Veronica Nocella- Capstone

My Website/Blog:

My Book:

The purpose of this project is to influence the youth around me, and make a larger impact in my community through social justice and children's literature. The website contains select Capstone Journal Entries and other blog posts tracking my process throughout the project, my mission statement, and a synopsis of my book, which is linked below. After reading about how problematic misrepresentation and miseducation of young people can be, this project emphasizes the importance of incorporating information on social injustice/despair into early-childhood experiences. The book is short in length, and tells a story that personifies the world in a sweet, captivating way. Its message is a call to action to make the world a better place, in hopes to end the hardship and turmoil that people in our society face on daily basis. It's captivating, accessible to a young audience, but most importantly creates conversation and inspiration.

Annotated Bibliography:

Alexie, Sherman. 19, April. "Superman and Me." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 1998. Web. 02 Feb. 2016.


“Superman and Me” tells a tale of young Sherman Alexie (the author of the essay) talks about being a young native American boy having an admiration for Superman, and how he first learned how to read with a Superman comic book. He talks about how unusual it was for him, an Indian boy on a reservation, to have identified so much with Superman. He then talks about how from there, he taught himself how to read, and was reading dense texts extremely quickly. This source gives anecdotal insight on not only the misrepresentation in mainstream comics, but also how it’s merely considered “unusual” for a young boy on an Indian Reservation to learn how to read so quickly, whereas if he were anyone else, he’d be a prodigy. I found this source to be beneficial for me because I now know what kind of audiences my books can reach and the potential they can have, with proper representations.

Cohn, Diana. ¡Sî, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in LA. Texan-Mexican Border: Cinco Puntos Press,  2009. Print.

This book was a really good source for me when determining the kind of accessibility my books should have; because this book is bilingual, it’s accessible to both English and Spanish readers. It also gives voice as well as new perspective on the Janitor Strike in L.A.; a movement which wouldn’t have been given voice to without this book. The book not only gives the movement a voice, but gives it personal/familial perspective. The author, Diana Cohn, is a social activist herself, and is determined to write about social advocation that is accessible to young children. What I strive to do with my own books is bring light to issues that otherwise wouldn’t be taught or represented, and this book is a perfect example of that.

Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development, Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Shonkoff, Jack P. and Phillips,  Deborah A. From Neurons to Neighbors: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2000. Google Books. <>

This source was incredibly beneficial to me in that it gave extensive analysis and insight on the importance of early childhood experiences, as well as the template set for whether a child can have a healthy or unhealthy start to life. The executive summary lists conclusions that’ve been further examined throughout the book that suggest the needs of children are constantly evolving and unaddressed, and early childhood programs and policy must go under reform for a child to benefit socially from such. This source, although incredibly dense, is something worth revisiting and sifting through to discover new insight on childhood experiences and perceptions. To understand children on a psychological level is vital to my project, as I want to make sure my books can create healthy learning experiences for children.

Dvorsky, George, PhD, and James Hughes, PhD. Comp. Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary (2008): n. pag. Web. 2 Feb. 2016. < >

Postgenderism is the idea of gender binary and strict gender association will erode in modern society and within modern technology. It’s not the belief of total androgyny, but rather just that everyone should have the liberty to choose their expression and how they associate themselves. This analysis of a future without the disabilities enabled by patriarchal and gender norms helped to give me insight on futuristic beliefs pertaining gender and how they can be reflected within one of my books. Because western society is gradually approaching reform to traditional representation and expression, it’s important for me to understand and analyze its progression if I want my final product to be timely and impactful.

Jacobs, Deborah L. "How to Self Publish Your Book Through Amazon." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 25 Apr. 2014. Web. 03 Feb. 2016.


