Her dad, Dan Hummel, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and, a short time later, so was she.
Eden Hummel was only eight years old.
She’s a third-grader at Rock Springs Elementary School and she was scared, so she did what came naturally to her — she wrote a book, “The Kid Who Had COVID,” and shared her emotions.
And then she decided to illustrate it herself.
It’s her own personal story of hope and faith and, more importantly, it is in Eden’s own words.
Her grandmother, Patti Hummel, who has authored or contributed to 17 books, helped her granddaughter secure a publisher, Carpenter’s Son Publishing, in nearby Franklin, and now “The Kid Who Had COVID” is available for $9.99 on www.amazon.com.
Eden, who has since turned nine, recently spoke with Rutherford County Schools on the phone, while riding in a car with her mom, Kathy, and siblings — Finnley, Karis and Quinne — to a dentist appointment.
RCS: How did it feel the first time you saw the finished book printed and held it in your hand?
Eden: It felt really good knowing that it was done, and I felt really excited then. ... It's like now other people can read it and know what was happening and that felt good too. Like, people are actually trying to imagine it a little bit more (now that) it was on the page, so that felt good.
RCS: What made you want to write the book?
Eden: Well, what made me want to feel like I wanted to write it was helping the other kids that did go through it and are going through it still today. Letting them know that it's okay to feel scared, but you're never alone.
RCS: Did it make you feel good to write it? When you were writing it down in your notebook, did it make you feel better?
Eden: Yeah. It actually did. It made me feel a lot better when I actually wrote it down knowing what I went through ... so then other people can reflect to that from my book.
RCS: People you've never even met in your life — total strangers — could read your book and it might make them feel better. How does that make you feel, knowing that you might have an impact on people you've never even met?
Eden: Well, it makes me feel very nice. Like knowing people are actually out there buying my book. They can reflect and they can imagine how they went through it. How their parents told them they had COVID. How they all just went through it.
RCS: When you were writing in your notebook, could you have imagined that it would become a book?
Eden: Uh, not really. When I was writing it, I thought it was a book that not many people would like to read, but now knowing all those people that are actually reading it and buying it, it makes me feel very good about it.
RCS: I know you're only eight and you have a lot going on with school and playing with your friends, but any plans to do another one?
Eden: Well, not so far.
RCS: I don't blame you, but you obviously enjoy writing.
Eden: I actually do. ... I actually really do like writing and I do virtual school and we write stories.
RCS: That's great. Do you have other hobbies?
Eden: Yes. I like to sing and play with my dolls and my dog.
RCS: Perfect. Is there anything you wanted to share with me about writing your book that I did not ask you?
Eden: Not really, but I just want people to know that it's okay to feel scared and alone, but you are really never alone, and you can like reflect on my book about that.
By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT, Rutherford County Schools