Winner - 2014 Midwest Book Award in Children's Fiction click here
See more awards for The Colored Car click here

Jean Alicia Elster: : Formerly an attorney, Elster is the author of the novel The Colored Car—for ages 8 and older—published by Wayne State University Press and released in September 2013. The Colored Car was selected as a 2014 Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan. Elster was awarded the 2014 Midwest Book Award in Children’s Fiction for The Colored Car by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association. The Colored Car was chosen as an Honor Book for the 2014 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People. Elster is, also, the author of the novel Who’s Jim Hines?—for ages 8 and older—published by Wayne State University Press. Released in August 2008, it is in its second printing. Who’s Jim Hines? was selected as one of the Library of Michigan’s 2009 Michigan Notable Books. In addition, the Michigan Reading Association placed Who’s Jim Hines? on the Great Lakes Great Books Award 2009-2010 ballot for grades 4-5. Who’s Jim Hines? was also a ForeWord Magazine 2008 Book of the Year Finalist in the category of Juvenile Fiction.

In addition, Elster is the author of the children’s book series Joe Joe in the City, published by Judson Press. The first volume in that series, Just Call Me Joe Joe, was released in October 2001 and is in its second printing. The remaining volumes are: I Have a Dream, Too! (May 2002), I’ll Fly My Own Plane (September 2002) and I’ll Do the Right Thing (January 2003), also in its second printing. She was awarded the 2002 Governors’ Emerging artist award by ArtServe Michigan in recognition of the series. I’ll Do the Right Thing was awarded the 2004 Atlanta Daily World Atlanta Choice award in the category of children’s books.

Elster is frequently invited to speak at schools, libraries, and conferences throughout the state of Michigan and across the United States. In 2014, she was a guest speaker for the Vander Veen Center for the Book Program Series at the Grand Rapids Public Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2012, she was selected as the inaugural visiting author for The Lori Lutz Visiting Artist Series at The Roeper School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Award-Winning Book - Available NOW!
The Calendar

The New Book - Who's Jim Hines
| ORDER NOW |

| read more | see video trailer | see video interview |

Jean's interview: The Craig Fahle Show, WDET FM | listen |

In The Colored Car, Jean Alicia Elster, author of the award-winning Who’s Jim Hines?, follows another member of the Ford family coming of age in Depression-era Detroit. In the hot summer of 1937, twelve-year-old Patsy takes care of her three younger sisters and helps her mother put up fresh fruits and vegetables in the family’s summer kitchen, adjacent to the wood yard that her father, Douglas Ford, owns. Times are tough, and Patsy’s mother, May Ford, helps neighborhood families by sharing the food that she preserves. But May’s decision to take a break from canning to take her daughters for a visit to their grandmother’s home in Clarksville, Tennessee, sets in motion a series of events that prove to be life-changing for Patsy.

After boarding the first-class train car at Michigan Central Station in Detroit and riding comfortably to Cincinnati, Patsy is shocked when her family is led from their seats to change cars. In the dirty, cramped “colored car,” Patsy finds that the life she has known in Detroit is very different from life down south, and she can hardly get the experience out of her mind when she returns home—like the soot stain on her finely made dress or the smear on the quilt squares her grandmother taught her to sew. As summer wears on, Patsy must find a way to understand her experience in the colored car and also deal with the more subtle injustices that her family faces in Detroit. By the end of the story, Patsy will never see things the same way that she did before.

"An emotional and compelling look at how the joys of daily life and the legacy of slavery affected children of the 1930s. We are in Patsy’s kitchen when she helps with daily chores in the 1930s, we’re in her train car to witness her horror and indignation at segregation, and we are in her heart when she works at letting go of the anger."

Ruth McNally Barshaw, author and illustrator of The Ellie McDoodle Diaries

Award-Winning The Colored Car

2014 Michigan Notable Book, awarded by the Library of Michigan click here

Winner, 2014 Midwest Book Award in Children's Fiction, Midwest Independent Publishers Association click here

Honor Book - 2014 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People click here


BLOG Tour Updates click here



Contact Jean Alicia Elster to schedule a virtual author visit via Skype for your school, library or reading group. click here

See Skype Interview with Dr. Nichelle Boyd-Robinson's
social studies methods class at the University of Mississippi click here

Sunday, October 26, 11 a.m. 5 p.m.
Leon & Lulu’s Annual Books & Authors Event.
Book sales and signing at 96 W. 14 Mile Road,
Clawson, Michigan 48017

Jean Alicia Elster will sign The Colored Car and join over 40 other local authors who will meet and greet Leon & Lulu’s customers and autograph their books at this juried annual book fair. A portion of all book sales will benefit the Oakland Literacy Council.
For additional information click here




Sunday, November 9, Noon 3 p.m.
16th Annual Writers on the River
Book & Author Fair at the
Ellis Library & Reference Center
3700 S. Custer Road, Monroe, MI 48161

Jean Alicia Elster will sell/sign copies of Who’s Jim Hines? and The Colored Car as she joins authors representinga diverse mix of literary genres as they sell and sign their books at this invitational annual book event.
For additional info click here click here


The Books

Award-Winning Book
A
vailable NOW!
The New Book - Who's Jim Hines
| ORDER NOW |
"An emotional and compelling look at how the joys of daily life and the legacy of slavery affected children of the 1930s."

Ruth McNally Barshaw, author and illustrator of The Ellie McDoodle Diaries

| read more | see video trailer |
| see video interview |

Jean's interview: The Craig Fahle Show, WDET FM | listen |



Award-Winning Book
A
vailable NOW!
The New Book - Who's Jim Hines
| ORDER NOW |

Who’s Jim Hines? is a coming of age story about a twelve year old African American boy—Douglas Ford, Jr.—as he comes to terms with the racial realities of Detroit, Michigan in 1935. | read more |



"Joe Joe in the City" Series
10th Anniversary of the publication of I'll Do the Right Thing

Just Call Me Joe Joe
I Have A Dream, Too!
| read more |
| read more |
I'll Fly My Own Plane
I'll Do The Right Thing
| read more |
| read more |

Listen to Jean's interview: The Colored Car and her 2014 Michigan Notable Book Author Tour on The Paul Miller Show, WPHM AM (Port Huron) | listen |

MLive - Muskegon article about The Colored Car and Jean's west coast Michigan mini-tour | read |

Listen to Jean's interview: The Colored Car on The Midday Cafe with Rosie Ladew, WUZS FM (Muskegon) | listen |

Listen to Jean's interview: The Colored Car on The Craig Fahle Show,
WDET FM
| listen |

Jean's interview in the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers/Hometown Weeklies | read |

Jean's author profile in Yak's Corner/Detroit Newspapers in Education | read |

Grand Rapids Press book review editor interviews Jean. | listen |

Detroit Free Press article by Desiree Cooper | read |

Listen to Jean's Interview on WDET FM Detroit Radio
| listen |

Jean's interview from the Judson Press podcast series. | listen |







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