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KAREN M. GREENWALD is an award-winning children’s author.

Her book, A VOTE FOR SUSANNA, THE FIRST WOMAN MAYOR, was named a Kansas Notable Book in 2022. Kansas chose it to represent the state at the Library of Congress National Book Festival and in the Library of Congress’ Great Reads from Great Places initiative.


THE MUD ANGELS: HOW STUDENTS SAVED THE CITY OF FLORENCE, her next book, launches in April, 2024. It is currently available to purchase on pre-order. Karen cofounded the #SunWriteFun writing contest, which promotes indie bookstores and raises money (or book donations) for under-resourced school and public libraries. Her strategic branding efforts have earned seventeen international awards.

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KAREN M. GREENWALD’s debut, A VOTE FOR SUSANNA, THE FIRST WOMAN MAYOR, is the first/only book to shed light on this long-forgotten, ceiling-breaking, bully-trouncing hero. It was named one of fifteen Kansas 2022 Notable Books. The Kansas State Center for the Book honored it as their Library of Congress Great Reads from Great Places selection. Ms. Greenwald's book represented Kansas at the 2022 Library of Congress National Book Festival and is permanently featured on the Library of Congress Center for the Book’s website. A VOTE FOR SUSANNA appeared on the engineer/editor run website,’s 2023 list of, “The 20 Best Children’s Narrative Nonfiction Books About Women” It also appeared on A Mighty Girl's 2021 Books of the Year list.


Ms. Greenwald is active in several children’s literature (“kidlit”) organizations. She has been admitted into The Children's Book Guild. Ms. Greenwald co-founded #SunWriteFun, a popular nonfiction writing contest that promotes indie bookstores and garners donations of books to under-resourced school and public libraries.


In April, 2024, the picture book, THE MUD ANGELS: HOW STUDENTS SAVED THE CITY OF FLORENCE (Albert Whitman) launches. Like her previous book, it is based on a wealth of primary research. Sixteen Mud Angels, Florentines who lived through the flood, and other related parties were interviewed.


Professionally, Greenwald is a brand strategist. This year, she received her seventeenth international award—a Platinum Marketing Effectiveness Award in Education—for her promotion of A VOTE FOR SUSANNA. Her other wins include international awards in the following categories: STEM creative, writing, video, rebranding, and self-promotion. 

Bylined credits include online, print magazines, and The Washington Post. When serving as an honors attorney, she focused on international environmental protection and compliance. A Phi Beta Kappa, Ms. Greenwald earned both undergraduate and JD degrees from Georgetown University.



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On the 57th anniversary of the Arno flood-at the center of THE MUD ANGELS-as the Tuscan region was experiencing another dramatic flood, INTOSCANA (the portal for Tuscany) featured an article/interview with Karen M. Greenwald on the homepage of their news site (along with minute to minute flood coverage).  

Click HERE to read journalist Marta Mancini's article.

industry recognition


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Kansas Notable Books is a project of the Kansas Center for the Book, a program at the State Library of Kansas which is the state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book. 

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Every year, the Library of Congress Center for the Book features

a book from each state and territories, creating an annual list of

Great Reads.” Books are chosen by their state library or LOC affiliate.

A Vote for Susanna, The First Woman Mayor has been chosen by

the Kansas Center for the Book to represent Kansas for this list and at the 2022 National Book Festival of the Library of Congress!

Click HERE for more info.

The State Library of Kansas is proud to name A

Vote for Susanna as the book

to represent Kansas at the National Book Festival

-State Librarian Ray Walling 

“In the aftermath of disastrous 1966 Arno River floods in Florence, a group of visiting students—international but many from Florida State University—voluntarily joined in relief efforts by slogging through the dangerous muck to rescue books from the national library. Lee’s scenes of tumultuous waves washing down city streets amply convey a sense of the widespread devastation to go with Greenwald’s vivid descriptions of the wreckage: “Mud, mud, mud. / Slimy, sticky, stinky mud. / Everywhere. / Everything covered in mud.” The volunteers’ dedication comes through clearly, too (“Arms and legs plunged into gooeyness. / Noses burned with every chemical breath. / Faces almost touched the mud. / Searching.”), as they form human chains to carry volumes to safety and hang them up to dry. Their effort was just part of a much larger one, but as the author notes in her more-detailed afterword, some of these “Mud Angels” came back 50 years later and were still treated like “rock stars.” A true episode worth commemorating.”

