LUBBOCK, Texas — On Wednesday, a Lubbock mother published the second children’s book in her series “The Adventures of Bug and Boo,” which promotes inclusivity, she told KLBK News Thursday morning.
Denay Hooks said she felt inspired to write the series after her daughter Hannah, 10, was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a rare genetic neurological and developmental disorder that causes a progressive loss of motor skills and language, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“Rett Syndrome is a mutation on one of her chromosomes that affects every aspect of her life. She has to use a wheelchair, a communication device [and] a feeding tube. She has seizures [and just had a big spinal surgery because of scoliosis,” her mother explained.
The latest book published in the series is called, “The Adventures of Bug and Boo Giddy Up to Texas.”
The two main characters “Bug’ and ‘Boo,” who are based on Hooks’ two eldest children, go on an adventure around the state of Texas. They even make a stop in Lubbock.
Another inspiration behind the book, Hooks said, is that kids are curious about Hannah’s diagnosis, but often hesitant to ask questions.
“I also noticed that their parents would discourage them to approach us because they didn’t know what to say,” Hooks said. “Now, if you can imagine on a kid’s level, that being your first experience with the person with disability, it’s a negative one, and can you imagine the other person’s experience — how that must feel for them as well?”
Hooks said she hopes this book and the conversations surrounding it will teach children to actively include others, be curious and embrace differences.
“You can be part of making everybody’s adventures come true,” Hooks encouraged. “We need to have this conversation early on with kids, because I want every child to know no matter where you come from, what you look like, what your abilities are, that we all have a special purpose. We’re all capable of relationships, of success, of contributing to our community, and having friendships.”
Hooks said she hopes to release a teacher’s guide on the book next week.
“25% of every book sale goes to the International Rett Syndrome Foundation in honor of Hannah for Rett Syndrome research,” Hooks shared.
Along with the launch, Hooks said she is planning signing events, including at least one reading event at the Playstreet Museum on November 21 starting at 9:30 AM.
Attendees must register for a play time spot, and as Hooks finalizes dates, she said she will update her social media and website.