Children’s book author Elisa Camara to visit Big Rapids

Elisa Camara, author of “Patriot Pup” and “American Brother,” signs copies of her books. Camara will be traveling through Michigan from Monday, March 4, to Thursday, March 7, and will be making several stops in Big Rapids to speak with students and other community members about the importance of patriotism and valuing the sacrifice made by veterans and men and women currently serving in the military. (Courtesy photo)

BIG RAPIDS — For author Elisa Camara, the inspiration to begin writing was borne out of a significant personal tragedy, and now she is traveling the country to share the lessons she has learned with people of all ages.

Michigan is the next destination on Camara’s tour, with stops throughout the Big Rapids area scheduled from Monday, March 4, to Thursday, March 7.

Born and raised in West Virginia, Camara is the sister of a U.S. Marine, Sergeant Mecot Camara, who was killed in the Beirut Bombing in 1983. It was this loss which led Elisa to decide to honor her brother and those who served in the military with him by starting her career as an author and speaker.

(Courtesy photo)

Camara’s first book, “American Brother,” was written in tribute to her brother, while her next two books are targeted to a younger audience.

“Patriot Pup,” and its sequel, “Patriot Pup Volume II: Baseballs and Hotdogs,” tell the story of a young boy named Hank, his uncle, the Marine, and a bulldog puppy they find in the woods.

Camara said through the adventures of Hank and Patriot Pup, young readers learn the definition of patriotism, American traditions and the importance of respecting veterans.

“I feel children can be taught more about patriotism and the values of American and what we stand for,” she said.

Camara will be visiting Big Rapids to speak about these values.

Starting at 2 p.m. on Monday, Camara will be at Riverview Elementary School to read “Patriot Pup” to students.

In addition to the storytelling session, children will have an opportunity to write letters to deployed service men and women and complete coloring sheets.

On Tuesday, March 5, Camara also will be traveling throughout the state, and will be making two stops in Big Rapids.

At 5 p.m., she will be at the Big Rapids Community Library, and from there, at 6 p.m., she will meet with veterans at AmVets Post 1941 and American Legion Post 98.

The Ferris State University community also will have the chance to hear from Camara throughout the day on Wednesday, March 6.

Events scheduled for the day include a lunch meet and greet at 11:30 a.m., classroom discussions from 1 to 3 p.m. and a presentation from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Interdisciplinary Resource Center room 120. The evening presentation will be open to the public.

Camara said she hopes to show FSU students how writing and being creative can be a good outlet for working through difficult circumstances.

“I want to show them you can take your creativeness and do something with it,” she said.

The Michigan book tour will end with a stop at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on Thursday, hosted by State Rep. Michele Hoitenga.

Camara said she is excited to speak with and share her books with people of all ages.

“I love speaking with the children, but I really love spending time with veterans. They inspire me and need to be respected and valued,” she said.


Posted by Taylor Fussman

Taylor is the cops and courts reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review newspapers. She can be reached at (231) 592-8362 or by email at

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