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The Madison Record

Author shares ‘game day rules’ at Horizon

Author Sherri Graves Smith shared her first children’s book, “Big Al’s Game Day Rules,” at Horizon Elementary School on Dec. 14.
Sherri Graves Smith (Photo courtesy of gamedayrules.com)

Formerly, Smith worked as a corporate attorney with The Coca-Cola Company. She has started a writing career and is observing the fifth anniversary of her battle with cancer.

In her book, Big Al takes children on a game day adventure on the University of Alabama campus. Al teaches children about manners, civility and good sportsmanship. Not surprisingly, the Tigers of Auburn University are the rival team.

Smith is a native of Tuscumbia.

After joining Coca-Cola’s legal division in 2000, Smith worked as assistant division counsel in Toronto. While in consideration for a three-year position in Vienna, her career came to an abrupt halt after a routine visit to the doctor, Amy Williams said. Williams teaches students with hearing impairments at Horizon.

In November 2007 at 36 years old, Smith was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. She continues a weekly regimen of chemotherapy to fight the disease, diagnosed for her as a chronic condition.

A natural to write children’s books, Smith uses her experience in volunteering at homeless shelters, tutoring children in reading and visiting Atlanta schools to encourage children to study for a law career.

In 2010, Smith’s manager at Coca-Cola, Angus Haig, asked her to read to his children at their school, thus giving a Smith a venue to work with children. “It motivated her to become an author,” Williams said.

Smith decided to write about manners and sportsmanship because she is a fan of college football and an UA graduate. She was concerned that winning and cheering for our favorite teams had become unhealthy and was turning into bullying and verbal and physical abuse.

In a light-hearted and fun way, her writing teaches the qualities “of simply being a good sport,” Williams said.

“Big Al’s Game Day Rules” is available at Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Smith plans to write game-day books for Auburn and other SEC teams.

For more information, visit mascotbooks.com and gamedayrules.com.

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