November 2, 2022

Author Brings Character to Life Nearly 60 Years After Her Creation

Amy Meislin Pollack ’74 used COVID to push herself forward, no more excuses, and finally write the story of Jelly Bean, a fourth-grader (like Pollack herself at the time Jelly Bean was created) who faces good times and bad in her first book, The Adventures of Jelly Bean.

In fourth grade, Amy Meislin Pollack ’74 created a character in her head. It is only recently, 60 years later, that Jelly Bean has been released to the world in The Adventures of Jelly Bean. The challenges she meets include: being the youngest in her family and having three older brothers; feeling as if her parents and teachers often don't understand her; dealing with the death of her beloved grandfather; having a best friend whom her parents won't allow her to visit; and more. This middle-grade book (for ages 8-13 year-olds), set in the 1960s, reflects real-life scenarios that can be very challenging for adolescents. Pollack does a great job making all of it accessible for this age group.

For Pollack, the silver lining of the COVID pandemic was that she was more or less forced to finish her books. After graduating from Goucher in 1974 with a bachelor of arts in English, she went on to become a teacher, working with a wide range of subjects and varying grade levels. Throughout her career she tried to find time here and there to work on her stories, keeping Jelly Bean alive for all these years. Pollack is now retired and enjoying her live in Florida but has no desire to slow down on her writing; several Jelly Bean sequels are in the works.

You can read more about Amy Meislin Pollack ’74 on her publisher’s website – Austin Macauley Publishers – or on her own website,