Nine-year-old Mark C. Sanders is an honor roll student who’s currently enrolled in his school’s dual language immersion program. As an active baseball player who’s spent countless hours mastering his swing, his scholastic efforts and athletic prowess are melded perfectly in his first book, Knocking Greatness Out of the Park (available in English and Spanish).
Mark recently sat down with rolling out to discuss his book, ongoing writing projects and a surefire successful future.
What inspired you to write this book?
To show young readers how hard work and dedication to anything leads to greatness. I also think representation is important. When I was little, I went to the library to look for books that had characters who look like me and they were very hard to find, so that’s why I decided to create my own book. It makes me feel really good to see characters who represent me and my culture.
What three ideas or messages did you want to communicate to the reader?
Hard work. Stick to a task, and give it your all.
Dedication. Stick with it even when times may be tough, and never give up.
Persistence. Keep going even when you are tired or when you fail.
What is the story behind the title?
I love baseball and I love playing it. I am a power hitter. I hit the ball very hard, and I have hit them over the fence. My mom always talks to my little brother and [me] about being great and achieving greatness, and that’s how I came up with the name. Knocking Greatness Out of the Park is based on a true story. It’s my story of how my dad and I worked every day to achieve my goals [while] my little brother and my mom cheered me on.
Continue reading on the next page.