WRADvocate Profile: Martha Steward


Martha Steward is an award-winning author of  two children's books inspiring pet adoption, blended family issues, and the courage to be a Marine Mom. 

Darby's Story and Bangle Bear are both MCA Silver recipients for Best in Pet and Animal Care. Martha 's blog Darby's Story and More shares information for would-be pet adopters, literacy programs, and features stories to inspire. 

As our WRADvocate, Martha Steward will be reading out loud at 2pm, Lakeport Public Library on High Street, Lakeport, California.


Read more about Martha below!

1. Is there a particular book that has changed your life in some way and why?

“The Yearling” By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, (now celebrating 50th edition). My word, the book was big, over four hundred pages, I was in 8th grade and wanted to run and hide. There was no way I could finish, yet I was willing to take the challenge that griped my heart with pounding thunder.

I had settled in the living room on the coach with a blanket, and opened to the first page. I was hooked like a gold-fish, turning the pages turned into chapters. Stopping was not an option, I was transformed to the setting in Florida, the boy in the story, and the adventures. I wanted more.

I finished the book in two weeks, and thought about the book for a few days before writing the book report,  (a required part of Mr. Bob Kay’s English class) which was the best mountain I could ever climb. I submitted the book report and waited.

The waiting just killed me. My weak writing skills made me feel less of a person. I dreaded the poor grade I just knew I was going to receive. 

The day approached when the book report got handed back, and I wasn't sure if Mr. Kay wanted to tease me or what, but I got the paper last, and with a not so pleasant expression on Mr Kay’s face, he handed me the report that had been folded in half, to provide privacy. I looked up at my teache and opened to find a giant  “A”!

When in doubt, I recall what I accomplished that day. It keeps me going.

2. What advice would you give to teachers, parents and caregivers who want to reach their struggling readers?  

Find the topics that interest the reader, start slow and allow the reader to build from there. With the lasted technology  from E books, reading along books, interactive story books, audio books stimulate the young reader to image being there or being that person.

3. It is said that stories and poems teach values. Is there one value in particular that has inspired your life and your good work that might connect back to a book that was either read to you or that you read on your own?

There is always a message to the reader within the pages of a book. Stories were created to share values, the lessons of right and wrong, how to stand up for the powerless. I cannot think of a single book that stands out, yet I can say that each book I read provides an insightful value to apply to my life.

4. What do you think the future holds for readers? 

Between the latest technology and the variety of  books being published, we have an endless selection, including the classics. One concern is that the past generation has spent more time playing video games than reading. I hope that with the latest Apps for books, the apps will provide a reading opportunity for this generation of young readers.

5. Will you share with us some final meditations on the power of the read aloud and of reading in general to the emotional lives of children and for all people?

Storytelling is the oldest form of sharing who we are as a culture, a family, and a person. Reading out loud to your children, students, and the elderly continues that long tradition. A means to discover new lands, take a time-capsule back, or step into the future. Readers grow by transforming their minds to expand our knowledge and share what we have learned. When reading at the local library, the best apart is watching the little light bulbs turn on among the kids around me.

Follow along with Martha Steward on Darby's Story and More Blog: