Finding My Way Books: February & March Updates

3-16-18- Finding My Way Books made a new connection with Extend-A-Family in Canada.  This program is going to utilize Finding My Way books in their school visitation program.

3-9-18- Jo had an author visit, through Skype In a Classroom,

with a 1st grade class in Indiana.  She talked about inclusion

and read, ' I Don't Know If I Want a Puppy'.  

3-8-18- Vera spoke to a group of teachers at the KCPT

Early Childhood Workshop: Promoting Early Literacy 

2-18- Kansas City Public Television chose 'I Don't Know If I Want a Puppy' to be included in their Martha Speaks program this spring.  350 students will receive a free copy of it.

2-9-18- Jo had an author visit, through Skype In the Classroom, with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders in New Hampshire.  They were starting their Entrepreneur Unit and asked her to read, ' I Want To Be Like Poppin' Joe', and talk about inclusion.

Topeka publishing company develops kids’ series on disabilities. Finding My Way Books focuses on inclusivity

Posted May 18, 2017 06:10 pm 
By Katie Moore - Topeka Capital Journal
Read Article

Finding My Way Books joins Brown Books Publishing Group
​Brown Books Publishing Group is proud to announce the release of Finding My Way, a series of English and bilingual (English/Spanish) readers by authors Jo Meserve Mach and Vera Lynne Stroup-Rentier. Finding My Way readers, with photography by Mary Birdsell, are true stories. Created to document and share the respectful and intentional inclusion of children with disabilities, Finding My Way readers are designed to support students, teachers, and families by promoting inclusive practices in education.

Read More.

Finding My Way Books Featured in Community Resource Council April Newsletter 

May 5,2017
Read Article

Finding My Way Books Visits Brown Books Publishing 
June 6, 2018 -  Jo and Mary visited the Brown Book Publishing Group offices in Dallas.  It was wonderful to meet their team and hear their enthusiasm for our Finding My Way Series. This summer their sales force will be introducing the books all around the US. Their fall catalog has a two page spread showing all 12 books: We picked up a few samples of the newly published series. Super exciting!!!!!!

Here's our latest news! 

We're working hard to share our stories about children with special needs or disabilities. MyaGrace is all ready to share the news with you!

Jo Mach Featured in IBPA Newsletter 

Martha Speaks Reading Buddies features Book from Finding My Way Books 

March 8, 2017

The KC PT Martha Speaks Reading Buddies program featured our book, Neema Wants To Learn. Students in the 4th grade are reading buddies with 1st-grade students.  This program has distributed 20,000 free books to 1st-grade students in the last five years.

Finding My Way Books Donates Books to Harvey Project 
Sept 7- Finding My Way Books donated picture and concept books to the Children's Book Council Harvey project.  This project is​\ sending books to shelters and schools hit by Hurricane Harvey.

Children's Book Council Selects Two Finding My Way Books 
The Children's Book Council selected I Want To Be Like Poppin' Joe/Yo quiero ser como Joe Palomitas for their September Power Book Showcase:

"Readers will discover the biographies and histories of those who shaped the world around them. These titles remind readers that they too can inspire and spark change no matter their age!"

September 1-15th, Claire Wants a Boxing Name/Claire veut un nom de boxe, is being featured on the Children's Book Council homepage Hot Off The Press List.

Finding My Way Books October and November Updates

Nov 4th- Jo will share Finding My Way Books at the Sesame Street in Communities Workshop for early childhood providers in Kansas City.

Oct 16- Nov 30th- Claire Wants a Boxing Name is featured in a Book Stop on the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators website  (SCBWI).

Oct 12th- Vera gave a presentation about Finding My Way Books at the KCPT workshop on Family Engagement.

Oct. 12th- Jo gave a presentation about Finding My Way Books to the SW Kiwanis Club.

One of the members contacted her following the meeting and connected her with a  US translator working in Tanzania who is going to take our books, Neema Wants To Learn and Onika Wants To Help, to Neema and Onika!

Oct 4- 6th- Vera attended the DEC national conference in Portland Oregon.  She learned about the latest research on supporting children with disabilities and shared what we are doing with our publications.

SCBWI Accepts Finding My Way Books
July 31, 2017

Finding My Way Books has been accepted by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) as a PAL (Published And Listed) Publisher.

September Finding My Way Books Updates
Sept. 19, 2017- Vera presented on 'Inclusion' to 34 Kansas State University Education students. Students purchased three Finding My Way books to use for classroom assignments. 

Sept. 18, 2017- We had a very nice ad in the Story Monsters, Inc September issue. 

It featured our bilingual Finding My World Series. 

Sept 8, 2017- Jo have a fun 'Skype In the Classroom' visit with elementary students in North Caroline.  She read ' Marco and I Want To Play Ball' and facilitated a great discussion about the difference between bullying and teasing.  

Sept. 1, 2017- I Want To Be Like Poppin' Joe/Yo quiero ser como Joe Palomitas was selected to be included in the Power Book List on the Children's Book Council website this month. This list features stories that change the world!


in Kirkus Reviews 
August 29, 2017

Finding My Way Books is pleased to announce their "CLAIRE WANTS A BOXING NAME" book was selected to be featured in Kirkus Reviews 9/1 Issues. The review will appear as one of the 35 reviews in the Indie section of the Kirkus Reviews magazine which is sent out to over 5,200 industry professionals (librarians, publishers, agents, etc.) Less than 10% of  Indie reviews are chosen for this, so it's a great honor.