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Factually accurate and accessibly told.

Our verdict: GET IT

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A children’s librarian reviews twenty of the best children's books about women who have improved our world with creativity, tenacity, and problem-solving skills. Use these books at home, in the classroom, or read aloud in any setting. Click HERE.


VERDICT: An engaging work of narrative nonfiction that has clear applications

in classrooms and school libraries. Recommended for elementary collections

“Ed wants to know if boys can bake cakes, too, or if baking is only for girls. His grandmother Dora tells him the story of Susanna Salter, a woman who defied the gender norms of her era and became the U.S.’s first female mayor when she was elected in Argonia, Kansas in 1887. The book ends with a surprising twist. Students will appreciate the straightforward language and engaging images. The colorful illustrations are appealing enough to intrigue curious readers. Historical details in the images support comprehension of the narrative and anchor students in an unfamiliar place and time. Teachers will appreciate the author’s message and theme. There is also a clear application with social studies and history standards. The book is based on solid historical research and the research method is discussed in the back matter; librarians even get a mention! The back matter also includes images of and more information about Salter.”

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The Summit Awards organization is an international arbiter that celebrates companies and individuals whose creative efforts and marketing acumen stand out for their ingenuity and success.


To win a Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award, winners must excel in changing, influencing, and/or reinforcing audience knowledge, attitudes, or beliefs.


This year's competition received submissions from 1900 companies. Entrants ranged from small and mid-sized agencies to large entities such as Bank of America. Click HERE for info.


"History essentially ignored Susanna Salter's world-captivating triumph for over a century...I strongly believed the unknown details could galvanize important conversations between and among children and adults. Having the prestigious Summit judges honor my educational marketing with a Platinum MEA is an incredible endorsement, especially given the impressive and extensive international competition. I am also proud that everyone from the Kansas State Library, the Library of Congress Center for the Book, to women mayors across the country have supported, shared, and emotionally connected with Susanna's story through my book and strategic initiatives."

TOM MACDONALD (Director of Sales & Marketing, Albert Whitman & Co.) 

"Karen was essential to the book's success. She raised awareness of Susanna's unique place in U.S. history. We commend and thank Karen for her dedication to sharing this story and inspiring young girls to make a difference in their communities."

JOCELYN LUCIANO (Executive Director, Summit Awards)

"The Marketing Effectiveness Award competition is rigorous. A Platinum Award for Karen M. Greenwald's debut book shows her agility, strategy, and delivery skills in a crowded market," said Jocelyn Luciano, Executive Director of the Summit Awards.



Karen M. Greenwald's books have received a wide range of social media and other support, from a true "Spin Doctor" (lyricist/lead singer of famed band Spin Doctors) and an award-wining actress,
to elected officials, award-winning
documentarians, "Shark Tank" deal recipients, literary
agents/agencies, international conservation organizations,
Universities, Italian publications, Italian YouTube musicians, New York Times Best-Selling Authors, indie bookstores, kidlit publications, Good Day Kansas! (NBC TV Show), Library of Congress, European journalists, non-profits, national/local museums, state/local libraries, American Federation of Teachers' online platform, public and private schools, award-winning children's author-illustrators, the Kansas Department of Education, an energy company, book marketing groups, state/local libraries, 4H, magazines, newspapers, the Kansas Historical Society, and the Kansas League of Women Voters, and the Italian Language Foundation...


“Karen M. Greenwald’s book, A Vote For Susanna is a fantastic

and important book. And so inspiring and educational! And Sian’s illustrations are beautifully done. It certainly deserves all the accolades it has been receiving."

Award-Winning Actress
Kathleen Gati
(General Hospital, ABC)

"One of my new favorite books!" ; "Susanna’s story is a wonderful tale of success in the face of adversity. Karen Greenwald’s translation of Susanna’s win into a children’s book helps us remind our young girls and boys that everyone can stand up to bullies. It’s inspiring to see.”

Treva Hodges, PhD.
1st Woman Mayor of Charlestown, IN​

"Since I'm the first, and unfortunately only, woman so far to be Mayor of my city, my heart took a flutter with joy over, A Vote for Susanna: The First Woman Mayor. A must read for all who envision gender parity in U.S. elected offices."

Melina Carnicelli
1st Mayor of Auburn, NY, 1999
Founder of 1st Amendment-1st Vote

For more testimonials, please click HERE

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