Tina Wells is a business strategist, advisor, author, and the founder of RLVNT Media, a multimedia content venture serving entrepreneurs, tweens and culturists with authentic representation. Tina has been recognized by Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, Essence’s 40 Under 40 and more.
We are thrilled to announce that in December, we will release THE ZEE FILES, her unique new series of books for underrepresented readers 11 to 14 years old. Tina handpicked writer-collaborator Stephanie Smith and illustrator Veronica Miller Jamison, also Black women, to join her in creating this spinoff of her bestselling Mackenzie Blue series for younger readers (over 170,000 sold.)
Only 10% of books published depict African American characters (source: Cooperative Children’s Book Center, 2019) and even fewer are #ownvoices books created by Black authors and artists, making THE ZEE FILES a valuable “windows and mirrors” choice (stories that reflect own cultures to build identity and stories that offer a view into someone else’s experience) for tween fiction readers.
Tina says, “I developed this project because I saw a need for kids to read about an empowering female protagonist of color who portrays positive social emotional learning traits [empathy, positive relationships, recognizing and managing emotions, problem-solving, grit and perseverance, and perspective-taking.] It is also important to me that these books cover issues like puberty and first-love, school anxiety, divorce, displacement, and activism.”
The first book in the Zee Files series will be released exclusively in brick-and-mortar Target stores as well as on Target.com on December 1, 2020. Three subsequent titles are slated to launch the following year.