1. Leave a comment about something you want to teach your child or an activity you wished you had learned when you were a child.
(Extra Entries–can only do this after the mandatory entry is complete. Then, leave another comment for each of the extra entries you completed)