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Author Nicole McCandless's new children’s book Down on James Street - Published by Hard Ball Press

James Street is alive with the sound of jazz! In 1930‘s Pittsburgh, Dorothy wants to dance the Lindy Hop. She finds the perfect partner in a young boy named George. They are having the time of their life…until the police storm the dance hall and shut it down for interracial dancing...with their bully clubs.

Dorothy has faced racial prejudice all her life, and she’s not giving up on the dance, while George comes face to face with his own white privilege. He must choose between going home or joining Dorothy in the fight to keep the dance alive.


About the Author Nicole McCandless

I was raised by a few hard-working, fiery women. They passed down a love of reading

and gave me the confidence to put words on the page. I’ve had many different jobs, including grocery store clerk, hostess, retail cashier, waitress, and labor organizer. I recently dove into a life of writing and raising up two humans. I love reading by myself in bed and with my kids on the floor. Other things I love include Ben, our sisters, being outside, dancing, singing, snacks, the changing of seasons, and sending people I love things in the mail. For more information, visit https://www.nicolemccandless.com/.

About the Illustrator Byron Gramby

Art school dropout to graduating magna cum laude from Point Park with a Bachelors in

Psychology. Not content to leave his stories in the trash, Byron has self-published four other children’s stories over the years, along with two graphic novels. When he’s not creating children’s books, he’s taking a departure from children’s books to write dark, ambient synth tracks or equally grim comics. For more information, visit https://byrongramby.wordpress.com/.

Down on James Street is published by Hard Ball Press - Tim Sheard is the Executive Editor of Hard Ball Press

Veteran nurse Timothy Sheard is a writer, publisher, mentor to writers and union organizer with the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981. After writing 7 mystery novels featuring hospital custodian-shop steward Lenny Moss, he launched Hard Ball Press to help working class people write and publish their stories. Timothy believes that when workers write and tell their stories, they build rank and file solidarity and union power, as well strengthening the fight for social justice solidarity. Their stories help to combat the anti-labor and anti-working class assaults by the One Percent. Hard Ball Press is the premier publisher of working class life.

About Empathy Media Lab

The Harmony of Interest series explores ideas that positively shape our world.

Empathy Media Lab is produced by Evan Matthew Papp and we are a proud member of the Labor Radio Podcast Network. Support media, authors, artists, historians, and journalists, who are fighting to improve the prosperity of the working class.


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