WIU alumna self-publishes children’s book


By YOLO FRANCO, News Reporter

MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS 3) — A Macomb school teacher and former Leatherneck have written about an experience she went through as a kid. 

When the initial cases of COVID-19 were discovered in March and the state of Illinois was in quarantine, Adrienne Graham had more time on her hands. She was at home and teaching remotely. Graham decided it was the best time to publish her own story of growing up in an environment where she looked different from the rest. 

“I wrote the book five years ago,” Graham said. “I was visiting my sister in Chicago. I wrote it in a notebook, and then I lost the notebook. Good thing I published it before someone else could publish it.” 

Her book is “The Color of Friendship.” It is about Violet, who lives in a small town where everyone is a shade of purple. When Violet has to move away to a new home and new town where all of the people are shades of orange, she has to learn to adjust. 

Publishing her book was not what she expected. She thought she would find a publisher. That never happened. Instead, she began entering her book in contests in order to win a chance of getting published. 

“Nobody wanted my book,” Graham said. 

Although she lost those contests, she remained determined and did not give up. Instead, she would look at the winning books and learn from those authors so she could improve her writing. 

It was Graham’s sister who gave Graham the idea to self-publish. Graham began to research how to self publish her book until it became a reality. 

“It is still unbelievable,” Graham said. “It’s amazing to know that those are all my words and my story.”

Graham is a first-grade teacher and believes the message of her book is important in order to help children understand more about diversity and how good experiences come from being different.

You may see more books authored by Graham in the future. She wants to continue writing more books, especially in a series where Violet and some of the characters are still involved with an adventure that contains a great message. 

“If you want to do something, go for it,” Graham said. “Don’t let that hold you back.”

Graham Graduated from Western Illinois University in 2014 obtaining her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. In 2018 she then obtains her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in literacy.  

You can find “The Color of Friendship” on Amazon and Walmart’s website. 

For more information, you can visit https://www.adrie-graham.com/


Previous articleOriginal composition from WIU music professor featured in new documentary
Next articleStorm Team 3 Update