Episode 61 | Control Freaks w/ Jan "J.E." Thomas

Season #2

In this episode of Our Classroom Jan “J.E.” Thomas joins me to discuss her forthcoming book Control Freaks.

Classroom Notes

  •  The concept and characters of Control Freaks
  •  Family dynamics storyline 
  •  What constitutes the ideal school?

Jan "J.E." Thomas is the author of CONTROL FREAKS, a debut middle grade novel that will be published by Levine Querido on June 13. CONTROL FREAKS recently received a starred review from Booklist in which it was compared to Newbery Medal–winning author E.L. Konigsburg's novel, THE VIEW FROM SATURDAY.

Jan has bachelor of arts degrees in mass communications and political science and a master of arts degree in public communications.

She started writing full-time in 2021. Prior to that, she had a long career in corporate, health care and education communications. She was also an award-winning freelance journalist, earning a Clarion Award for Article Writing from Women in Communications; a Gold Award for Feature Writing from the International Academy of Communications Arts & Sciences; a Silver Award for Writing from the Society of National Association Publications; and a Public Relations Professional of the Year Honor from the Colorado Association of Black Journalists, among others.

She is the product of an urban Catholic elementary school and an independent high school. She concluded her communications career by serving as communications director and a member of the administrative team for the same independent school she attended years before. 

Her debut novel is dedicated to three women who changed her life by recognizing her potential and encouraging her to step out of the crowd. Those women are, Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek's original Uhura; Helen Yeager, Jan's ninth grade English teacher; and Laura Pegram, founder and executive director of Kweli Journal and the Kweli Color of Children's Literature Conference in New York.

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