Mia Simpson Coulton

Author and Owner

Mary Ruth Coulton (nee Simpson), named after BOTH of her grandmothers, grew up in a home filled with pets that included a white mouse, parakeet, chicken, alligator, hamster, turtle, and assorted rescued cats. Mia, her name simplified by a brother who was unable to correctly pronounce Mary Ruth, also had a dog she named Rhubarb. With a mother who was a librarian, it’s no wonder that Mia loved books.

After completing a degree in elementary educational from Rio Grande College, Mia continued her education with graduate courses to earn a Certification in Reading Recovery®, a program she continues to support to this day with scholarships.

Mia was already a published author when she began writing about her dog Danny in 2001. She was working as a Reading Recovery® teacher in Shaker Heights, Ohio and had a student who, up to that point, had shown no interest in reading. The boy’s family had a yellow Labrador Retriever and it was the end of October. Mia wrote Halloween Danny, using pictures of her own yellow lab. It was the first book her young student wanted to read.

Since writing that initial Danny book, Mia has sold well over 1,000,000 books about Danny and other characters. She has helped an untold number of children learn to read. Getting children excited about reading and helping them feel successful are the achievements about which she’s most proud. And her favorite MRB book? “Well, anything with Bee,” she says, “just because Bee’s funny.”

Carol Stroia

Carol Ann Stroia

Marketing and Communications

Carol worked in banking, publishing, and healthcare before finding her way to MaryRuth Books. A proud grammar geek, she’s responsible for the written communication between MaryRuth Books and our customers. Carol’s favorite thing about working at MaryRuth Books is that half of her coworkers have 4 legs. She loves being able to bring her own dog, Mr. Darcy, to the office. Mr. Darcy has even found his ways into a few books with Danny and Norman. Her orange and black cat, Piper, is satisfied to remain at home… for now. When not at work, Carol enjoys gardening, binge-watching Netflix and Hulu, and attending the occasional yoga class.

Kaye Hood-Tatara

Kaye Hood-Tatara

Business Manager and Curriculum Development Specialist

Kaye has an extensive background in inquiry-based early education ranging from the Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Academy of Sciences to the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

At MaryRuth Books, she coordinates supplemental materials for our books. You may also meet her at national and local literacy conferences. Kaye enjoys her home life with husband Mark, a son and a daughter, and Moose, who, according to Kaye, is the greatest cat on earth. The large, male, black and white cat’s interests include ham, chasing chipmunks, and an evil plan to overthrow Kaye’s daughter in the family pecking order.

Amy and Norman

Amy Musser

Social Media / Creative Support

Amy comes from a long line of educators. She earned her Master’s in Education from The Ohio State University and worked as a teacher before deciding to stay home to raise her three children. Amy is also a maker. She enjoys all things creative and loves the challenge of mastering new skills and techniques.

At MaryRuth Books, Amy maintains our social media outlets. Additionally, she designs posters, makes costumes and backgrounds for the books, and takes some of the photos. You may also find Amy representing MaryRuth Books at education and literacy conferences across the country. During her free time, Amy likes to drive her kids to their various activities, read, explore, and walk her own Yellow Labrador Retriever, Obie, with her husband, Chris.

Laura Gooding

Administrative and Creative Support / Snail Curator*

Working in the shipping department at MaryRuth Books as an undergraduate student in 2004 was Laura’s first job. After a few years of teaching high school English, she took time off to become a stay-at-home mom. This year, Laura returned to MRB while she is pursuing her Masters of Arts in English. Juggling work, school, and a family that includes a husband, three young children, a crazy chocolate lab (named Moose), two cats, and Shelby (a Russian Tortoise) doesn’t leave Laura with much free time. In those rare moments of peace, Laura loves to read, edit video scrapbooks, and binge-view favorite shows like Game of Thrones and The Crown.

* Snail Curator has been temporarily added to Laura’s responsibilities as she helps Mia with an upcoming book.


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