Richmond-born author’s children’s book empowers youth to help others

Richmond-born author's children's book empowers youth to help others

A Richmond-born author is having an impact on her native city from across the country.

Alika Turner, who now resides in Lithonia, Ga. and works for the Department of Juvenile Justice, has penned a recently-released children’s book that has garnered instant fans on both coasts.

The book is called June Peters, You Will Change the World One Day, and is the first in a series about an inspirational young girl with a selfless determination to help others. Since its Oct. 6 release on, the book has received high praise as a smooth read with a positive message. One reviewer noted her children ages 8 and 9 enjoyed how June Peters was able to help the homeless in the story. Turner says she wants kids to understand that if they want to help people in need, there are safe ways to go about making a big difference.

turner.11-19Perhaps Turner’s greatest achievement yet is that her book is about to impact local children. Richmond College Prep (RCP) is ordering copies of the book for every student from third through sixth grades, and the kids will be doing a schoolwide project based on the book.  Also, Turner is set to hold a Skype session with students to discuss her creative process and journey.

RCP was introduced to the book by local community advocate Tanise Smith, who has been working with RCP’s director of culture to plan the school’s first African American Month Celebration in February.

“When I learned of Alika’s book and her passion to empower youth I thought she is one of the people our students should know about,” Turner said. “I believe if children see people do what they love they too shall be inspired.”

In a recent Blog Talk Radio interview, Turner said her yearning to help others began when she was young, and said much of her inspiration for writing the book came from her son. It was a YouTube video supporting young African American girls, however, that led her to creating the character June Peters.

“I said you know what, I’m going to write a book about a little girl who is amazing,” she said.

Turner added, “I’ve always wanted to write children’s books but never really believed in myself. But one day it just clicked and I said, go ahead and do it. So it’s been a long time in coming.”