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Children’s book tells of quest for calm

When Deborah Sosin (inset) of Watertown was tasked with creating a picture book two years ago for Lesley University’s MFA program in creative writing, it didn’t take her long to determine the topic.

“They say write about what you know, so I thought about my own childhood and things that are special and important to me,” said Sosin, a clinical social worker specializing in mindfulness. “I grew up in a house where something was always going on, with the TV, radio, and record player on and my brother playing the piano,” she added.

Recently published by California-based Parallax Press, “Charlotte and the Quiet Place” is about a girl who searches her New York City neighborhood for calmness before finding it within herself through mindful breathing. In September, the book was named a National Parenting Publications bronze award winner.

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Initially, Sosin said, she envisioned an almost autobiographical portrayal of Charlotte as a Caucasian girl from the suburbs. When the publisher suggested that Charlotte be African- American, Sosin embraced the opportunity to contribute to more diversity in children’s literature, but worried about possible criticism of a white author portraying a child of color.

Yet, she said, those fears vanished after seeing how Charlotte’s spunky personality comes alive through the illustrations by Sara Woolley.

Sosin will read and sign her book on Sunday, Oct. 11, at 11 a.m. at An Unlikely Story Bookstore & Café in Plainville, and on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. at the New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton. For details, visit www.charlotteandthequietplace.

Cindy Cantrell

Cindy Cantrell can be reached at cindycantrell20@gmail.com.