Storybook ending

Freshman publishes children’s book, uses faith as inspiration

The Cat in the Hat, Rainbow Fish, Love You Forever, and other well-known children’s books line the shelves of most homes with small children. These books touch the hearts of countless families and create unity among generations. Freshman Cameron Liotta has entered the arena of children’s books with his story, A Poor Man’s Spirit, based on his faith and Christianity.

“My book is about an old man who comes to know Jesus through a wonderful lady who sees him on the side of the road,” freshman Cameron Liotta said. “The lady invites him to church and he comes up with reasons to not go but over the course of several weeks he goes to church with her.”

The first thing Cameron’s mom thought when she heard that Cameron wanted to write a book was that he was going to be an inspirational author. She did not know what he would write about until he had already written it.

“Cameron presented his idea to me as if he was presenting a business plan,” Mrs. Liotta said. “He talked in detail about the characters he had created, about the plot of the story, and about the message he wanted to spread: that everyone is welcome to attend church, no matter what you think about yourself, how you dress, or what has happened in your past.”

Cameron immediately enlisted his grandfather, Abelardo Fonseca, to illustrate the book and, according to his mother, this grandfather-grandson duo was a match made in heaven.

“It was very easy to work with my grandfather as an illustrator because he understood exactly what I wanted on the page,” Cameron said. “He could modify as he drew and the drawing took several days. Each drawing was a special project with my grandfather.”

Cameron wanted children to understand the message in his book while allowing them to also enjoy while they learn.

“It is important to connect with children through stories and illustrations because that’s the way they understand things best,” Cameron said. “I feel like children can understand messages and morals best through storytelling. I hope that children learn that everyone should feel welcome at church and that there shouldn’t be any shame in inviting people who seem like they need it.”

Freshman English teacher Rachael Stephenson enjoys Cameron’s book and the lesson that comes with it.  

“Cameron’s book teaches an important lesson about reaching out to others through Christ. I think Cameron chose to tell this story because of his faith,” Stephenson said. “He sees the importance of reaching out to help those who are broken and hurting and inviting them to find comfort in Christ. This book offered him the opportunity to show others how they can do the same.”

Cameron’s mom hopes his book will strike a chord with others and sees how it has already impacted her son’s life and helped him develop skills.

“Through this process, Cameron has become a better public speaker,” Mrs. Liotta said. “He has been interviewed for newspapers, magazine articles, and on live television. He is fearless, just doing whatever is asked of him.” 

Stephenson also sees the growth in Cameron’s skills and believes that he will continue to leave his mark.

Cameron was already an advanced writer at the beginning of his freshman year,” Stephenson said. “He’s been willing to experiment with different genres of writing, which has helped him develop voice and style. Cameron is a kind and respectful student with a strong work ethic and I’m excited to see all the things he’ll accomplish at BHS and beyond.”

Cameron plans to write a prequel and sequel to his book. His current book, A Poor Man’s Spirit can be purchased through any major bookstore such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target. The best way to pick up a copy is to talk to him directly so he will also be able to personalize the book with an inscription.