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Nicole D. Collier

Nicole D. Collier grew up in Atlanta, GA, the child of an accountant and a public school librarian. She taught fourth grade before becoming an author, strategist and leadership coach. In all of her endeavors, she is most passionate about helping people mine the creativity, wisdom and courage for change.

Nicole’s writing illuminates the challenges and rewards that come from learning to be true to yourself. Her debut middle grade novel, Just Right Jillian (HarperCollins/Versify), has been nominated for several state book awards. It was also named to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s and the Bank Street College of Education’s Children’s Book Committee’s best of year lists for 2023.

Her latest novel, The Many Fortunes of Maya (HarperCollins/Versify) has earned starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, and is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.

A self-proclaimed ever-victorious woman, Nicole has been known to run, dance, and turn cartwheels on sunny days.

Author photo credit to Teri Lyn Photography

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The Best Friend Bracelet

A tender, funny story about making—and keeping—friends, perfect for fans of Sarah Mlynowski.

At Hurston Middle School, best friendship is a big deal. And Zariah Brown makes the best best friendship bracelets in town. Business is booming; Zariah can hardly keep up with orders.

The problem is, Zariah doesn’t have a best friend of her own. As the entire seventh grade gears up for their big Pajama Jam weekend, it seems as if everyone else is paired up except her.

So Zariah pours her heart and soul into making the ultimate friendship bracelet, using a set of beads gifted to her by a mysterious woman. But the bracelet turns out to be a tiny bit . . . magical. In fact, anyone who puts it on instantly becomes Zariah’s best friend. Now all she has to do is find the perfect best friend and get the bracelet on them. Easy, right?

It turns out finding the ideal friend isn’t so simple, and things quickly spin out of control. Will Zariah ever find her true BFF, or is she destined to be alone forever?

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The Many Fortunes of Maya

Maya J. Jenkins is bursting with questions:

  • Will she get the MVP award at this year’s soccer banquet?

  • Who will win the big grill off between Daddy and Uncle J?

  • When will she pass the swim test and get a green bracelet?


For answers and a dose of good luck, 12-year-old Maya turns to her Wheel of Fortunes, a cardboard circle covered with the small slips of wisdom she’s collected from fortune cookies.


But can the fortunes answer her deep-down questions? The ones she’s too scared to ask out loud? Like, where did Mama’s smile go, the real one that lit up everything around her? When will Daddy move back home? And most of all, does she have enough courage to truly listen to the voice in her heart?


Just Right Jillian

Fifth grader Jillian longs to wear bright colors in a school of neutral tones. To run and flip upside down while everyone else whispers and gossips. But no matter how hard she tries to be herself, shyness keeps her true brilliance hidden away. Even if it means getting the wrong glasses or losing an easy contest, Jillian keeps her mouth shut.

After a bully tells her she can never be a winner, Jillian gets fed up. She determines to prove, not only that she’s smart, but brave, too. But breaking out of her shell is easier said than done. Jillian has less than a month to overcome a lifetime of shyness and summon the courage to fight for herself.

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