Learn More About the Activist, Actress, and Author of Hope: Project Middle School
by Alexie Basil
Get to know Alyssa Milano, the activist, actress, and author of Hope: Project Middle School.
You may know her from her days on Who’s the Boss? or Charmed or her years as an activist—but now, you’ll see Alyssa’s name in a different context: on the cover of her new book! In this video interview, Alyssa is excited to share a little about Hope and the lessons she learns while making her way through the events in Project Middle School, the first book in a new middle grade series that inspires activism.
How well do you know Alyssa Milano? Check out these three fun facts!
1. She Loves Baseball (Specifically the LA Dodgers!)
“There are a lot of reasons to be proud to be a female Dodgers fan. Kim Ng [former Dodgers executive and current Senior Vice President for Baseball Operations with Major League Baseball] is one of the greatest minds in the sport today and we have the first female physical therapist in MLB, Sue Falson.” —Alyssa Milano in a New York Times interview with Benjamin Hoffman from 2009
In case you need further evidence of her love of the game, Alyssa wrote a book in 2009 called Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic. Beyond that, she created a line of baseball-themed apparel called Touch, which she modeled herself on Major League Baseball’s website.
2. She Is an Animal Rights Activist (and Loves Dogs!)
“I believe we should extend our care and concern to all living creatures with whom we share this planet.…[Animals] give me a window into a world that is different from our own, but every bit as meaningful.” —Alyssa Milano in a Parade magazine interview with Michele Hollow from 2013
Alyssa is an ambassador for Best Friends Animal Society—a prominent animal rights nonprofit. Her love for animals started young. When she was a kid growing up in Brooklyn (just across the river from our New York Scholastic offices), dogs were an important part of her daily life. “I can’t imagine what life would be like without animals,” she said in an interview with Parade magazine.
(Another fun fact—in 2013, she had a dog named Dodger!)
3. She Was a Child Actress
“I heard the applause, and right then it was all over.…I knew to myself, this is it, forever.” —Alyssa Milano
When Alyssa was just eight years old, she accepted her first acting role as an orphan in a national production of the musical Annie. (Her babysitter took her to the audition!)
From there, she landed a starring role on the hit TV show Who’s the Boss? At just ten years old, she played Samantha Micelli—the precocious daughter of Tony Danza’s character. And a star was born!
Do you have any young activists—or baseball fans or animal lovers or actors—in your class? Join the conversation with us and other Scholastic Book Clubs teachers on Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs.
Alyssa Milano began acting when she was only ten years old. She has continued to work in both TV and movies since then, including hit shows like Who’s the Boss? and Charmed. Alyssa is also a lifelong activist who is passionate about fighting for human rights around the world. She has been a National Ambassador for UNICEF since 2003, and she enjoys speaking to students in schools around the country about the importance of voting. She was named one of Time magazine’s Persons of the Year in 2017 for her activism. Alyssa lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two kids. This is her first children’s book series. Photo Credit: Dirk Franke
Debbie Rigaud is the coauthor of Alyssa Milano’s Hope series and the author of Truly Madly Royally. She grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, and started her career writing for entertainment and teen magazines. She now lives with her husband and children in Columbus, Ohio. Find out more at debbierigaud.com. Photo Credit: Greg James.
Eric S. Keyes is currently an animator and character designer on The Simpsons, having joined the show in its first season. He has worked on many other shows throughout the years, including King of the Hill, The Critic, and Futurama. He was also a designer and art director on Disney’s Recess. Hope is his first time illustrating a children’s series. Eric lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs