The Invitation - Jennifer Phillips, Children's Author

The Invitation

A picture book about neurodiversity, friendship
and inclusion

Izzy is eccentric and stands out from her classmates. Kofi is new to school and wants to fit in.
When he gets an invitation to Izzy’s party, he’s not so sure he should go. Released February 2021.

Reading Level 3

Simple storyline, averages 4-10 words per sentence. 30 pages. February 2021.

 

 Read The Invitation Online for Free!

I had an exciting opportunity in late 2020 to participate in a one-month book sprint project. The non-profit Room to Read supports literacy and girls’ education programs in multiple countries. All of its books are online and free to read. They put out a call for writers and illustrators to build its Peace & Equality collection.

I am the parent of a child with special needs and I’d had an idea rattling around in my head about a boy struggling with whether to accept the invitation to the birthday party of a neurodiverse classmate. I felt honored to be selected for the project. Teamed with a talented illustrator, editor and art director, my one-line rough idea evolved into a beautiful story about an important subject.

In May 2021, Room to Read shared it is now working to print 70,000 copies of the Peace & Equality collection for free distribution to children in U.S. book deserts. And it plans to make the books available for on-demand purchase.

I hope you will enjoy the story and will send me a note with your thoughts.

 

My reason for writing this book.

Visit the website of the book’s illustrator, Ruthie Lafond

Watch the May 2021 Panel Discussion on Diversity of Diversity –
The Power of Books in Fostering Inclusive Communities

Resources:

A few sites listing children’s books about neurodiversity (a note that I have not yet read all of the books featured).

  • NADD, a national non-profit focused on those with a dual diagnosis of I/DD and mental illness
  • We Need Diverse Books article about representation​​
  • The ARC, a national non-profit supporting inclusion and the needs of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • SBSK.org founded by Chris Ulmer
BADGE-graduate-Jennifer-Phillips
Member of SCBWI - 10+ Years!
 
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Member - 10+ Years!

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