New children's book about nation's first black priest

Here's a children's book you might want to check out for your kids' summer reading.

And as KHQA's Rajah Maples reports, it has local ties to boot.

A descendent of Father Augustus Tolton wrote a children's book about the nation's first-known African-American priest.

It's titled, "A boy called Gus."

Father Tolton was born into slavery in Ralls County, Missouri in 1854. He later served in Quincy.

We spoke with the author of the book, Pastor Sabrina Penn, who lives in the Chicago area.

She says she wanted to make sure kids knew who Father Tolton was and to explain to them that God loves them regardless of their differences.

Penn said, "I believe the philosophical reason is if the child is too heavy or too skinny, there are different types of prejudices. So if the child's color is too dar or too light, it would help them to love themselves because God has created them."

Pastor Penn says the book focuses on four points -- God's love for all of us; slavery and how we're all created equal; keep dreaming and get an education. You can find a statue of Father Tolton in front of St. Peter's school in Quincy. He was buried in St. Peter's Cemetery at 33rd and Broadway.You can buy a copy by logging onto Great Debate Books store in Quincy also carries the book. Plus, KHQA also has donated our advance media copy to the Quincy Public Library.