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Press Release


Publication Date: March 1, 2019


Book: Hugh Manatee for President

Author: Carla Siravo 

Local Teacher/Reading Specialist - Haddon Township, NJ


“Hugh’s read more books than the local librarian. He cares about fish so much that he’s vegetarian. He wants to run in the big school election, but in his blue heart, Hugh’s afraid of rejection.”



Hugh Manatee for President is the pun-filled story of a blue “hued” manatee learning to develop confidence in his own skin; which he cannot help but notice is a few shades bluer than his predominately grey hued classmates. A big squishy manatee with an even bigger, squishier heart, Hugh has ambitions of entering his school’s class election. 

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About the Author


Carla (Heusser) Siravo is a published children's book author as well as an elementary school reading specialist in South Jersey. As a Teach for America alumni, Carla is trained in social justice advocacy for children. She transforms her students’ true-life experiences into sea adventure stories for children all over the world to read.


Carla's writing mission is to teach children empathy by creating lovable sea creature characters who find themselves struggling in “fishy” predicaments. In this parallel under-the-sea world, characters face injustices that represent the real-world inequities our children are likely to witness and/or personally experience.  Kids will fall in love with the books' sweet characters and cheer for them when they encounter hardship.

Carla's story arcs intentionally present opportunities for parents and teachers to guide children's thinking about how readers develop empathy for each character, how this empathy can be extended to other children around them, and how to preserver through troubled waters.


The book Hugh Manatee for President comes with a free Parent/Teacher Lesson Manual to support adults in their conversations with children about building empathy, social awareness, character traits, drawing inferences, and self-to-text connections.

While Hugh definitely wants to run for class president, he’s heard his fair share of whispers and snickers about his appearance over the years. In his own words, “I do think I’d make a fantastic class president, but because I am blue, you can see why I’m hesitant.”

Just as his doubts begin to get the best of him, Hugh notices the incredible blue role models around him and decides to cast his doubts aside, take the leap of faith, and run for his class election. 

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Contact Information:

Phone: 609-744-1638


To download a PDF of this Press Release, click below.

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