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A story for children struggling with the wrongful conviction of a loved one.
A story for children struggling with the wrongful conviction of a loved one.
22 backers pledged $4,069 to help bring this project to life.

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Why Can't Uncle Come Home?

$4,069

22

Meet Timmy and Kate!
Meet Timmy and Kate!

Why Can’t Uncle Come Home? is a one-of-a-kind children’s picture book for children struggling with the wrongful conviction of a loved one. This amazing story, written by Christiane Joy Allison and illustrated by Liz Shine, is scheduled for release in late 2017. 

You can now PRE-ORDER copies of the book that are signed by the author and illustrator through this campaign!

Christiane and Liz have worked together on numerous projects in the past. They have an outstanding history working together, and are very excited to launch Why Can’t Uncle Come Home? as the first book in the Where Is Uncle? series; which will address other issues children face with the rightful or wrongful incarceration of a loved one.

In the story, Timmy and his little sister Kate are struggling with the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of their beloved, innocent Uncle.  Inspired by the author’s real-life niece and nephew, Timmy and Kate walk-through experiences that are common to children in these types of tragedies. Timmy and Kate suddenly lose access to Uncle. They watch Auntie to go through the process of losing her home. Timmy eventually gets to visit Uncle, and ask the ever-present question, “Why can’t Uncle come home?”  

The National Registry of Exonerations has tracked more than 2,000 exonerations of the innocent in the U.S. since 1989. The sad fact is, this is really only the tip of the iceberg in comparison to those who still sit in prison, unable to prove their innocence or overcome arbitrary rules of the court that keep them imprisoned. If only a single child was attached to each one of these individuals - not only as a parent but just as someone in their life who is important to them - we automatically know there are thousands of children across the world who have experienced wrongful conviction directly, and are still continuing to experience it. The average amount of time an innocent person spends in prison before being exonerated is eight years. That means these children are growing up with this as a defining part of reality in their childhood, and they need to know they're not alone.

There are many people in the United States who are wrongfully convicted because the wrong person was accused of a crime. However, there are also many individuals wrongfully convicted for a crime that never actually occurred. Adults often struggle with how to explain these situations to their children. They may feel so wronged and wounded about the experience themselves, that they have a hard time putting into words the real reason their loved one cannot come back to them. This book aims to be able to have that conversation in a healthy way.

In our story, Mama uses the example of a vase that fell off of a shelf and broke to help Timmy and Kate understand what happened to Uncle. No one is actually at fault for the vase breaking, but Timmy blamed Kate because he knew that he wasn't the culprit. Wrongful conviction is a really complex issue with many different causes, but this example simplifies the real problem in a way a child can understand. Ultimately, they know that Uncle has been blamed for something he didn't really do, and that there are many people that love him who are working hard to help everyone else understand the truth.

Your donations will go directly to the costs of printing and distribution of the book. Whether you have a little or a lot to pledge to this critical project, there’s a whole menu of options to choose from! Lower-level awards allow you to PRE-ORDER copies of the book that are personally signed by both the author and the illustrator straight from the presses. Larger amounts allow you or your organization to be listed as a sponsor of the book with your name actually printed on the inside! Last but not least, the largest contribution category allows you to have a more direct and personal experience with the author.  

Getting Why Can't Uncle Come Home? out into the hands of the public is critical! Children all over the world have loved ones who are incarcerated, and an unknown number of those are actually wrongful convictions. It is our hope that Timmy and Kate will let these children know that there are others who understand what they’re going through. It doesn’t make it right, but can hopefully help them reorient their thoughts into how to stay positive, and how to help during the long period of time they will likely have to wait.

Risks and challenges

The manuscript is already finished, and the illustrations are underway. The book has already been assigned a PCN number through the Library of Congress. Vendors have been selected for printing and distribution, and we plan to have this book available by the end of 2017. The only foreseeable delay that could occur relates to the completion of the illustrations and final page layouts. However, at this time we do not have any concern about missing our deadlines.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    E-Book and a Thank You!

    Get the eBook version of the book, our deepest thanks, and a shout out on social media!

    Includes:
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    EARLY BIRD Paperback!

    If you choose this reward level within the first 10 DAYS of the campaign only, you will receive:
    1) a shout-out on social media;
    2) the eBook; PLUS
    3) Paperback copy of the book signed by BOTH the author and the illustrator.

