Fifth-grade Norwalk student inspires classmates by publishing his first adventure book

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NORWALK — Kendall College and Career Academy closed Black History Month by celebrating one of its own young black leaders — recently published author Cybil JeanFils.

JeanFils, 10, a fifth-grade student at Kendall, turned up at the school on the last day of February to introduce her book, “Labor Day Adventure.” She wrote the book at home in September for fun and to share with her teacher, Caitlin Elby.

“I wrote this book because I love adventure and mystery books. So one day I combined mystery, family and hope in one book,” JeanFils told students and staff via loud speaker.

A family friend gave JeanFils the opportunity to officially publish the book through his online publishing company, Billion Publish, according to his mother, Magalie JeanFils. The book is available on Amazon in paperback.

“She wrote the book on her own,” said Magalie JeanFils. “Cybil has a wonderful mind and imagination. We are always looking for ways to encourage and support his creativity. I just knew I couldn’t let it go to waste. I had to find a way to publish it.

The book follows the story of the Namera sisters, Sara, Rose and Anna. During a visit to their grandparents, the girls each receive a necklace that gives them magical powers. The girls must use their new powers to escape the evil elves and save their grandmother.

Following the story, illustrations from the book are available as a coloring section on the final pages.

“I was really excited,” said Cybil JeanFils when she learned that her book would be published.

“Labor Day Adventure” borrowed characters from a story the author wrote in third grade about a trip to the Grand Canyon. For her next book, she wants to write about holidays celebrated around the world like Diwali, the festival of lights, and one of the biggest holidays in India.

The young author said she was inspired by things from the past. She also recently enjoyed reading the story of Malala, the Pakistani activist, because “she was no ordinary person and she had to break the rules to do something good and inspire people around the world. She even risked her own life.

Kendall’s manager, Zakiyyah Baker, compared JeanFils to fellow trailblazer Mae Jemison, the first black woman to travel to space.

“She’s done a lot of stuff, and I can see you guys doing that too,” Baker told JeanFils.

Another book is coming soon from JeanFils, according to his mother. Magalie JeanFils said they are working with her daughter to improve the structure of her plots, but she does not want to limit her daughter’s “wonderful imagination”.

“We just let her express herself through her writing,” said Magalie JeanFils. “Cybil is only 10 and at that age it’s hard to keep them away from the phone and the internet. I’m glad she chose writing as a hobby. I hope she can inspire other kids her age to do the same.

Cybil JeanFils’ advice to other aspiring young writers in Norwalk is to “be brave and be prepared for anything.”

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