I found this source to be incredibly relevant to me because it lays out the basic steps to self publishing. Self publishing is the part of this process that has been intimidating me the most and this source breaks the process down into something simpler and more accessible. It gives great insight on how independent authors build their platform, and how they go about the process. This article then begins to explain all the potential options and resources for self publishing, like Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace, Amazon Author Central, etc. This article gave detailed descriptions of each resource and what a self publishing process would look like for each accordingly.

Kilodavis, Cheryl. My Princess Boy. Seattle, WA: KD Talent LLC, 2009. Print.

In My Princess Boy, a four year old boy is described as someone who proudly wears dresses, jewelry, and expressing himself in stereotypical femme ways. I chose this source specifically because I wanted more than one example of a children’s book exploring the gender binary and gender non-conformism. It is effective in that it gives me ideas for how to structure a children’s book, as well as how to approach gender nonconformism in an easily accessible way for children. It gives insight and representation to those who wish to explore outside of gender norms both physically and aesthetically. I found this source incredibly beneficial and important to my work, because it was the book that inspired this project in the first place.  

Hill-Meyer, Tobi. A Princess of Great Daring. Toronto: Flamingo Rampant, 2015. Print.

A Princess of Great Daring is another children’s book that explores similar themes of My Princess Boy, except it makes further strides in explaining the life of what it means to be a trans person. Jamie, the main character, tells her friends that she really is a girl inside, and her friends are just as loyal to her as they ever would have been. A Princess of Great Daring is a phenomenal example of how acceptance should be taught as well as how transgenderism should be represented. Flamingo Rampant, the company that published the book, is known for publishing books specifically pertaining social justice and activist undertones. I looked further into this book, the author, and the publishing company to draw further inspiration.

Moody-Turner, Shirley. Black Folklore and the Politics of Racial Representation. Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi, 2013. Google Books. <>

This is another example of a source that, while a dense read, is worth gradually sifting through and revisiting time to time. I had a basic understanding of racial representation, but I found it beneficial for me to find a text that dissects and analyzes it further. What I appreciate about this source is its exploration of the history and significance of black folklore, and its transcendence into American culture, although once hindered by oppression. It analyzes motifs from traditional West African philosophy, as well as the importance of cultural intersection in these folk tales. For my project specifically, I found it important to have a fundamental understanding of Black folklore and its cultural significance, because mainstream misrepresentation of black people had a large impact on the accessibility black folklore has had overtime. Because my project aspires to give voices to those who are marginalized and misrepresented, it was important for me to learn about a genre of literature that has always been underrepresented in this country.

Myers, Christopher. "The Apartheid of Children’s Literature." The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Mar. 2014. Web. 02 Feb. 2016.


This source was the most important/relevant to me when pertaining to misrepresentation in children’s books. Young people of color are harder and harder to find in children’s books, and this scarce misrepresentation has a devastating affect on those children. Black children specifically are limited to books with historical pretense and the legacies of civil rights and slavery, but never to they explore the same kind of adventurous, innocent, and curious themes as white characters. In 2013, 93 of the 3,000 children’s books published were about black people. This source was reliable and impactful for me, because it came directly from personal experience and a study done by the University of Wisconsin's Cooperative Children’s Book Center. It gave the exact insight I needed for this project.

Tare, Medha, Cynthia Chiong, Patricia Ganea, and Judy Deloache. "Less Is More: How Manipulative Features Affect Children's Learning from Picture Books." Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 31.5 (2010): 395-400. Web.


I found this source to be interesting and necessary to be at my disposal because it speaks specifically on the effect that extravagant drawings and visuals have on a child’s reading development. The present studies show that pop up illustrations and manipulatives are more likely to distract from the child’s reading/learning experience, and instead simply just attract them to the illustrations and manipulatives. These features are detrimental to a child’s learning experience and their ability to recognize real life references and their symbolism in picture books. I found these studies to be incredibly relevant and timely for my project, because all of the books I plan to produce will be picture books. It’s going to help both me and my illustrator(s) to get an idea of how every picture is engaging but not hindering a child’s learning experience.