North Central Phoenix is known for its unique mix of old and new housing, its laid-back vibe in a bustling major metropolitan city, and for being a place where families come and stay to raise generation after generation in this vibrant core.

More recently, North Central also is becoming know for its creative residents who have developed new products, launched innovative websites, and for at least a half-dozen denizens, penned books ranging from children’s stories and photographs of fathers with their children, to a fictional novel about parents trying to keep their daughter from a disastrous marriage, and a non-fiction book about the Granite Mountain Hotshots and the fire that took their lives in 2013.

Bonnie Apperson Jacobs and Terri Mainwaring

Bonnie Apperson Jacobs, left, and Terri Mainwaring, both longtime North Central residents, have co-authored their first children’s book, “They Call Him Grumpa,” a story about the relationship between a young boy and his grumpy grandfather (submitted photo).

Bonnie Apperson Jacobs, left, and Terri Mainwaring, both longtime North Central residents, have co-authored their first children’s book, “They Call Him Grumpa,” a story about the relationship between a young boy and his grumpy grandfather (submitted photo).

Longtime North Central Phoenix residents and authors, Bonnie Apperson Jacobs and Terri Mainwaring, recently introduced their first co-authored children’s book, “They Call Him Grumpa.”

Perfect for ages 3-7, this heart-warming, family-friendly read-aloud describes the relationship between a young boy and his grumpy grandpa. While it seems to some of Grumpa’s family members that he is an old grouch, Brady sees the real grandfather. This relatable book stresses family values.

“Bonnie and I have been co-workers and dear friends for over 30 years,” Mainwaring says. “We worked as teachers and then administrators in the Peoria Unified School District. Upon retirement, we both worked together refining our writing skills by joining a writing group. We wrote for three years with this group and were then ready to move forward with a book. We love working together and inspire each other in whatever we are writing.”

Jacobs and Mainwaring are long-time educators, experienced in classroom teaching, early childhood development, library science, school administration and public relations. Both understand the importance of engaging young children in literature.

“They Call Him Grumpa” is available at Changing Hands Bookstore-Phoenix, 300 W. Camelback Road ($11.95), and will shortly be available on as well. The book can be found online now at

Phoebe Fox

Phoebe FoxPhoebe Fox spent her childhood in North Central and returned in 2003, when she and her husband bought a home in the community. Fox is the mother of three boys and an author of “Starry’s Haircut.”

Spring is in the air, and Starry the Sheep needs a haircut. But she is worried and afraid to lose her cozy wool. Fox was inspired to write Starry’s Haircut by one of her sons, who at 2 years old, was terrified of getting a haircut. At the same time, Fox’s older child was attending Montessori Center School at 19th Avenue and Butler. There, the students helped care for a sheep named Starry, and observed her having her wool sheared every spring. The author wondered if Starry was ever nervous about her “haircut.”

Fox began her career as a first grade teacher, but her passion for children’s literature motivated her to become an elementary school library media specialist. Most recently, Fox managed a small school library in Paradise Valley, where she shared her favorite books and taught library skills to children ages 3-10 years. “Starry’s Haircut” is her first published book, and it is available at ($17) and also at Write-Ons, Etc., 6201 N. 7th St. She has another book scheduled to come out in August titled, “Up Up Up.” To learn more, visit

Terri Fields

Terri FieldsTerri Fields has lived in the North Central area for almost 40 years and was a teacher at Sunnyslope High School for 38 years, as well as a former Arizona Teacher of the Year.

Fields is a children’s book author of 22 published books. She has been invited to schools throughout the United States and abroad for author visits. One of her more recent picture books, “One Good Deed” ($6.50, has won a Christopher Award for 2016, which was presented to her in New York in May. The Christopher Awards celebrate writers, producers, directors, authors and illustrators whose work “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.”

“The award means a lot because the whole idea behind writing ‘One Good Deed’ was to show even the youngest of children that they can make the world a little better by trying to be kind,” Fields says.

“One Good Deed” is available at and ($6.44 paperback). To view all of Fields’ available books, visit

Sheila Grinell

Sheila GrinellNorth Central resident Sheila Grinell is debuting her first novel, “Appetite,” about two parents in a shaky marriage who must stop their daughter from marrying a guru she met in India before the wedding takes place.

Grinell had a 40-year career creating science museums (including the Arizona Science Center) and then decided to change paths and write fiction. “Like the characters in  my first novel, I’ve accumulated a broad range of experience,” she says.

“I’ve been a hard-driving business executive and a wife and mother. I am certified to teach yoga, and adept at math and science.”

Born in a taxi in Manhattan, Grinell studied at the Bronx High School of Science, Harvard University, and the University of California, Berkeley. She live in Phoenix with her husband and very spirited dog.

“Appetite” is available at Changing Hands Bookstore ($16.95) and ($12.34). To learn more, visit

Fernanda Santos

Fernanda SantosEvery summer, elite groups of men and women known as Hotshot crews brave the elements to fight wildfires raging around the country. On June 30, 2013, 20 men known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots set out to quell the Yarnell Hill Fire in Central Arizona, not far from their home base of Prescott. Nineteen lost their lives in the fire, the greatest loss of firefighter life since the 9/11 attacks.

In “THE FIRE LINE: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and One of the Deadliest Days in American Firefighting,” New York Times Phoenix Bureau chief Fernanda Santos has written a riveting narrative of an unthinkable disaster, a remarkable group of men, and the raging wildfires that threaten our country’s treasured wild lands.

Santos, who lives in North Central Phoenix, brings these complex and brave men into vivid focus. Santos has talked to each of the victim’s families to learn who these men were and what motivated them to action.

Santos covers Arizona and New Mexico for The New York Times. This is her first book and it is available now at local and national bookstores or on ($15.84).



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