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Fascinating lives lead to new books to inspire young readers [Clarksville]

Howard County Times

Our Clarksville community is home to some fascinating folks who have chosen to share their expertise by writing books for children.

Local athlete Tatyana McFadden has been in the news recently for winning the women’s wheelchair race at the 2018 Boston Marathon. McFadden won her fifth title in six years despite blustery winds, persistent rain and unseasonably cold temperatures. Not only did she triumph over the weather conditions, she also overcame health issues, battling back after missing last year’s race due to multiple blood clots.

McFadden was born in Russia with spina bifida and spent her early years in a St. Petersburg orphanage. She chronicles her incredible story in the book “Ya Sama! Moments from My Life.” A Russian expression, ya sama means “I can do it.” Since she was a young child, McFadden has believed that she could do anything she set her mind and imagination to do.

At age 6, McFadden was adopted by Deborah McFadden, who visited the orphanage while working as commissioner of disabilities for the U.S. Department of Health. During her transition to life in Maryland, Tatyana became active in sports to build up her strength. At the age o 15f , she competed in the 2004 Paralympics in Athens. Since then she has earned 17 Olympic medals as a Paralympic athlete. Although “Ya Sama! Moments from My Life” is written for middle-school readers, Tatyana’s fascinating story of optimism and perseverance can serve as inspiration to all ages. Learn more at

Local yoga instructor and author Susan Kain recently presented her book to the Clarksville MOMS Club. “I Can Be One Too! A Child’s Book of Yoga Poses” introduces child-friendly yoga poses with illustrations and photographs of a child performing each position. The event featured Ava Bassler, the child who appears in the pictures in the book. A former member of the club, Ava demonstrated poses to the group such as how to be a star, a cat and a mountain, as Kain read from the book. “I Can Be One Too!offers an interactive way for parents, grandparents and caregivers to connect with children as they introduce yoga in a fun way.

Kain has been working with children for more than two decades. A certified yoga teacher since 2001, her students range in age from 6 weeks to over 90 years of age. Her book was originally created for use in her crawlers, toddlers and preschool level classes. Learn more at

Last but not least, Martha Clark, the owner of Clark’s Elioak Farm, has written two children’s books about life on the farm. In “Trusty the Tractor,” readers are introduced to Eli the goat, who narrates the story. The little tractor Trusty pulls the hayride at the farm but he dreams of doing the jobs that bigger tractors do. Building on the success of her first work, Clark wrote a second book about the exploits of Eli and his goat friends. “Trusty the Tractor’s Day Off” follows the goats as they escape for a day and get into trouble around the farm. A signing event for the books was recently held at Clark’s Farm. Learn more at

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