J’can children’s author aims to inspire girls worldwide

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A report from Jamaica’s Star.

International Women’s Day has passed, but the work of empowering girls worldwide does not stop for Judith Martin, a self-published Jamaican children’s author, who has launched a book series about a phenomenal Jamaican princess called Lana.

Martin has been visiting schools in Jamaica and The Bahamas, as well as book fairs and online platforms, to introduce her book series called ‘Pantheon of Beauty’ to little girls.

So far, she said she has got rave reviews.

“In Jamaica, I visited Barracks Road Primary, Cornaldi Avenue Primary, and another basic school in St James. It was wonderful. The little kids, they gathered around. I only had a couple of books to show the kids, but I had some business cards, and they were all jumping and shouting, ‘Mi want one!’,” she said.

The series will span some 30 books, featuring the Jamaican princess Lana, who is travelling the world and sharing her culture, while learning about other beautiful, powerful women throughout history.

Female recognition

Currently, two books from the series have been published. The first in the series is titled The Goddess of Beauty, which was launched in 2010. Lana leaves Jamaica and goes on an adventure with an African beauty goddess named Oshun.

The second book is entitled Saga of A Princess, released in 2016, where Lana travels to Russia and meets the brave Viking princess Efanda.

Martin’s work also involves advocating for female recognition. She currently has a petition on change.org for the Russian President Vladimir Putin to erect a monument in honour of the real life princess Efanda.

A statute was erected honouring her husband, Prince Rurik, but did not recognise Efanda’s contributions in building the Rurik Dynasty that lasted over 700 years.

“All of my characters are real, but I just tell the stories in a creative way. Young girls and women will get to learn about history and geography from all over the world. The books include maps and flags of the places that are being talked about,” Martin explained.

Own experiences

The inspiration for Princess Lana comes from Martin’s own experiences growing up in Montego Bay with her loving family.

She said her family’s constant reassurance of her beauty and self-worth, coupled with her massive yard filled with lots of fruit trees, always made her feel like a princess.

“The aim is to get the books popular so that they could reach bigger companies like Disney and Nickelodeon because they are very important stories about women from history who, a lot of times, don’t get the recognition they deserve,” Martin shared.

The 39-year-old now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and visits Jamaica regularly. Her books are available on Amazon and barnesandnoble.com for $10.

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