Ellington author and former Congolese refugee to discuss their book for children aged 8 to 12 at Tolland Library June 18

Award-winning author Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo and her co-author Ndengo Gladys Mwilelo, a former Congolese refugee now living in New Haven, will discuss their heartfelt middle grade novel, “Each of Us a Universe,” at the Tolland Public Library at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 18.
The book draws on the Mwilelo family’s stories as refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who came to Connecticut in 2013. Mwilelo became a U.S. citizen in 2019 and earned her bachelor’s degree in strategic communication from Central Connecticut State University in 2021.
The two met at IRIS-Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services in New Haven, where Ferruolo, from Ellington, is a volunteer and Mwilelo is an IRIS ambassador and after-school program coordinator.
The author visit is being sponsored by the Tolland Public Library Foundation as part of its Eaton-Dimock-King Authors Series. The talk is free, but registration is required. To register, call the library at 860-871-3620 or use the online events calendar at tolland.org/library.
“Each of Us a Universe” tells the story of two girls who go on an adventure to the top of a mountain and learn about each other, themselves and the magic friendship can bring.
When facing the impossible, Cal Scott runs from her mother, who’s fighting cancer, her father who she can’t forgive, and classmates who never seemed to “get” her anyway. Cal learns what real courage looks like when she meets Rosine Kanambe, a refugee who leaves Congo for the small Connecticut town where Cal lives.
Ferruolo is also the author of “A Galaxy of Sea Stars” and “Ruby in the Sky,” which Booklist called “quietly magical.” ‘Ruby’ was a Washington Post KidsPost Summer Book Club selection that won the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ work-in-progress award, the Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award and the New Voices in Children’s Literature: Tassy Walden Award.
A representative of River Bend Bookshop in Glastonbury will be on hand to sell books, which the authors will sign.
Since 2010, the library foundation’s EDK series has brought well-known authors to Tolland, including Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Dan Barry, Susan Campbell and Steven G. Smith; Lucy Anne Hurston, Jane Haddam, Dom Amore, Jeff Goldberg, Chris Knopf, Caragh O’Brien, Karen Guzman, P.W. Catanese, Steven Parlato, Dawn Metcalf, Denis Horgan, Cindy Rodriguez and Susan Schoenberger.


Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo


Ndengo Gladys Mwilelo