GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Author Sean Jensen is a long-time NFL reporter including ten years with the St. Paul Pioneer Press and has turned his sports writing experience into the "Middle School Rules" series.
He wanted to feature athletes from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities who have a great story to tell especially for young people who often look up to athletes.
The first book was with Brian Urlacher from the Chicago Bears. He has included women in the series including superstar basketball player Skylar Diggins.
Jensen's latest book is with Jamaal Charles. He is a star athlete who was diagnosed with a reading disorder as a child. His success in the Special Olympics as a 10-year-old gave him confidence on the field and in the classroom.
One of Jensen's goals is to help address the lack of diversity in children's publishing. According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, only 14 percent of the 3,200 children’s books published in 2015 had black, Latino, Asian or Native American central characters.