Updated: Jan 5
Tradesha Woodard was born and raised in Memphis, TN. She discovered that she loved to read, write, use her imagination and tell stories as an adolescent. In time, Tradesha realized the power behind stories as she transitioned into womanhood. What I mean in that sense is that they she realized that stories could be used to uplift the society. She resultantly decided to pursue academic studies at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Multimedia Journalism. Tradesha also joined as Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority in addition to the National Association of Black Journalists during this time. Her being an AKA puts her in fine company with my dear sister-in-law April Scarborough who is also a member of the AKA Sorority.
You can now find Tradesha telling stories at WCNC. WCNC is affectionately known as Charlotte, NC's leading news and weather station. One such story was one that she did on Sheryl Smiley-Oliphant (The Activity Author). Those of you that havefollowed this blog for some time know her well because she's been featured in this space before. Those of you that are new here, can find that story by going here.
Moving along Tradesha is now using her imagination to tell stories to children. She is now not only a reporter but a children's book author too. Her first book, The Purple Turtle tells the story of Turbo. He is someone with whom we can all identify. The reason that we can identify with him is because he's been each one of us at during different phases of our lives. Some of us may have gotten ostracized, ridiculed, and/or bullied for having kinky hair, dark skin, freckles, being overweight/underweight, or anything of the sort during various phases of our lives. As for me, it was because I have a lazy eye. My having a lazy eye, severely effected my self esteem as a child. I resultantly shied away from photos and walked around with my head down most of the time because I didn't want anyone that didn't already know to notice. I sometimes just wished that I could disappear as a result of the ridicule, much like Turbo. While it's not a one-to-one match, these things in and of themselves are Turbo's struggles as he begins his first day of school at Hard-Shell Elementary. He deals with a myriad of bullies in addition to a personal identity crisis. Please be mindful that this is no sad story because something magical happens at the end. Turbo and the students at Hard-Shell Elementary discover that purple means royalty. But not only that, they discover that the things which make us all different is what make us most beautiful.
I literally could not put the book down upon opening it. I found myself carrying it around with me throughout the day in anticipation of what would come next with respect to the conclusion. That in and of itself is the sheer magic of the book in that it's not only for children but for adults like yourself and I as well. On that note, I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages. And I look forward to what Tradesha does next. My hope is that she turns it into an audiobook and a series of adventures for children and adults. In the interim, you can grab copies of The Purple Turtle by going here. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that it has coloring pages at the back of the book too. Congratulations on an excellently written book Tradesha!
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