Helping Kids Cope

Ruth Fein Revell 79 cropped

A new children’s book by Public Relations/Journalism alumna Ruth Fein Revell ’79 is helping kids understand the changes and challenges of COVID-19.

At a small family gathering in March, Ruth Fein Revell ’79 noticed that her grandson, 9-year-old Aiden, was unusually quiet.

“We were all talking about the social distancing that was beginning, and I realized nobody was asking the only child in the room how he felt about the crazy scenario playing out,” she says.

Fein Revell, a former stringer for The New York Times and a health and environmental writer, was instantly inspired. Over a weekend, she penned a children’s book—her first—about the challenges kids are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The story, titled "A Crazy Year, It Isn't Easy," follows Aiden as he progresses from sadness and concern about missing school, soccer, and friends, to feeling hopeful about all the good things he sees happening around him. 

Fein Revell, who lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, says the story was designed to help children—and their parents—express feelings of anxiety, fear, and disappointment, and to feel less alone.

The COVID pandemic isn't happening in a vacuum. Kids (and all of us) are dealing with other important issues around it and through it.

Written for children ages 7 to 11, Fein Revell says the book has been vetted by teachers, parents and mental health professionals and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

COVID kids book
Fein Revell's grandson, Aiden, is featured on the book's cover.

“Parents, teachers, and counselors love it,” she says, “but getting it into their hands is an organic exercise—no typical author visits at schools, no book signings at stores, no physical school settings.”

But instead of publishing the story as an e-book, Fein Revell says choosing to publish a printed book is worth the extra challenge: “While kids are learning nearly exclusively online right now, I believe holding a printed book is more valuable than ever.”

The book is published through Northshire Books/ShirePress, and is available for order through the Northshire Bookstore. Fein Revell says you'll soon find it through Barnes and Noble and Amazon, but she encourages people to support local independent bookstores. 

COVID kids book

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