The Books

Lilliana Cover Final

Lilliana Grows It Green

written by Amy Carpenter Leugs

In Lilliana Grows it Green, Lilliana, a special young girl with some disabilities and a lot of assets, learns a little more about the world around her while finding joy, solace, and inclusion in gardening. The second book of UCOM’s Open Door series to be written and illustrated by the team of Amy Carpenter Leugs and Heather Newman, Lilliana features more of the beautiful illustrations and tender story telling that made French Toast for Maleek so powerful. Spanish language translations by Ale Siekmeier again accompany Amy’s wonderful tale and help ensure Lilliana’s story can reach a broad and diverse audience.

UCOM Open Door Press September 2013

and sometimes y

And Sometimes Y

written by Leslie Schultz & JJM Braulick

Welcome back to Sundog, Minnesota! In the three years since their adventures in The Howling Vowels, Alexa Stevens and her four friends have each grown and changed, but they are still as close as ever. It’s April, and they are looking forward to a spring and summer filled with riding horses, playing with dogs, hanging out at the pool and the library, and finishing a big project: making their own movie, complete with music, scenery, and costumes! But when a new boy moves to town—a boy who has no friends—will they be able to penetrate his mysterious exterior and welcome him in?

Do Life Right July 2013

cover copy

French Toast for Maleek

written by Amy Carpenter Leugs

A touching and poignant story of hunger as told through the eyes of a young child, French Toast for Maleek is the first publication of UCOM’s very own Open Door Press. Written by local Grand Rapids author Amy Carpenter Leugs, the book follows a day in the life of Maleek as he wakes up to discover there is no food in the house. With Spanish language translations by Ale and Ben Siekmeier and beautiful illustrations by artist Heather Newman, French Toast for Maleek makes for a powerful tale for people of all ages and backgrounds.

UCOM Open Door Press October 2012


The Howling Vowels

written by Leslie Schultz

“Look! Five Vowels, all howling!” Welcome to Sundog, Minnesota! When home schooled, Norse-myth-obsessed Alexa Stevens moves from New York City, she doesn’t know what to expect. What is a small town like? Explore the new landscape with Alexa as she observes wolves in the wild and forms a close pack of friends.

Do Life Right November 2011

front_codycover-195x300         Cody Greene and the Rainbow Mystery

written by Linda Fields

When a painting is stolen from nine year old Cody Greene’s family’s art gallery, he does what any artist would do: he sketches the clues. Through cooking with his friend, visiting the midwife with his mom, hiking with his dad, and helping to prepare for an upcoming art and craft festival, Cody’s homeschooling takes a new turn as he unravels the Case of the Rainbow Mystery.

Do Life Right April 2011

2 thoughts on “The Books

  1. I love everything you do. Obviously I am a bit biased toward Lilliana and Maleek. They feel like family. I can’t imagine any of them looking different from your fabulous illustrations, Heather. You and Amy have done more in these two books to educate people around the assets and needs of people in poverty and people with disabilities than most of our faithful organizations have been able to do in many years of work. Keep helping us to picture a world inside and beyond ourselves.

    • It’s an honor and a privilege to be a small part of the amazing work that you do at UCOM. The respect and care you show for the people in your community is beautiful to witness. Thank you, Bruce. (And I am a bit biased toward Lilliana and Maleek, too. Especially Lilliana, she is near and dear to my heart.)

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