Interview with Ronnie Sidney II

What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle. I started using it in college and it was the first e-reading device that I downloaded my book in.
How did "Nelson Beats The Odds" come about?
I wrote the book after I had developed a presentation for the Richmond Chapter of the Association for Black Social Workers educational symposium. The presentation was entitled Beating The Odds: How I Survived Special Ed. The presentation inspired me to reach out to the Essex County School Board and honor some of my former teachers. I purchased them VCU cups, key chains, pencils and candy. I wanted to personally thank them for helping me beat the odds. My former special education teacher, Mrs. Tobey, reached out to me in April and encouraged me to tell my story. I had pondered the idea many times before and I decided to just do it. I wanted to write a story about my life and how I beat the odds that kids would read. The illustrator suggested a graphic novel layout so that it would appeal to a wider range of youth readers.
As a kid, what was it like before you realized you had a challenge learning?
You know what, I can't really remember. I would would say normal. I was having difficulties going back to Kindergarten, especially with talking and being easily distracted.
Was there a moment or a person that you credit for helping change your direction?
I credit my special education teacher, Mrs. Tobey. In 5th grade, not only did I get placed in Special Ed., but I also got a ring worm on my head. I got joked on a lot because it and being diagnosed with learning disability made me feel really bad about myself. I all but quit on myself and then she appeared in my life. She made me feel smart and good about myself. Although I hated going to her classroom, I really enjoyed her as a teacher.
When did you first start writing?
When I was in middle school. I started off writing poems and raps. "Nelson Beats The Odds" is my first book. I always wanted to publish my poetry and have some illustrate them.
Published 2015-11-11.
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Books by This Author

Nelson Beats The Odds
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 530. Language: English. Published: November 11, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » General, Fiction » African American fiction » General
"Nelson Beats The Odds" is an inspiring story that celebrates friendship, resilience and empowerment. The striking illustrations give life to "Nelson Beats The Odds", while the author's story is perfect for students diagnosed with learning disabilities or mental health disorders.