Amanda Kehoe about her book ‘TJ and his Wheelable Chair’ being a finalist in the People’s Book Prize UK 2018

It’s been a truly amazing couple of months for TJ and his Wheelable Chair. At the end of September, I was part of the Orange County Children’s Book Festival where I spoke about the story behind TJ and his Wheelable Chair and how my journey to becoming an author began. I never anticipated that I would be reading TJ and his Wheelable Chair on stage in California three years ago when I was sitting at my kitchen table trying to work out a way to share my son’s story with others to help give an understanding of his life, from his perspective. It’s been an amazing journey for me as TJ’s mother, but most importantly for TJ himself. TJ has got to meet so many people over the past year and a half through visiting schools and libraries and the best part of all is the Q&A afterwards where we invite the children to ask whatever question they would like to ask and to hopefully take away any mystery that surrounds children of different abilities.

While over in the US, I also got to visit a fantastic school – Christ Lutheran in Costa Mesa, where I read TJ and his Wheelable Chair to all the children and then had a wonderful Q&A after. The children asked so many insightful questions and it was lovely to share TJ’s life with them and help them understand why he uses a ‘wheelable’ chair and ways we communicate when we don’t use our voice.

On top of this wonderful trip to Orange County, I recently received some amazing news that TJ and his Wheelable Chair is in the final of the People’s Book Prize Award in the UK!! I am over the moon that so many people voted for TJ and his Wheelable Chair and decided that this book was worthy to be in the final – I honestly can’t thank everyone who voted enough for all your support and kindness. It was a scary experience writing a children’s book about my son as it was so personal and yet the message itself is so simple – TJ loves doing what every other child loves to do, he loves to play & have friends who will play with him too, he just needs a bit of extra help. It will be so exciting to be attending the People’s Book Prize Award’s Ceremony in May, 2019 and there will be one final opportunity during the month of April to vote for your favourite book which I hope will be TJ and his Wheelable Chair 😊

My recent radio interview on KFM :