by Aja James, with Audrey Masoner and Sly James
Illustrated by Rob Peters
Kansas City Mayor Sly James was born and raised in Kansas City. He learned valuable lessons about resiliency and dedication watching his parents work hard to take care of their family. This up-bringing laid the foundation for Mayor Sly’s commitment to education and ensuring every child receives a high-quality education, regardless of where they live or their socio-economic background.
Mayor Sly James attended Bishop Hogan High School in Kansas City and later served as a military police officer during the Vietnam War. He graduated from Rockhurst College and earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota. Prior to his election in 2011, Mayor Sly James enjoyed a successful legal career which spanned nearly three decades. Mayor James has four children and two grandchildren who have inspired him to write this book.
Having grown up in the heart of downtown, Aja James has Kansas City in her blood. While she enjoys traveling there has always been something pulling her back to her hometown. She was raised by one of Kansas City’s biggest fans (Mayor Sly James!), who taught her all about her hometown. She also learned that with each new day there was always more to learn and explore! Throughout middle and high school Aja focused on multiple mediums of art and creative works, many of which were Kansas City focused and inspired. Aja attended the University of Kansas to study business marketing and has since found her passion in health and fitness and aims to help Kansas City be a more fit and healthy city. Family is a huge part of Aja’s life and a main inspiration for this story.
Audrey Masoner is a proud Kansas City area resident. As a graduate of Rockhurst University, she found a love for everything that Kansas City has to offer and the history behind the wonderful city. It was her college political science class final project that left her with a desire to write a children's book. Audrey believes that knowledge of the past is fundamental in order to pave the way for the future and through writing this knowledge can be shared.
Illustrator Rob Peters is also a cartoonist and designer. He has a degree in Visual Communications from Judson College in Elgin, Ill., and has worked as a cover artist, designer and freelance artist. He has designed logos, book covers and illustrated dozens of children’s books, including Go Cubs Go! Baseball’s Never Give Up Story. He lives with his wife and family in Topeka, Kansas.