University News

WIU Faculty Member, Alumnus Collaborate on Children's Book

September 21, 2018

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University alumnus Jeremy McCool has partnered with a faculty member to publish a children's book to combat discrimination.

McCool received his bachelor's degree in broadcasting in 2015 and his master's degree in communication in 2017. He is currently working on his doctoral degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

McCool and WIU Associate Professor of Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Anthony McBride are publishing the book "Princess and the Power of Melanin." The goal of the book is to combat bullying, colorism and to uplift young girls around the world.

"It is important to prevent young girls from viewing their melanin as a negative attribute," according to an overview of the book. "Sometimes kids can be mean to each other and we want this book to serve as a tool to give young girls so much confidence that no bully can faze them."

McCool contacted McBride because he was aware of the WIU faculty member's experience in writing children's books, including "Shaheana," "The Lost Cat," Willie the Whiskers" and "The Fish That Was Afraid to Swim."

"Any student that knows me knows I have always been about building on their strengths and this partnership only made sense," said McBride. "After finalizing the storyline, I reached out to my long-term illustrator and we began to make the idea and characters come to life. This will be one book of many delivering educational, social and inspiring messages to promote growth and promising future leaders."

The book is currently in the illustration phase and is scheduled for release at the end of the year. The long-term goal is to turn the book into a series and, eventually, into animated television cartoons.

The book will be available before the holiday season and will be sold on Amazon and other select websites.

Posted By: Jodi Pospeschil (
Office of University Communications & Marketing