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"You are a real life author?!" ​  "I've never met an author!"  "May I have your book forever?!"  "READ IT AGAIN!"​ "You wrote the words?"​  "Can I be an author?"​ "Is Gabby real?"​ "No, I don't believe she's going to have a good day, because she lied before."​  "You read funny, Ms. Paula"  (child referring to the author's animated reading style of each character)​

"Is this ME?!" (a black child referring to the image of the lead character, Gabby)​  "Jonathan, you be screaming acting like Gabby.  You don't be having a good day."


Kevin, a 4th grader. "I think there is a reason she acts like that.  I would become her friend to show her how to act and find out why she acts like that.  There is definitely a reason."


"She wants to be good because she wants ice cream.  But it's hard because she wants to have fun." "She's a bully!"

"Yeah, she's a bully because she won't stop being mean after they told her to stop."  "I like Gabby because she is funny!"   "NO, she is not funny.  She's mean to the teacher and all of them are crying!" "She told her mama she was good at school, but that is a lie."

"Gabby was yelling at the teacher.  Her mom was mad at her."  Outside, Max ran away from Gabby because she broke the fish bowl and hurt the goldfish. I wouldn't play with her."

"Is Gabby going to be good at school tomorrow?"  "NO!"  "YES, because her mom was sad!"  


"Ms. Paula, my students are still talking about your book and visit.  They are anxious to find out if Gabby kept her promise to have a better school day."


"I liked that she's learning to breathe!"  "Her mom and dad took her toys away for being bad at school. I'm sad for her."  "I'm not sad for Gabby.  She was mean to her friends and the teacher. No screaming."  "My mom took my games away from me."  "Me too, but I got it back after I cleaned my room."


 "Gabby's friend let her play with them because she was nice to them."  "I breathe with my teacher, mama, and daddy.  I like breathing."  "A good day is when you still screamed but you was nice most of the time.  A better day is when she didn't scream."  "Liam, you said it backwards.  A good day is when she didn't do anything bad.  A better day means she screamed but not as much and she listened to her friends and teacher."  "Yeah, she was better at school.  Her parents are going to be happy!" 


"She's going to get ice cream!"  "No, she's not because they said no at home."   "No, parents should not bribe us to be good.  We're supposed to not hit and listen to our teacher and principal."  "Gabby is trying.  It's not easy to be nice if other people are not being nice too."  "But no one was being mean to her."  "I'm just saying in the real world, everyone is not nice, so it's hard to be nice all the time." 

"We do the balloon and pretzel breathing in our classroom.  I do it at home with my mom."  "I go to the quiet space and read a book." "I stand by the fishbowl." "When I was younger, I use to throw chairs and hit my teacher.  But not anymore.  I let them know I need to take a walk to calm down."  "I carry my pillow." "I carry my stuff animal. It helps me to calm down." "I have a widget!"



 From the Lens of 3-9 Year Olds











Are YOU interested in learning more about PJN's school/community/guest speaker visits? 


Below, are some basic school visits details.  Please review and email PJN Books with any questions, provide requested date, time, and location.   We will contact you within 36-hours. Thank you for your support and have a beautiful day!



Availability: Weekdays, Literacy Nights, & Weekends 

Time limit: 1 hour minimum

Cost:  $500.00 per hour  (special note: any additional time over the 1-hour minimum is charged $250.00 per 30 minutes)

Which book are you choosing for the story read?  1. I'm Gonna Have A Good Day!  or  2. Breathe, Gabby, Breathe!

Classroom, Library, or Assembly:   Paula's energetic, animated, and interactive style of engagement with students during read aloud and role-playing scenarios allows students an enhance experience when two classrooms are combined at a time.  However, she  will work in collaboration with each school on what works best with their students, staff, and facility.  Please provide comfy seating i.e. regular size adult chair.

Equipment & Technology:  For large assemblies, the author will need to connect personal HP laptop to the school's Smart Devices.  If no Smart Board/TV, the author will need usage of school's projector and white screen.  Microphone will be needed for large groups.

Additional Costs


For outside state of Ohio: 

  • Travel and Lodging are separate from the event.  The event host makes advance paid accommodations for overnight hotel stay and round-trip transportation.

For outside of Columbus, Ohio:​

  • Ground Transportation Round-trip Per diem: 30 miles or more at federal rates.  You will be invoiced prior to the event.

Visit consist of:

  • Read aloud.

  • Role-playing social problem-solving skills

  • Sharing peers' strengths.

  • Discussion on the writing and publishing process.

  • Author will arrive 30 minutes early for setup.

Suggestions in preparation for author visit:  (OPTIONAL)

1. Read book ahead of time to students.

2. Parent order form sent home and returned with payment the day before visit.  I will autographed each child's copy. Also, a family may purchase an autographed copy via author's website.  

Learning Content Standards

Ohio Department of Education Social Emotional Standards


1. Competency A:  Self Awareness

A1. Demonstrate an awareness of personal emotions

A3: Demonstrate awareness of and willingness to seek help for self or others

A4: Demonstrate a sense of personal responsibility, confidence and advocacy

2. Competency B:  Self Management

B1: Regulate emotions and behaviors by using thinking strategies that are consistent with brain development

      1.a Identify personal behaviors or reactions when experiencing basic emotions

      2.a Describe verbal and nonverbal ways to express emotions in different settings

      3.a Identify and begin to use strategies to regulate emotions and manage behaviors

22. Competency C: Social Awareness

C1: Recognize, identify and empathize with the feelings and perspective of others


3. Competency D:  Relationships

D1: Apply positive verbal and non-verbal communication and social skills to interact effectively with others and in groups 


Shirrell Greene-Joe, Director of Customer Service Experience: Cleveland Metropolitan School District

"Our scholars from Warner Girls Leadership Academy enjoyed Gabby, the read along, and the invitation to join in on the discussion of being kind and making good decision.  They were so very engaged it was an amazing visit.  We   appreciate you taking the time to personally sign their books so they could take Gabby home!!!"


