Local author unveils second children’s book

This past Saturday, at her family’s outdoor recreation area in Allenhurst, Tamara Pray Frazier unveiled her new book, “A Splash of Color,” at her Books, Blanket and BBQ event.

People were treated to a book signing, and Frazier read to the kids and treated them to fun activities and a BBQ lunch.

Frazier has been writing her whole life. Her mother worked at Liberty County Head Start, and Frazier said she spent hours alongside her mom, reading books.

“And I just loved words,” Frazier said. “When I was in school and they used to give us our spelling test, I would make little stories out of my spelling words.”

By chance, Frazier entered the education system at Joseph Martin Elementary after scoring high on an examination for an open position. She has been in the Liberty County School System ever since.

“A Splash of Color” is her second children’s book, one she describes as a kid-friendly version of the story of Creation. She said the poem came to her during a difficult time in the middle of the pandemic.

Frazier, an office secretary and assistant track coach at Bradwell Institute, said staff and educators were sent to work from home during the early days of the pandemic in 2020. She said she was sitting on her front porch after she had seen the video of the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, and she started following the case.

Arbery had been shot dead on Feb. 23, 2020, but his case remained open and unresolved until a video of the shooting released in early May 2020 went viral.

“I watched it (the video) about eight times, and it was so heart-wrenching to me,” she said. “I wrote a post on Facebook, and I remember specifically I said there are some people who would prefer that everything remain white, but that is not what God intended. When He created the world, He splashed color everywhere. ”

Frazier said fellow co-worker Sharyl Eastlake commented on her post, noting there was a book hidden in her message she should work on.

She said her grandson also asked her why Arbery was killed, and she found she did not know how to respond to his question.

She said she wants her grandson to know he is valuable and worthy, telling him, “God intended for you to be here,” she said. “He was very intentional when he made all the different races.”

So, she wrote the book to let all kids know they are here intentionally and that every single one of them belongs in this world.

Frazier’s first book, published in 2005 and called “In His Own Time,” was about current Bradwell girls’ basketball coach Faye Baker. The book recounts her trials and tribulations after being paralyzed from the waist down in a horrific automobile accident. In the story, Frazier introduces the reader sto an exceptional group of faith-filled people whose strength in adversity came to serve as a model to us all.

She said after writing that book, she was looking for inspiration for her next one.

“I always felt like I had to follow up that book with something great,” she said. “And years later, my sister told me I needed to be writing for myself, because I was doing ghostwriting, but she told me I needed to be writing for myself. ”

Her sister suggested that because she works with kids, maybe she should focus on that.

In 2019 she released her first children’s book, “Your Own Kind of Beautiful.” Frazier said that book will soon become a series in which the characters will age from their early days into their teens and beyond. She also said the main subject characters of her books are children from her family or children she knows well.

At Saturday’s event, Frazier read to the children. Afterward, the kids played and enjoyed a BBQ lunch.

Also at the event was Kristi Craven with Liberty Reading, an organization sponsored by the Hinesville Area Arts Council.

“Our mission is to give away various books to children and teachers,” Craven said, adding that all the books are donated to the organization.

Liberty Reading hosted an educator’s event at the art gallery, recently set up a booth at an autism awareness event and plan on being at the 16th annual Earth Day celebration Friday, April 22, from 3: 30– 6:30 pm at Bryant Commons in Hinesville.

“We are doing a summer reading program where we are going to read books and have activities and give away a copy of the books we read,” Craven said.

The books are donated in honor of two former Liberty County School System educators: Kelly Greene, who taught at Liberty Elementary, and Kymberli Barney, who taught at Lewis Frasier Middle. She said both educators promoted reading literacy and the inclusion of diverse cultures.

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