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The lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic in Canada was an opportunity for the 10-year-old student Kiana Sosa to fulfill her dream of becoming an author.

Kiana Sosa’s book entitled Ellie and Lou and the Meaning of Friendship featuring two elephants as the main characters in a tale about friendship, kindness, empathy and co-operation, was written last year for a classroom project.

It was chosen then as one of the winning submissions to a local writing contest, but thanks to Covid-19 lockdown Kiana managed to publish it during that period.

Kiana’s self-published book sold more than 500 paperback copies and had more than 1,000 e-book downloads on Amazon. Proceeds will be donated the International Conservation Fund of Canada.

Karoline Urena, Kiana’s mother, said she had no previous knowledge or experience in publishing a book, and she knew it would “take a lot of work,” but she wanted to do “whatever it takes” to help her daughter.

After hours of online research and reaching out to different people, Kiana and her mother wrote out a step-by-step plan. Eventually, the two were able to find an editor and an illustrator to help make Kiana’s dream a reality.

Kiana said: “I love reading and I really wanted to know how it felt to actually be a writer”, adding that the pandemic and shift to online learning helped her find the time to work on the book.

Kiana’s teacher, Livia Chan who encouraged the Grade 5 student to continue writing, said it wasn’t long after Kiana got her first book into print that Chan encouraged her to write the sequel, called Ellie and Lou: Gardeners of the Jungle.


“One of the things I love to do is just believe in my students until they believe in themselves. Just the way she can use words to affect people is truly amazing for a 10-year-old,” she stressed.

Kiana has been invited to do dozens of classroom readings through Zoom and talk to other elementary school students about her journey. She is already thinking about ideas for her next book.

Source: CBC News