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Young author seeks to change the world one crayon at a time


“More than Peach” is a picture book illustrated by Fanny Liem and written by Virginia-based 11-year-old activist and entrepreneur Bellen Woodard. Inspired by an experience she had in school when classmates referred to "the skin-color” crayon, Bellen made it her mission to help students and educators — in her school and across the country — understand that “skin can be any number of beautiful colors.”

Bellen, who was 9 years old at the time, started out by creating her own “More than Peach” brand of crayons featuring multiple skin tone choices with names like Zion, Zahara, Andes and Oasis and donating them to area schools.

To help tell her story and spread the message of “inclusivity, empowerment and the importance of inspiring the next generation of leaders,” Bellen's book was published by Scholastic in July 2022.

Bellen, a self-described “crayon activist” and CEO of More than Peach Inc., is also a dancer, professional model and member of Mensa.