A group of Bowdoin students in the 2021 Health, Culture, and Society class took on an unusual project. In the course, they discussed how living through the COVID-19 pandemic has been a taxing experience for everyone. It has been particularly difficult for children. While children appear to be less vulnerable physically to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the feelings of uncertainty, a lack of normal social interactions, lack of structure in their days, and isolation from school friends and family outside of the home have certainly taken their toll.
To help children cope and feel less isolated, Bowdoin College students: Basmattie Dookie, Hikmah Okoya, Emma Hahsey, and Joanna Lin wrote a children’s book, Coronavirus Heroes: Life During a Pandemic. Lin and Okoya illustrated the story. The Bowdoin College McKeen Center provided a grant to print copies to be distributed to the two elementary schools in Brunswick.
Although the students wrote and illustrated the book, they didn’t know how to make it a published book. Joanne Rosenthal, the mentor to one of the students, suggested that they contact Nancy E Randolph with Just Write Books, a consultant and a publisher of Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph agreed to donate her time and expertise to help the students publish Coronavirus Heroes. Working with the students via several Zoom sessions, the students added pages, modified artwork, and reformatted the book. The students even created a publishing house, Bear Bud Books, and purchased an ISBN to ensure that the book has life after their class ends.
Randolph said “I was happy to help these Bowdoin students. They were providing a great service to students, parents, and teachers. They gave dozens of copies to the two Brunswick elementary schools. It was also great to work with four very bright and engaged young people.”
Reading the story will help children understand they are not alone and help them understand that caring for ourselves and others is a superpower each of us can use every day.
You can find more information on Coronavirus Heroes: Life During a Pandemic on their website here.
Just Write Books LLC, offers publishing consulting and coaching for writers. JWB uses its proprietary High Point Publishing System with state-of-the-art technology mixed with old-fashioned writing, editing, publishing, and marketing skills to help writers become authors and authors reach their publishing goals.