A middle-grade book about a forgotten civil rights hero

The woman who brought religious tolerance to America
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John Briggs
Writing
Albany, New York
United States
1 Team Member

Short Summary

On June 1, 1660, Mary Dyer became the first woman in America executed for her religious beliefs. Her death shocked the colonists and the English government into into passing laws guaranteeing religious freedom.

My great-grandmother deeply admired Mary Dyer, so when I was about fifteen, I went looking for a book on her. I couldn't find anything for kids. Flash forward a few decades and there are still no children's books about her. Mary Dyer, Friend of Freedom, is the first middle-grade biography about her. I hope to place this book in schools and libraries so that children can learn tolerance from her work as a voice for religious freedom and women's rights.

What We Need & What You Get

I'm about $2000 short of publishing this book. It has been written, edited and formatted, but I need help with the following:

  • Publishing costs, including ISBN numbers and cover design
  • Setting up an author website with additional information on Mary Dyer, religious tolerance, etc.
  • Creating teacher's materials or study guide to accompany the book
  • Creating marketing materials to reach out to schools and libraries
One of the things that makes this book perfect for schools is that it meets government educational guidelines for biographies. Did you know that the Department of Education requires biographies to be at least 100 pages? Mary Dyer, Friend of Freedom is 104 pages, making it the right length for 3rd-6th graders, while keeping the cost low enough to fit many school and library budgets. The book contains:

  • Mary's life story
  • Breakouts on other important figures, groups, and events in her life (Roger Williams, The Narragansett, The Death of Anne Hutchinson, etc.)
  • A Historical Timeline
  • A Glossary
  • Diagrams and illustrations to highlight the text
Education is a key element of this book. If you look over the perks, you'll notice they start out relatively standard (copies of the print and ebook), but if you can make a big contribution, I'll contact schools and libraries in your community and tell them that my speaking & presentation fee has been paid. And if they're close enough to my home, I'll even throw in my travel expenses. I want students to know about  Mary Dyer!

The Impact

Mary Dyer, Friend of Freedom is designed to add religious tolerance to the discussion of civil rights in the classroom by focusing on Colonial history and the price of religious intolerance. We need to broaden what students are taught about acceptance and civil rights. By teaching them about Mary Dyer, we add another strong voice to the subject.

Religious freedom remains an extremely relevant topic. We have just witnessed a shooting at two Jewish centers in Kansas. Different religious groups are routinely subject to profiling or crude stereotypes, and even our politicians are dismissive of different beliefs. George W. Bush once said he wanted the Army to reverse its recognition of Wicca because "Witchcraft is not a religion."

I think the book's dedication sums up what I hope to accomplish: To my great-grandmother, Esther Briggs, an ardent admirer of Mary Dyer, and to my son, John King Briggs, that he may someday admire her, too.

Your  contribution will be a great help in having other children admire Mary and her lasting contribution to religious freedom.

Other Ways You Can Help

Please spread the word about this book by using  Indiegogo's share tools to let others know how they can contribute, too.

Or ask your children's school or library to purchase the book for their students this fall, or bring me in to discuss the importance of Mary Dyer's life's work.

Like I said above, I've been hearing about Mary Dyer since I was very young, probably 7 or 8, making this book a labor of love as much as an academic pursuit. Anyway you can help out is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Find This Campaign On
$210USD
raised by 4 people in 1 month
11% funded
0 time left
$2,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 1, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    Free Ebook

    Receive a copy of the book for Kindle. If you don't have a Kindle, you can receive a .pdf copy.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $25USD
    Free Print Copy

    Receive an autographed copy of Mary Dyer, Friend of Freedom.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $40USD
    Two Books and a Website Link

    Receive an autographed copy, an ebook, and a thank you on my website that contains a link your own book, or an organization or charity of your choice.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $50USD
    The Works

    Receive an autographed print copy, an ebook, a thank you on my website with a link of your choice, and a printable copy of teacher's materials.

    1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $200USD
    School Library Visit

    I'll arrange a visit to a school or library in your community within 100 miles of my home. Beyond that may require travel fees only for the institution. Plus you get an autographed copy of the book and a link on my website.

    0 claimed

  • $500USD
    Super School or Library Visit

    I'll arrange a visit to a school or library in your community within 250 miles of my home. Beyond that may require travel fees only for the institution. Plus you get an autographed copy of the book and a link on my website.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Deluxe School or Library Visit

    I'll arrange a visit to a school or library in your community within 500 miles of my home. Beyond that may require travel fees only for the institution. Plus you get an autographed copy of the book and a link on my website.

    0 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
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