Michelle Pranger is the author of the memoir, “A Child’s Voice” who was born and raised in Jamaica. When asked why she wrote this book, Michelle said, “The passion and desperation to write this book was as important as breathing; it could not be ignored. I was led to write this book for all the children and women who did not have a voice.”
Michelle achieved a Masters of Science degree in Education at Hofstra University and is now a middle school teacher and speaker who resides in the New England area with her three children.
Interview with Michelle
Q: Who is your favorite author today?
A: Maya Angelou. She talks about Black people’s strengths and womanhood while at the same time reminding me of Jamaican story tellers. Her work is believable; it feels like the truth. Her face is a map of her struggles which outlines the troubles she has had to overcome. I can connect with these struggles she has been through to make me admire and respect her. Her strength reminds me of my grandmother and so many of the other old women I grew up with in Jamaica.
Q: Why do you feel your book will have an impact on the readers?
A: There are not many similar books out there that have been written from the victim’s point of view. While there are many psychology books that deal with the topic of child abuse, their stories are very short. My book shows that the healing process is a journey. To focus on the abuse alone does not make sense. There is life before and after from which to draw strength for healing.
Q: Why did you wait to introduce your main character until Chapter 3?
A: I wanted the reader to understand the character better by learning more about the physical and social environment: it takes a village to raise a child. To understand the village helps the reader appreciate why the character was able to overcome her past.
Q: Whom do you admire the most in your life today?
A: Oprah. We seem to have gone through similar experiences: both of us were raised by our grandmother, and both of us were abused. Oprah managed not to define herself in terms of the abuse; instead, she turned the negative into a positive by speaking up and out to the world thus making a difference in my life. As a scared and insecure teenager, it helped to know that a woman as revered as she accomplished so much despite her childhood struggles
Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher?
A: My educational journey has been influenced by the teachings of some great educators who dedicated their lives to the enlightenment of young minds. The prospect of illuminating young minds, my philosophy of education, and interest of scholarship are some of the reasons I pursued a career in an education. Throughout my own experience as a student and a teacher, I have realized how important a teacher is in a child’s life; they are, without question, a role model. To be an excellent educator, one must be able to take a student at whatever level and nurture them so they may achieve their individual best.