Student’s Book Offers Advice for Hard Times
Davis Academy student Ruby Mundell wrote a meaningful book about overcoming adversity.
It’s not every day a fourth-grader writes a book based on her challenges, offering mature advice to others dealing with difficult situations. Ruby Mundell is the rare exception, according to Davis Academy Assistant Principal Jeff Rothstein.
“In my 25 years in schools, I have only seen a young student write something this meaningful once before. What Ruby has created and shared is very unique and special, which is not surprising because she is a really unique and special kid.”
Rothstein helped Ruby develop “Kindness Come In,” her chapter book featuring her artwork and personal stories of adversity and bravery. It offers tools and tips for parents and children to face life’s challenges head-on and come out stronger.
The book also provides advice on practicing compassion, consideration, thoughtfulness, self-expression and forgiveness.
Ruby lost her father to chronic lung disease five years ago and fought dyslexia and teasing when she was younger. By expressing her thoughts and feelings through writing and drawing, Ruby said she found the healing, strength and courage to move forward.
We asked Ruby about her writing experience, her inspiration and her plans for the future. And we asked her assist-ant principal how he helped guide her.
Here’s what they had to say:
AJT: Who inspired you?
Ruby: A young girl named Ava (7 years old) wrote about having dyslexia and I thought that was really cool because she helped a lot of people, and I wanted to help a lot of people, too. So I wanted to write a book. My mom also wrote a book so I realized I could also write a book.
AJT: What was your experience with dyslexia and social challenges that led you to write this book?
Ruby: It was hard to understand the computer, but the writing part wasn’t hard. I went to Schenk (The Schenk School) for first and second grade and felt like I was ready when I came back to Davis.
AJT: Tell us about the writing process, how long it took you to write and your target audience.
Ruby: It took me about seven months to write it and the rest of the school year to edit it and get it ready to be printed. It is 57 pages long and it is for kids to help them deal with being bullied or teased.
AJT: How do you get yourself in the mood to write? When do you write?
Ruby: Usually when I get mad, I go to the computer and it calms me. When I am in a fight with my mom, sister or a friend, or when I am sad and missing my dad, going to the computer to write helps me.
AJT: What is your connection to The Packaged Good, where you had your book launch Aug. 18?
Ruby: When my dad died, he said his only regret was that he didn’t do enough good, so my mom created the PG. It is now a community place and I go there to make packages for soldiers, children in need, homeless and sick people.
AJT: What are your plans for the future?
Ruby: I want to be an art therapist because it gives me a chance to help people and do what I like.
AJT: Assistant Principal Rothstein, how did you help Ruby develop her book?
Rothstein: By the time Ruby started to share her drafts with me, we looked at ways for her to help kids dealing with some of the same challenges she encountered by being solution-oriented, positive, and using the values they are learning at home and in school to handle them. We also looked at ways for her to include her artwork in the book as this is her primary passion.
AJT: How do you feel about the accomplishment and what does it say about Ruby and the school?
Rothstein: As a community, we are very proud of Ruby for her courage and spirit of tikkun olam that are revealed in this book. The book exemplifies the values she has learned at home and at school, making her a model for what we strive to achieve, while supporting the growth of all of our students.
Ruby and her book will be featured at the Book Festival of the MJCCA Nov. 8.