More than 1,000,000 books are published in the US each year. In January of 2021, a paperback book, The Covid Monitor, was published. The audience is elementary age children, and the narrator is a young girl explaining her plans to keep everyone safe at her school when school opens back up. What makes this book unique among the millions of books is that it was written by CICS Wrightwood 4th grader London Warren with her mother, April Warren, as her co-author.
London’s inspiration for her book was Sunshine Day, the book her mother wrote and published in 2015. She said, “It seemed fun, so I decided to write a book too.” London regularly writes fiction, and loves creating characters and making up stories. Surprisingly, it only took her two days to write the story to the illustrated 30-page book. Their collaborative process was simple with London writing out her part of the story on paper and her mother April adding to the story and then typing up the manuscript.
April recalled that, “When London came to me about her book idea, I jumped right on it after I heard how knowledgeable she was regarding Covid safety.” Having worked as a special education classroom assistant at CPS and as a part-time drama teacher at CICS ChicagoQuest, April was keenly aware that kids are more likely to listen to their peers about issues because they can relate to them. She wanted to ensure that young people took Covid-19 seriously and thought what better way to enlighten them than to have the message come from a young author.
One of the interesting elements in the book is an embedded vocabulary lesson. April explained the inspiration for it. “Asymptomatic is a hard word to pronounce. Londwon had struggled with pronouncing it correctly, so I felt it was necessary for the child in the book to mispronounce the word to allow room for a fun spin on the word and to provide a vocabulary lesson.”
Both authors love to read. Some of London’s favorite books include Charlotte's Web, Dog Man and All Summer in a Day. April’s favorite author is Robert Kiyosaki and his book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, as well as her love of classic books including A Raisin in the Sun and To Kill a Mockingbird.
This is their first collaboration but not their last. London is writing her own movie script, again inspired by her mother. April already sees the success of the book. “It is educational and speaks directly to a huge issue that is plaguing the entire world and, most importantly, one of the authors is a young child.”
London’s advice to other aspiring young authors is simple. “I would tell them to write their book because, if I can do it, they can do it.” She hopes that kids pay attention to what her book says because it can help them stay safe from Covid or other health crises in the future. We look forward to continuing to follow London’s career as an author, playwright and 5th grader.
Mrs. April Warren is an award winning screenwriter and film producer. She runs her own real estate company and has a not-for-profit organization called Art Is Life. Their goal is to help young children become published authors. She is also an author, having written and published Sunshine Day in 2015. London Warren is a 4th Grader at CICS Wrightwood.