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Exclusive: LGBTQ+ author Benjamin Dean on having “every walk of life” represented in children’s books

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“I know who I am and what stories I want to tell, and that there’s not really a boundary of what I can put into a story,” says reporter and children’s author Benjamin Dean, whose first book, Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow, was met with critical acclaim last year.

Its follow-up, The Secret Sunshine Project, was released on 31 March and gave him the chance to take his writing to a new level: “Obviously, I know who I’m writing for.

These books, the first two, are predominately for kids, so I know who I’m writing for and how I write for kids. But, the second book tackles grief as well as Pride, as well as empathy and kindness, and in some ways, hatred and bigotry as well.” Benjamin tells GAY TIMES that the story follows Bea, a 12-year-old girl who attends a Pride event in London with her family at the start of the book. “It’s a magical time for them as a family,” he explains. “But unfortunately, due to illness, their dad passes away and we rejoin the story in chapter two a year later.

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