Six military moves required Nieves to transition from a civil litigation attorney in Los Angeles to an educator, and now, to an author of children’s books. In her latest role, Nieves hopes to use her passion for writing to help other military families.
Becoming a children’s author was never a part of her plan. Nieves remembers moving to Fort Bragg in North Carolina and feeling discouraged about the lack of career opportunities in her relative field.
All of a sudden, we were in Fort Bragg, and I wasn’t working. For the first time, I had the time to do it, to write, and it was something I’d always thought about.”
Nieves began by re-writing and expanding on a story she initially came up with as a first-grade student.
The book was titled “The House of Caramel” and follows a little boy who falls asleep, and in his dreams, goes on an adventure through a land made of sugar.
The books “In the Land of the Butterflies” and “Layla and the Magician” came next.
She wrote the books with elementary school students in mind, and designed them to get kids thinking, creating their own opinions, and developing creativity.
After the three books were complete, Nieves, who was born and raised in Venezuela, translated them into Spanish.
Finally, she developed lesson plans for each series (English and Spanish). Nieves designed these lesson guides to help teachers and parents spark discussion amongst their young readers, encourage creativity, and explore critical thinking skills.
Nieves calls the bilingual series and their respective lesson guides, “The Children’s Book Project.” Completing the project took more than two and a half years, their entire tour at Fort Bragg.
Now stationed at Fort Meade in Maryland, she thinks the books could prove especially helpful to families as they navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and, specifically, online learning.
“Despite the fact that they’re going to be sitting in front of a computer all day long, many kids are going to feel disconnected without that in-person interaction with their friends and their teachers.”
Nieves sees reading aloud and the educational books she’s written as an opportunity to connect.
“It’s so important for parents to be involved in their children’s reading and writing habits. My goal is for families to be able to share something that isn’t a screen,” she said.
Written while she was just a toddler, Nieves says she’s looking forward to sharing the books with her daughter, five-year-old Montserrat, now that she’s getting older.
“She enjoys the pictures, and she’s getting to the point where she can follow along with the stories as well.”
The bilingual books and lesson guides are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For more information, visit:on Facebook.