In a blend of passion for animals and a love for hockey, 10-year-old Berlin Community School student Landyn Ford has penned the children’s book “Bailey’s Special Stick.”
The story revolves around a dog with dreams of playing ice hockey on the now untouched backyard rink built by his owner for his son, Landyn. The book has touched the hearts of readers globally, captivating audiences from Australia, Germany, Canada and Switzerland.
Landyn – who was 9 when he wrote “Bailey’s Special Stick” – is now a published author with a number-one bestseller in children’s hockey titles on Amazon.
Besides the twin inspirations of animals and hockey, the book’s characters and storyline are described as a blend of imagination and random name choices that make for a narrative that resonates with readers of all ages.
Despite initial challenges when an illustrator fell through, Landyn and his family overcame obstacles by utilizing Fiverr, a platform for freelance illustrators. The collaborative effort resulted in a book that not only fulfilled Landyn’s goals, but also notched a high 4.9/5 rating in some reviews.
Landyn’s parents – proud of his growth as a writer – praised the thoughts that went into “Bailey’s Special Stick” and have emphatically supported their son’s creative endeavors.
“It was important to never doubt what he wanted to do and encourage him to do that, and telling him to push towards his goal and we could figure things out,” noted Landyn’s mom, Stacy.
The young author wrote about 30 words a day and the finished product drew feedback from a reader in Australia – among others around the world – who had also written their first book at 10. That had a lasting impact on Landyn, who encourages other aspiring young writers “to keep on going and don’t stop.”
Landyn and his parents were also surprised about feedback they got from former teachers of the young writer who reached out, expressing their happiness and eagerness to buy his work. His friends are also purchasing the book, and others have received “Bailey’s Special Gift” copies as Christmas gifts from Landyn’s parents. Landyn also took time to autograph books for his hockey teammates.
As Landyn looks to the future, he envisions writing other books on the continuing adventures of characters in his first title and introducing more of them to his readers. He also wants the creation of “Bailey’s Special Stick” to serve as an inspiring tale for other young writers who dream of sharing their stories with the world.
Profits from the book – it has sold more than 3,500 copies worldwide – will go toward Landyn’s college fund, a sum that will be a testament to the author’s youthful achievement and the power of a determined mind.