Finding My Way Books: December Updates

December- Vera is featured in an author Q&A on the Children's Book Council website.

December 6: Vera featured on the Children's Book Council Website:

English/Swahili books have been accepted by Books For Africato be part of their donation program to Tanzania schools:

"These books and concepts are a great step forward in presenting literature in both a national language and English.
This goes a long way in expanding and refining BFA's mission. We will be honored in helping to distribute these books.
On behalf of the many: Thanks."

David Robinson, Books For Africa Ambassador, Founder of Sweet Unity Coffee Farms in Tanzania, son of baseball legend Jackie Robinson.

Public Policy Forum in Ottawa, Canada 

Topeka Shawnee County Public Library Podcast
August 1, 2017

Jo participated in a podcast from the Topeka Shawnee County Public library that recognizes Kansas authors.

Listen to Podcast

March was a busy month for Finding My Way Books 

April 10, 2017

Finding My Way Books has been selected as one of three finalists for the Minority & Women Business of Distinction 2017 Small Business Award presented by GoTopeka. The award recipient will be announced on May 9th.

Jo will be participating in a Children's Book Week event at the Silver Lake Public Library on May 3rd. She will be reading, 'Waylen Wants To Jam'.

Jo will be participating in a Children's Book Event at the Independence Public Library on May 4th.  This will be an after school event open to the community with craft activities and Jo reading, 'Waylen Wants To Jam'.

March 28th Jo skyped for an author visit with 3rd graders from West Virginia. We talked about how reading can be fun and transform you to another place. Jo read 'Neema Wants To Learn'. It was a very fun visit!

Jo Mach, Children's Author - Finding My Way Books

Susan, mother of Rebecca who is the adult featured in our book, 'Matteo Wants To See What's Next,' shared news of this event from Ottawa, Canada: 
"Rebecca, Anna, Rebecca’s sister, a supporter and I participated in a Public Policy Forum in Ottawa on Dec. 1 focused on supported decision making for people who don’t necessarily communicate clearly.  I was assisting Rebecca on a panel and we spoke about Matteo’s book with a powerpoint photo of the cover of the book.  We also indicated how to get it.  Some of the Federal Policy Makers mentioned during the day how important it was for them to hear the actual stories and meet the people that were being focused on that day.  Often times, they make policies without knowing the people themselves.  It made an impact."

Finding My Way Books November and December Updates

Nov. 24th- Jo's contact with the Sesame Street in Communities program was highlighted on the Children's Book Council Website:


Nov.28 and 29th- Jo skyped her way around the world in 24 hours!!! Starting in western Texas visiting a middle school. She talked about handling challenges and shared examples in several of our books. Next she went to Australia and visited a 3rd grade class, mostly with girls, and talked about handling bullies. She read Marco and I Want To Play Ball. Finally she visited 5th graders at an International School in Spain. They wanted to talk about business and ask lots of questions about our books. She read I Want To Be Like Poppin'Joe and they loved his story. It was a very fun whirlwind tour! 

November- Finding My Way Books signed with Brown Books to be their national wholesale distributor.  Our Finding My Way Series will be the first series to be distributed by them in Spring 2018.
December 9th- Vera and MyaGrace will be sharing our books at the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library at the 'Great Writers Right Here' event from 1-4pm.

Jo is now available to do skype classroom visits through the Story Monsters Inc Author Booking program.

After spending over 30 years as an Occupational Therapist, author and publisher Jo Mach decided to focus on her passion to share the stories of children with disabilities or special needs. Finding My Way Books is made up of a team of professionals, dedicated to honoring these children by cultivating self-determination, inclusion, and helping families build the skills needed for success. Recently, Mach has been presenting lessons to classrooms through the Skype in the Classroom program. "I've gone all around the world visiting classes but this fall I got invited to visit the Tennessee School for the Deaf [to discuss bullying]," Mach explains. During the presentation, Mach read a story while one of the students signed for her. "[She] did such a wonderful job on my visit I asked if they would allow her to create a video.The school and her parents happily accepted, and the video is now up on YouTube!

Skype Classroom Visits Now Available - Schedule Yours

Reading Is Fundamental
June 13- Reading Is Fundamental, a 50 year old national reading initiative, accepted Finding My Way books for inclusion in their upcoming Literacy Portal.  Our books and supplemental educational materials will be available for families and educators to download or purchase by September, 2017.

Finding My Way Books adds new distribution program

May 26- Mackin Educational Resources accepted Finding My Way Books into their distribution program. Mackin is an international company that provides books to K-12 schools and libraries around the world.

New Video: "Marco and I Want To Play Ball" being signed.

We are so excited to share this video of 'Marco and I Want To Play Ball' being read through sign language by Lizzie, a middle school student from the Tennessee School for the Deaf.  Jo met Lizzie and her classmates on a Skype In The Classroom visit earlier this fall. Their school counselor arranged the visit and translated a discussion about bullying lead by Jo.  In this book, Marco and Isiah show how you can tease without bullying, so this story helps prompt this type of discussion.

Review from the February 2018 Issue of Story Monsters Ink Magazine.

Claire Wants a Boxing Name

Fitting in among our peers is tough, and it’s even harder if we are regarded as “different” in any way.  Finding My Way Books honor children with disabilities by telling their stories and highlighting their unique strengths and abilities. Claire, in this story, is working hard at learning to box. She is eager to earn the very special boxing name her coach will give her. Her determination rewards her efforts. Darleen Wohfeil