Kelly Starling Lyons

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Kelly Starling Lyons
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Genre Children's books

Kelly Starling Lyons is a writer and children's book author.[1] She is also one of the founding members of the blog The Brown Bookshelf, which is aimed at young African-American readers and features book reviews and author and illustrator interviews.


Lyons was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a high school student, Lyons loved the works of Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry and set a goal to be an author.[1]

As an adult, she read the book Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth, which was the first time she had seen an African-American girl featured on the cover of a picture book. This inspired her to start writing fiction books for children that would feature African-American lead characters.[1]

Lyons makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina.[2]


Lyons’ has written five books for children, which focus on aspects of African American history and culture.[1]

  • NEATE: Eddie’s Ordeal, a title in their NEATE chapter book series, tells the story of relationship between a thirteen-year-old African-American boy who loves to play basketball and his civil rights veteran dad.
  • One Million Men and Me was published by Just Us Books in 2007. Illustrated by Peter Ambush, it was inspired by her memories of attending the Million Man March.[3][4]
  • Hope's Gift, illustrated by Don Tate, celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Teacakes for Tosh was illustrated by E. B. Lewis.
  • Ellen’s Broom, illustrated by Daniel Minter, was inspired by a document that author saw while researching family history in Rockingham County, NC and Henry County, VA.


  1. ^ a b c d Gillis, Stacy (February 20, 2013). "Author Kelly Starling Lyons says family struggles reflected in her books". The Fayetteville Observer. 
  2. ^ "27 Views of Raleigh". News Observer. September 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Each One Teach One: Interview with Kelly Starling Lyons". Writer Metamorphosis. June 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Interview with Kelly Starling Lyons". August 12, 2011. 

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