Ann Braden writes books about kids struggling to find their voice amidst the realities of life. Ann’s debut middle grade novel The Benefits of Being an Octopus received a starred review from School Library Journal and was described by Newbery award-winner Karen Hesse as “a compassionate look at poverty, hard choices, and defending one’s right to be treated humanely. A very fine first novel, written with a deft hand.” Ann founded GunSenseVT, a grassroots group focused on championing the common ground on the issue of guns in Vermont, which recently helped pass landmark gun violence prevention legislation. She also founded the Local Love Brigade, which now has chapters all over the country sending love postcards to those who are facing hate. Ann is a former middle school teacher, the co-host of the children’s book podcast, “Lifelines: Books that Bridge the Divide,” along with Pakistani American author Saadia Faruqi, and recently one of the co-organizers of #KidsNeedMentors. Ann lives in southern Vermont with her husband, two children, and two insatiable cats named Boomer and Justice.