Weather Updates

Author puts a ‘little bit’ of own life in books

Big Hollow Primary School kindergarten teacher aid Kelly Polark wrote children's book 'Big Sister Baby Brother.' | File photo

Big Hollow Primary School kindergarten teacher aid Kelly Polark wrote the children's book "Big Sister, Baby Brother." | File photo

storyidforme: 37696432
tmspicid: 13811813
fileheaderid: 6358143

Updated: December 25, 2012 1:15AM

INGLESIDE — Aspiring author Kelly Polark of Ingleside entered her manuscript in a contest hoping to get a publishing contract. The kindergarten teacher’s aide at Big Hollow Elementary School was among almost 400 competitors in the contest last year.

“I was not a finalist. I got a letter saying ‘you are not a finalist and we’d love to publish it anyway,’” Polark said. “I was thrilled because that was my goal. I didn’t need to win to get published!”

Polark’s book, called “Big Sister Baby Brother,” was published in late September. It is based on her own experiences. She has three children and was inspired to write her first manuscript about seven years ago.

Her title was “The First Time I Saw My Baby.” Her publisher MeeGenius changed the title and had her tweak two lines. Otherwise, Polark’s contest manuscript was unchanged.

“I’m absolutely thrilled. It’s so wonderful to see it illustrated and so wonderful to have the public read my story,” Polark said.

She is working on another picture book, which is due to come out next year. It’s called “Rock and Roll Princess.” It is for a small publishing company called Kidfirmations that caters to positive affirmations for girls.

“They just wanted a princess theme, but not the traditional princess. I’m excited about that,” Polark said.

Her princess book is in the illustration process. Polark writes the content, but does not have a say in the artwork.

She is also at work revising a novel for middle-school grade level. It is unrelated to “Rock and Roll Princess,” but is titled “Rock and Roll Princesses Wear Black.” The novel is about a sixth grade student who is tired of being pushed aside for her goth-clothing choice. She is trying to find her own identity and feels she is being ignored at home due to a baby brother.

In addition, Polark is looking for a publisher for another picture book she wrote about spending all summer at her boys’ baseball games. She has titled it “Out at the Ballpark.”

“I’d say there’s a little bit of my experiences in what I write. I really like music. That’s why the middle-grade and picture book deal with rock and roll,” Polark said.

When she is not writing, working or taking care of her own family, Polark also compiles celebrity book recommendations on a Web site. She tries to update with a new review once a week.

“I’m hoping people will Google their favorite celebrity and will see what their favorite celebrity is reading and pick up that book. I’m a teacher, so (reading) is huge ... I have always loved reading and I want to pass that on to as many people as I can,” Polark said.

Her Web site is

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.