Montclair resident Alliah Agostini grew up celebrating Juneteenth in Buffalo, NY; Her grandfather was one of the co-founders of the Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo. Founded in 1976, grew to become the third-largest Juneteenth celebration in the world.

Juneteenth’s powerful spirit has endured through the centuries to become an official holiday in the United States in 2021.

Agostini is releasing her debut non-fiction picture book, “The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States” Tuesday, May 3 and will be reading the book and doing a signing at Storytime on the Green at Watchung Booksellers next Friday, May 6, at 4pm.

The book details the origins and evolution of the Juneteenth holiday, with illustrations by Sawyer Cloud inspired by Agostini and her grandparents.

A trained marketer with a passion for children’s literature, Agostini writes with a commitment to spread joy, truth, and to help more children see themselves on the page. She is a member of SCBWI, KidLit in Color, Black Creators HQ, and the PB Sunrays, and she has both an A.B. and an M.B.A from Harvard.