Magination Press Moves Up Publication Date of Book to Help Children Understand Police Shootings

Aims to get book to families and others in reaction to recent events

WASHINGTON — Magination Press, the children’s book imprint of the American Psychological Association, has moved the publication date of “Something Happened in Our Town,” a book to help children understand and deal with police shootings of civilians, to May 1 in response to recent events. 

“As we watched more unfortunate events take place in communities this year — most recently, the shooting of Stephon Clark in Sacramento — we realized the need to get ‘Something Happened in Our Town’ out as soon as possible so it can be a resource,” said Brenda Carter, publisher of APA Books and Magination Press. “It will now ship in April and be available everywhere by the new date.”

“Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice” was originally slated to publish at the end of June. The book follows two families — one black, one white — as they discuss the police shooting of a black man in their community. It is designed to engage young readers in a compelling story that can spark important discussions about racial injustice while encouraging messages of acceptance, empowerment and community support.

Aimed to engage children ages 4 - 8, “Something Happened in Our Town” “should spark important discussions about racial injustice as it counters negative racial stereotypes and teaches the importance and joy of embracing people of all races, ethnicities, cultures and backgrounds. The book includes an extensive note to caregivers that provides general guidance about addressing racism with children, child-friendly vocabulary definitions, conversation guides and a link to online resources. 

Authors Marianne Celano, PhD, Marietta Collins, PhD, and Ann Hazzard, PhD, have worked together for over two decades as Emory University School of Medicine faculty members. They are involved in community advocacy focused on children’s behavioral health and social justice. This, their first picture book, was vetted by a review board at APA. “Something Happened in Our Town” is illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin.

APA is the world's largest and most prestigious publisher of books in psychology, mental health and development. Magination Press®, APA’s children’s book imprint, was created out of a desire to publish innovative books that would help children deal with the many challenges and problems they face as they grow up. Written for readers ages 4 - 18, the books deal with topics ranging from the everyday — starting school, shyness, normal fears or a new baby in the house — to more serious problems, such as divorce, attention deficit disorder, depression, serious injury or illness, autism, trauma, death and much more. The books are written by mental health professionals or those who work closely with them and with children. The books’ goals are to help children understand their feelings, provide information about the topic or situation, and offer extensive practical coping strategies. A comprehensive Note to Parents is usually included to help guide parents, therapists, social workers, educators and librarians in using the book.

Copies of “Something Happened in Our Town,” ISBN: 9781433828546, are available wherever books are sold and through major book distributors. It is also available on APA’s website, with free shipping in the U.S.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes nearly 115,700 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.