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Amazon Best-selling Children’s Author
Therapist, Attorney, & CEO
Travels from: Louisville, KY

“Seeing someone who looks like you in a book builds your esteem. Seeing someone different from you in a book builds your empathy.” – Deedee Cummings

As the founder of Make A Way Media, It Pays to Read, and the Louisville Book Festival, Deedee Cummings believes literacy is a fundamental human right. Cummings is a mom, attorney, therapist, and CEO of Abi Behavioral Health in Louisville, Kentucky. Abi is an intensive therapy agency that works to prevent the placement of children in out-of-home care, such as foster care, hospitalization, and incarceration. All seventeen of Cummings’ books draw from messages she has learned through her work with children and families. Her work highlights inspiring messages that help young dreamers and doers “see themselves” in the pages of the books they read while reinforcing a need for more empathy and kindness. Cummings founded Make A Way Media in 2014 after struggling to find books with characters who looked like her own children, including an extreme lack of stories that reflected their life experiences. She has spent more than two decades working in the family therapy and support field. Much of her writing shares her experience of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to talking about their own mental health or asking for help. Cummings’ work has been featured in USA Today, Essence Magazine, Parents Magazine, Forbes, and the Huffington Post.

In The Nick of Time Too

Make a Way Media |

Nick Saint and his best friend, Cooper, reunite in this warm holiday story about the magic of Christmas. A surprise visit leads to a journey of self-discovery and a deeper understanding of the true meaning of the holiday spirit. Nick and Cooper receive a charge to spread kindness and hope in their everyday lives. Will Cooper listen to his friend and help Nick save the day again? Will you also be moved to action and accept Santa’s challenge to spread kindness wherever you go? Children of all ages and backgrounds will be inspired by this story and will understand that love, hope and kindness come to us in many shapes and all colors.

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess (Books 1-5)

Make a Way Media |

Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess is a heartwarming story about family, role models, dreams, and discovering a determination for growth. This five-part diverse picture book series shines the spotlight on a little Brown girl who loves musical theatre and never lets anything get in the way of her dreams. It seems that everyone else has an idea for who she should be, but in the end, she discovers that she is the one who gets to decide.

The story also reveals the very special family dynamic that Kayla shares with her mom- a hard-working woman who struggles with the guilt of not being as available for her young daughter as she would like. But as the story progresses, Kayla and her mom realize the impact of valuing the time they have together as well as the importance of seeing each other acknowledge (and pursue) their individual dreams. {ages 4 to 8}

Written by veteran author, Deedee Cummings, the Kayla: Modern-Day Princess series is inspired by her own real-life princess and Broadway actress, Kayla Pecchioni.

Other books in this series:

If a Caterpillar Can Fly, Why Can’t I?

Make a Way Media |

If A Caterpillar Can Fly, Why Can’t I  is a fun and thought-provoking journal that encourages readers to turn their thoughts, ideas, and dreams into things that will enhance their lives while also making the world a better place. It is never too early for kids to declare and begin working towards their dreams. This journal and coloring book is not only a roadmap, but a time capsule of hopes and dreams for tomorrow’s future leaders!

Schools across the country are using this diverse workbook in special groups as a fun and therapeutic way to offer creative outlets for stress and anxiety relief, while also promoting powerful discussions on the sensitive topics that are facing our children today.

In the Nick of Time

Make a Way Media |

Nick Saint never really put a lot of thought into his name until one snowy day in December when he accidentally receives a letter meant for Saint Nick. Realizing there is not much time left until Christmas, Nick opens the letter. The unexpected message inside ultimately leads him on a journey of understanding poverty, gratitude, and service to others while discovering the real meaning of the holiday spirit.

Nick’s actions and kindness are filled with heartwarming results that even please Santa Claus himself! An endearing story of a little brown boy who helps Santa save Christmas.

Children of all ages and backgrounds who read In the Nick of Time will understand that sometimes the smallest act of kindness can take up the biggest space in someone else’s heart.


Writing & Language Arts

  • Writing and Drawing Your Worries Away
  • Using Poetry to Appreciate Our Differences
  • Researching Your Why: Discovering Your Passion
  • Compare & Contrast with Stories & Venn Diagrams
  • Reflecting on the Heart of the Story
  • Creating a Book from Beginning to End
  • Writing With Purpose; Crafting a letter to a loved one

Social & Emotional Learning

  • Big Goals are Met With Small Steps
  • Hopes and Dreams: What I want to be and do
  • My Gift to the World
  • Problems & Solutions
  • It’s Great to be Different
  • What is a Growth Mindset & Why it is Important
  • Anchors and Memory Boxes as Lasting Coping Skills

STEAM Activities

  • The Parts of a Play
  • Hope: Finding Beauty in the World Around You
  • Developing a Talent
  • You Are A Mosaic
  • The Life of an Author
*Courses can be tailored to the needs of a school or program 

For Parents, Educators & Caregivers

  • Banned Books: What’s all the fuss about?
  • What does good mental health look like in kids and families?
  • How to talk with elementary school-age children about suicide
  • How do I talk about suicide to my children
  • How do I know when my child needs to see a therapist?
  • Books as community care
  • Books are self-care
  • Why I started a book festival
  • What is a book desert and how you can water them

The Impact of Diversity in Media and Literacy on Empathy at a Young Age

Deedee’s Books

Deedee’s Blog

Deedee’s Resources

Join the K Club

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Six time Purple Dragonfly Book Award Winner
Appointed to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Council for Early Childhood Education
Board of Multicultural Children’s Book Day Advisor

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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