Fed up with polygraphs, security clearances and a daily commute, Caroline Lee fled a career writing classified reports for the Dept. of Defense to become a full-time storyteller and daydreamer-in-chief. Often inspired by her surroundings, Caroline's first book, "Maxzyne Meets the Mannequins," features America's most impulsive heroine, 10-year-old Maxzyne Merriweather, whose madcap adventures take place in the magical and historic city of Chicago.
Caroline currently resides in Delray Beach, Florida where the weather is much warmer than Chicago. She is a member of the Society of Childrens Bookwriters & Illustrators (SCBWI) and is thrilled that her first book "Maxzyne Meets the Mannequins" won the 2020 Independent Press Award for Children's Fiction. The second adventure in the series, "Maxzyne and the Old Horse Theatre" is now also available on Amazon and recently won two Story Monsters Dragonfly awards! Learn more at www.maxzyne.com
Have you ever tried to get a law changed? The closest I came to City Hall was in Chicago. Our condo building overlooked bustling Michigan Avenue and the "bucket boys" would drum overturned white plastic containers with zeal down below every day. They were very talented, always entertaining the tourists and generating tips galore. Unfortunately, the surrounding skyscraper windows shook with the vibrations that echoed off the hard surfaces of the sidewalks and buildings around us, the beat soaring up, up, up and into our tightly sealed windows. After an hour, it would set your teeth on edge. It was a choice topic at every homeowners association meeting. There were so many complaints from the downtown residents and offices that the city council finally set a date to discuss the issue. As I settled into my wooden chair in the big room, it soon became apparent that I wouldn't actually need to speak. All attendees had the same complaint, so they just needed our name and address. The council voted unanimously and onlookers clapped and cheered. From now on, the bucket boys just needed to tap a little more gently on those drums to keep the decibels from rattling the nerves of the local citizens. I suspect even the pigeons were relieved.
Maxzyne and the Old Horse Theatre
She eyes the thick black velvet rope marking the space for “City Officials Only.” From past parades, she knows exactly where the mayor will pull the switch for the holiday lights on Michigan Avenue. She edges closer until she is steps away from the wooden podium with the Cook County seal. Her heart thumps harder. She has to remind herself that she’s there on official city business. Hey, I’m a citizen with a petition. It can’t hurt to ask, right? All these grown-ups in suits can make anything happen when they change a law. That’s what the alderman said in class.