Audra Beaver Pearson, Principal @ Columbus City Schools

"Today was a wonderful day at Winterset as we had an author visit from Ms. Paula Neal.  She read her book, I'm Gonna Have A Good Day" then had open discussion and dialogue with the students."


Brittaney Barnes, Teacher @
Columbus City Schools

"You were awesome!  The story is relatable for many of our students! The students and staff truly appreciated your visit.  I loved the role-playing activity!"


Kim Richardson, Teacher @
Groveport Madison School District


"Such a great experience for our kids (and staff) THANK YOU!!"

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Heather Riebe, Gifted Intervention Specialist @ Apple Creek Elementary & Southeast Local School District

Today, the students at Apple Creek Elementary had a very "Good Day!"  Paula easily engaged our students in a letter-writing activity and read-aloud.  Her enthusiasm is unmatched, and her passion is infectious!


Karen Richardson, School Leader @
Prep Academy Schools-Dublin

"We loved having you come by and read your amazing books to the kids."


Sarah Patel, Teacher @
Sedalia Elementary School

"It was such a fun day, and all of the kids loved it!  Thank you, Author Paula Johnson Neal, and all of our staff for working together to make Friday such a success!"

Cleveland Metropolitan School District Warner Girls Leadership Academy author visit Paula Johnson Neal

A fun time at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in October 2022.  The students from Warner Girls Leadership Academy were a JOY!!

YMCA KIPPS Campus author visit Paula Johnson Neal

YMCA @ KIPPS Campus.  The children were totally amazed by the black character before I could start the story.  Many kept noticing the similarities in their clothing, hair, and complexion.


Winterset Elementary was my first school visit.  The children were so engaged that one of the groups had chanted "Read It Again!" A biracial child asked, "Is Gabby's mom white?" Then she shared "My mom is white, and I am black and white."   #RepresentationMatters

People's Mural in columbus ohio  author Paula Johnson Neal

Story time at the People's Mural event was special because the children held on to every single word and illustration.  They wanted to know what happened the next day!  SORRY!  The sequel Breathe, Gabby, Breathe wasn't released! Other authors were lined up to read their stories, but those children had questions and wanted immediate answers about Gabby's behavior.

Columbus City Schools Windsor STEM Academy author visit Paula Johnson Neal

Thank you Columbus City Schools for so many invites!  Windsor STEM Academy students and staff were an absolute JOY!    Thought provoking questions and responses from the students!  Excellent volunteers that were hilarious, but informative during role-playing.

Groveport Madison School District Sedalia Elementary School author visit with Paula Johnson Neal
Prep Academy School in Dublin  author visit Paula Johnson Neal



VIRTURAL SCHOOL VISITS @ Columbus City Schools

1.  Eastgate Elementary

2. Cranbrook Elementary

                   IN PERSON  VISIT


1. Columbus Africentric

Early College

South-Western City School District

2. Darby Woods


Whitehall School District: Guest Reader

3. Kae Elementary

4. Etna Road Elementary

5. Beechwold Elementary Schools


Thank You Groveport Madison School District:  Sedalia Elementary staff and students.  The students asked a lot of questions about the writing process and how to become an author.  

Thank You Prep Academy Schools-Dublin for a great experience with your children and  staff.  Your young students were very excited to share their thoughts about Gabby's behavior.

St. Vincent Family Services author visit with Paula Johnson Neal
ywca columbus kidsspace westerville author visit

Thank You YWCA Columbus @ Mark Twain KIDSPLACE in Westerville.  I enjoyed the children excitement and engagement throughout my time.  LOVED! LOVED!  The thought provoking questions!!

Beige & Brown Aesthetic Elegant Minimalist Photographer Pricing Guide Flyer_20240210_20143

Thank You YWCA Columbus @ KIDSPLACE at Blacklick Elementary.  The children were very excited and engaging!  They asked many questions such as....How did you come up with their names? How long did it take you to write your books?  Did you draw the pictures?  You are an author? Why did you write those books? When will you release the third book?  What is it going to be about?       Laila responded perfectly to the difference between a good versus better day.  "A GOOD  day is when you don't do anything bad.  A BETTER day is when you might have done something wrong, but the rest of your day was ok."


The 4th through 6th grade students learned about the writing and publishing process i.e. plot, characters, setting, editing, story screening, and publishing.  In addition, they wrote and read their Dear Gabby letters to provide advice to the main character after reading I'm Gonna  Have A Good Day!  The students will receive written responses back from Gabby and the author.  They were informed the advice may possibly influence the upcoming third book in the series.    THANK YOU Apple Creek, Fredericksburg, Holmesville, and Mount Eaton Elementary in Apple Creek, Ohio for an awesome day!


Thank You YWCA Columbus @ KIDSPLACE at United Schools Network.  The students were very wild about the books I'm Gonna Have A Good Day and Breathe, Gabby, Breathe!   They truly believed her behavior was not appropriate peer interaction.  In addition, had many pieces of advice to support her in becoming "nicer" to her friends.  

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