She is an educator, a mother, but Maya Soetoro-Ng is known to most of America as the President’s little sister. Now, she can add another title to that list: author.

On Tuesday, Maya Soetoro-Ng was in New York as part of a promotional tour for her new book, “Ladder To The Moon.” The book aimed at children takes a journey through the many of the places where a young Maya and young Barack spent their childhoods. The book’s title pays homage to their mother, Ann Dunham, who would wake the children up to look at the moon no matter where they were.

Dunham, passed away from cancer in 1995. The President has written about her in his memoirs and referred to her passing during his campaign for the White House. Her passing always left an indelible impact on Obama, who recalled her having to battle with insurance companies even as she was battling with cancer in her final days.

The passion for life Dunham possessed, is what prompted Soetoro-Ng to write “Ladder To The Moon.” Pregnant with her own daughter, she says she wanted to make sure her child would be able to learn about the grandmother she would never meet. In an interview with the Associated Press, Soetoro-Ng said she thought of her mother a lot during her pregnancy:

“…having come across boxes full of my children’s books and toys that she had saved for me. That moment was a great shuddering moment of love and longing. I really did want to somehow connect the two of them.”

In the book, Soetoro-Ng writes her mother was “like the moon…Full, soft and curious.” She says she named her own daughter Suhaila because it means “glow around the moon” in Sanskrit.

“Ladder To The Moon” gives a look into the childhood that has become subject of political attacks. While Donald Trump has been all over the news for his questioning the President’s citizenship, he is only the latest to join the throng of “birther” critics. Soetoro-Ng addressed those rumors with class and poise saying she thought they detracted from the discourse the country should be having.

“The facts are simply that my brother was born in the United States at the Kapiolani Hospital for Women and Children in 1961. His birth certificate has been authenticated by a number of sources. Really I feel that it behooves us to think about moving forward, and up, and really focusing on positive possibilities and solutions, and the facts are that my brother is a U.S. citizen.”

The President’s little sister certainly has a way with words, knowing just the right ones to use. Soetoro’s emphasis on using what we have in common to make progress is a poignant one, especially in a political climate that can often emphasize differences to spur division. And in many ways, the message of connectedness women through “Ladder To The Moon” is one the adults in this country could stand to heed as well.

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  • Montana

    Trump loves “rattling the Birthers cages”, too funny.

    The GOP is like the “Chicken Littles” always saying that the “Sky is Falling”, like the same ones that were the “Chicken Hawks” (“W” Wars), big talk no courage. The United States, favors creativity wherever it can be found. We’re apostles of prosperity and defenders of the free exchange of ideas and when more people in more countries are free to rise, to invent, to communicate, to dissent, it’s not the doom of United States leadership, its the triumph of the American way.
    Generations have worked hard and sacrificed much for the country to reach this point (individuals and our unions!), and with further hard work and sacrifice (along with our relentless self-doubt) the United States will rise again, we do not tire and we are coming back, no matter what the “Chicken Littles” keep saying about our nation. Never Bet Against the United States!
    Our current President travelled under a USA passport long before he was elected President, but I guess the quacky BIRTHERS, must believe that the USCIS – United States Passport was in on the lie, please, grow up, you are wrong! Remember when some contractors were busted during the “George W. Bush” administration for looking at our current President passport file (how quick you forget).

    The Birthers just HATE and can’t debate!
    Have any of the quacky BIRTHERS presented any credible proof that will standup in court? Answer: No
    Have any of the quacky BIRTHERS won any Court Cases? Answer: No
    They are just mainly backward, uneducated, white people who HATE our half black President.

    The majority of the voting public ask “where the proof”, show some proof BIRTHERS or the voting majority will continue to see you as dumb, stupid or racist, maybe all three. Can you blame them?

    Still, I really hope one of these retreads and blowhards runs for president, not because they have a chance of winning but because I like to see the train wreck that they will cause.

    Faux News Candidates:
    former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin ”The I graduated Early”,
    former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga. “The I Love The Interns”,
    former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee “The Huckster Reverend”,
    former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. “The I Love the Gays”,
    former UN Ambassador John Bolton “The I Love The War ”

    I Finance Myself:
    real estate celebrity developer, Donald Trump, “I took my Casino into Bankruptcy, just imagine where I can Take the US”
    former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney “The Flip-Flopping Fudger”,
    former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush “The I Am Not My “Dumb Ass” Brother”,

    Employed Long Shots:
    Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. “The History, I Don’t Need No Stink’n History”,
    Mississippi Gov./ former tobacco lobbyist, Haley Barbour “The last White Hope”

  • Isis

    I’m tired of the birthers. They need to sing a new song