Tammy Donahue


I believe strongly in the power of literacy and am dedicated to inspiring students to be passionate readers and writers. My love of West Virginia and my desire to inform others about a small part of the history and culture of this great state, and my love of family, students and all children inspired me to write my books.

My Current Selections


My inspiration for Dr. Darcey was an incident that occurred in my classroom. Like Dr. Darcey, I have a hearing loss. One day in class, a student made a statement to me, and I totally misunderstood what she said. When I repeated to her what I thought she had said, everyone in the class burst into laughter (including me). Then I thought about how much students in my third-grade class enjoyed the Amelia Bedelia series. In these books, Amelia Bedelia interprets everything that is said to her literally. As a result, her actions lead to a funny and silly story. I thought that I would use this idea and create amusing mishaps that occur in a classroom
because the teacher misinterprets what students say due to her hearing loss.

Dr. Darcey also centers on the importance of student-teacher relationships in the classroom. I attribute nearly every success I have made in teaching to the strong bonds I form with my students.

Dr. Darcey is an excellent book for children to read on their own or with a parent or grandparent. It is an outstanding read-aloud book for the classroom. It is an excellent book for principals and other school leaders to share with colleagues as a first of the year inspiration to encourage strong student-teacher relationships. Dr. Darcey is a sweet story of a teacher who loves her students and students who love their teacher and all the benefits that are derived from this reciprocal relationship.


My students inspired me to write “Emma.” We were discussing events of the ’60s and ’70s and focusing on the Civil Rights Era. I shared with them some of my experiences in middle school at Park, in Beckley, when busing for integration was in place. I wanted my students to understand and feel the emotion of that era as I experienced it.

The book naturally progressed to other areas of concern for teens – problems that most of us face when coming of age. I wanted them to know that they were not alone in the issues they may face, and that they were also not alone in their struggle to make the right decisions and choices. “Emma” is meant to provide understanding, reassurance, empathy, and comfort for young adolescent/teen readers.

Mystery Kisses and Chicken Poop

As I wrote my book, I began sharing it with my students, and they loved hearing the sweet, funny stories. I began to realize that the stories were perfect for parents and grandparents to share with their families, as it conveys the beauty and value of strong family relationships.

“Mystery Kisses and Chicken Poop” has valuable lessons to inspire students to do their best work and to make the most of their school experience. It demonstrates the value and intrinsic rewards for a job well done. Young girls will be inspired to be bold and set high goals. It helps children, and reminds adults, to appreciate simple pleasures.


Me sharing Dr. Darcey with the Patch Club at Bradley Elementary School.
WCIR Interview

Look For These Upcoming Titles

Just Breathe

A love story set in a coal mining town in WV.