    Includes:
    • E-Book version of the book
    • Paperback Personally Signed by Author & Illustrator
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    Gotta Love Paperback!

    1) a shout-out on social media;
    2) the eBook; PLUS
    3) Paperback copy of the book signed by BOTH the author and the illustrator.

    Includes:
    • E-Book version of the book
    • Paperback Personally Signed by Author & Illustrator
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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    EARLY BIRD Hardback!

    If you choose this reward level within the first 10 DAYS of the campaign only, you will receive:
    1) a shout-out on social media;
    2) the eBook; PLUS
    3) Hardback copy of the book signed by BOTH the author and the illustrator.

    Includes:
    • E-Book version of the book
    • Hardback Personally Signed by the Author & Illustrator
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Nothing Beats a Hardback!

    1) a shout-out on social media;
    2) the eBook; PLUS
    3) Hardback copy of the book, signed by BOTH the author and the illustrator.

    Includes:
    • E-Book version of the book
    • Hardback Personally Signed by the Author & Illustrator
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Get the Best of Both!

    Get the best of all versions of the book with:
    1) a shout-out on social media;
    2) the eBook; PLUS
    3) Hardback copy of the book, signed by both the author and the illustrator,
    4) Paperback copy of the book, signed by both the author and the illustrator.

    Includes:
    • E-Book version of the book
    • Hardback Personally Signed by the Author & Illustrator
    • Paperback Personally Signed by Author & Illustrator
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Your NAME in the book! - Paperback

    YOUR NAME will be listed in the book on our page for amazing supporters! (To have more than one name listed please add $5 per additional name - no more than 5 per pledge.)
    You will also receive:
    1) a shout-out on social media;
    2) the eBook;
    3) Paperback copy of the book, signed by both the author and the illustrator.

    Includes:
    • E-Book version of the book
    • Paperback Personally Signed by Author & Illustrator
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Your NAME in the book! - Hardback

    YOUR NAME will be listed in the book on our page for amazing supporters! (To have more than one name listed please add $5 per additional name - no more than 5 per pledge.)
    You will also receive:
    1) a shout-out on social media;
    2) the eBook;
    3) Hardback copy of the book, signed by BOTH the author and the illustrator.

    Includes:
    • E-Book version of the book
    • Hardback Personally Signed by the Author & Illustrator
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    Estimated delivery
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Become a Sponsor! - For Individuals

    Your name will be displayed as an individual sponsor inside the book!
    You will also receive:
    1) a shout-out on social media;
    2) the eBook; PLUS
    3) 5 copies of the Paperback, signed by BOTH the author and the illustrator,
    4) 5 copies of the Hardback, signed by BOTH the author and the illustrator.

    Includes:
    • E-Book version of the book
    • Hardback Personally Signed by the Author & Illustrator
    • Paperback Personally Signed by Author & Illustrator
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Become a Sponsor! - For Organizations

    Your organization name and logo will be displayed as a sponsor inside the book!
    You will also receive:
    1) a shout-out on social media (which can include your logo if provided and authorized for use);
    2) the eBook; PLUS
    3) 10 copies of the Paperback, signed by BOTH the author and the illustrator,
    4) 10 copies of the Hardback, signed by BOTH the author and the illustrator.

    Includes:
    • E-Book version of the book
    • 10× Hardback Personally Signed by the Author & Illustrator
    • 10× Paperback Personally Signed by Author & Illustrator
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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    PERSONAL APPEARANCE!

    A personal visit from the author, plus 20 books! This is ideal for your school, library, or other organization's event. This reward includes:
    1) Your organization name and logo will be displayed as a sponsor inside the book; PLUS
    2) 20 Paperback copies of the book signed by BOTH the author and the illustrator;
    3) A personal (1-2 hour) visit from the author. I'll come to your school, library, business, or public event. I can do: a private reading with Q&A; a presentation on my experience with wrongful conviction, incarceration of a loved one, or advocacy; a presentation on my journey to becoming an author; etc. Before beginning my writing career, I gained more than 10 years of experience as a public speaker.
    (For locations which are outside of Alaska, or off the road system within Alaska, you must cover travel expenses.)

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Funding period

- (33 days)