goldenshoeSade and the Golden Shoe by Shahara Ruth possesses all the magical ingredients of a fairytale and is truly a golden opportunity for young readers to experience another side of children’s fantasy—a side to which young American readers are rarely exposed. “Sade and the Golden Shoe is an African-based folktale,” Ruth said.

“For children of color the number of books, especially those dealing with female heroines, is a narrative that is seldom seen.” Sade and the Golden Shoe’s heroine, Sade, (pronounced Shah-DAY)—beautiful daughter of adoring parents—saves her village from a curse with help from an unlikely friend. In this work of children’s literature, Ruth surrounds a West African storytelling custom with a mystical environment in a story similar to Aesop's fables, including uses of animals to communicate themes. “I had many students from Africa as well as the African Diaspora, including African Americans, who complained about routine literary selections,” Ruth said. “Sade and the Golden Shoe can certainly fill that void.”

Shahara Ruth—an Atlanta, Georgia, author, poet, film producer and educator, born in Houston, Texas—said she grew up knowing she had African roots, but could not tell you an exact place. Taught as a child to be proud of her African heritage, the adult Ruth is steeped in her African genealogy and history of Ghana as featured in the PBS series Finding Your Roots. “I read books from cover to cover, especially Atlas collections,” she said. “I was so fascinated with what I felt had to be a wonderland of beautiful places and people.”

Then Ruth found out she could take a DNA test to learn who she was and where she came from. “I jumped at the opportunity,” she said. “When the results came back and I found out my origins, I gained a sense of completeness I’d never felt before.” Ruth’s classroom experience supports her expertise in children’s literature. Featured in The New York Times, Ruth taught sixth - tenth grades in the Dekalb County Public Schools, Dekalb County, Georgia— seven years at Tucker Middle School; and three years at Druid Hills High School. “As an educator, I had the wonderful opportunity to teach children from many cultures,” Ruth said. “The experience prepared me to use universal themes to convey a message that any child from any background could identify with and understand.”

Sade and The Golden Shoe comes in multiple formats—hardcover, softcover, Braille (downloadable), eBook, and read-along interactive participation, the readand-play Microsoft app, which allows readers to create their own narrations and color pages in the book. Multiple formats improve comprehension skills while providing enjoyment of the book’s colorful contents. The reading level is 4.7. However, due to its multiple formats, folk-fairytale style and lively illustrations, Sade and the Golden Shoe will delight readers of all levels and occasions, including storytime for toddlers.

Among numerous African folktales, Sade and the Golden Shoe is a Nigerian fairytale, written from the perspective of a little girl; and crafted to intrigue all young readers, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity or nationality, through its universal heroine. Sade and her delightful friends are offered by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Xlibris, Ingraham, and Baker & Taylor book distributors or directly from the author for organizations, schools or autographed hardcover orders. A Spanish translation will be released April 30, 2017, to coordinate with Children's Day/Book Day - El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Día). Ruth said today’s diverse school populations require every effort toward inclusive literary selections to prevent students from feeling left out due to the lack of exposure their cultures receive in literature. “The best way to inspire children to become self motivated learners is to provide information that excites them,” she said. “When you present children with material that reflects who they are, they are more eager to learn.”