Jennifer Piercy’s adventures as a children’s book author first began at the University of Central Florida.

Piercy, an elementary education major, was assigned to write and illustrate a children’s book for an elementary mathematics-education class. The book, Ellie’s Math Adventure, focused on a young elephant that longs for an expensive new bicycle.

“Throughout the story, you take the journey with her and see how determination and hard work help her toward her goal of buying the bike of her dreams,” said Piercy. “The book was designed not only to help children learn a math lesson, but also to provide life lessons that would make it captivating for readers of all ages.”

Gina Gresham, an associate professor in the College of Education, was so impressed after grading Piercy’s assignment that she encouraged her to have the book published.

After Piercy graduated from UCF in 2009, the book continued to receive support from family members, especially her grandfather. In fact, it was her grandfather who pursued the publication process when Piercy was working as a teacher full time.

“My grandfather was not only a huge part of the publication process, but more importantly he was a positive influence on my life,” said Piercy. “He was the one that pushed me the most to have this book published, and began the publication process when I was teaching and didn’t have much time on my hands.”

The book was published in February, but Piercy’s grandfather passed away before the publication process was completed.

“To see my book on the Barnes & Noble website was one of the most thrilling experiences I’ve ever had,” said Piercy. “I remember laughing and crying at the same time, because I was happy that I had finally done it, but sad at the same time that my Papa wasn’t there to celebrate with me in person. I definitely think he was jumping up and down from above with excitement and joy for all that I’d accomplished.”

Piercy will embark on a book tour this summer and hopes that the book will be incorporated in classrooms across the country as a tool to teach money and addition lessons.

For more information about Ellie’s Math Adventure visit,