I began writing First Generation to teach children to be responsible for their pets. I wanted to show them that pets are living creatures deserving of proper care and respect. It developed into much more. First Generation is the story of great-great-grandmother Annie, an iguana, who was brought to the United States from Mexico. It follows her capture, journey, and acclimation to her new home. Young listeners will experience Annie’s feeling of loss and loneliness, her apprehensions and fears, and most importantly how she deals with these feelings, and overcomes perceived setbacks which are not actual setbacks at all. I wanted to convey these important concepts in addition to many others, including being a first generation citizen, learning to adapt in a new environment, life away from family and familiar faces, remembering lessons and teachings, dealing with bullies and prejudice, and last but certainly not least, hope! I wanted to inspire children to live their lives with integrity and respect for themselves, their families, and others. And I wanted to entertain and move their parents, as well.—Diane E. B. Bray
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