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Investigating Mac’s Sports Report

Amber Ross, Product Development Manager

The idea behind Mac’s Sports Report started simply: we wanted a series about a sports reporter that had a main character who used a wheelchair, but didn’t want his disability to be the focus of the books. 

While we knew a lot about the series, and what we wanted the books to do, the adage, you don’t know what you don’t know, also rang in our ears. Having an awareness to your blind spots is the first step. Taking steps to add clarity and depth around those blind spots is the next. In other words, we knew we needed to enlist some help to make sure we got the character of Stewart “Mac” McKenzie right.

So we sought out a sensitivity consultant who had knowledge and experience to help us fully develop Mac’s character. We provided her with the series proposal and a handful of questions. Her feedback helped us strengthen the way we framed the series and Mac’s character. She also raised flags about things to keep our eyes open for, and things to consider. This provided a solid framework going into the development of the books. Then we had her review each book’s manuscript as well as the first sketches from the illustrator. Judging by the comments we received back from her at both stages, our up-front thinking and planning about this project had worked!

Mac is an intrepid, relatable character. He doesn’t let threatening parents, angry coaches, mysterious players, or his wheelchair get in the way of a good story. And I think it’s fair to say that the depth and strength of Mac’s character is in large part thanks to the feedback from our sensitivity consultant.

Mac’s Sports Report is a series for kids who love playing, watching, reading, or talking about sports. I hope readers enjoy reading the books as much as I enjoyed working on them. 

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