Helping kids to be themselves and tune into their natural gifts is the goal of a new book from Gig Harbor author Alexandra Folz.
The book, called “The Heirloom,” is the culmination of a 16-year project for Folz, 44, who had originally envisioned the story as a trilogy but decided instead on a single book.
“The reason I wrote it is because I think it’s really hard for anyone to stay who they are (as they grow up),” she explained. “Kids know who they are ...(and) this was written to affirm who they are.”
Based on Fox Island, the book follows an 11-year-old protagonist, Indigo Monroe, through an adventure-filled story that offers both fantasy and mystery for readers ages eight to 12, though Folz said the book is suited to any age.
The reason I wrote it is because I think it’s really hard for anyone to stay who they are (as they grow up). Kids know who they are ... (and) this was written to affirm who they are.
Alexandra Folz, author of “The Heirloom”
The book includes illustrations from local children’s illustrator Carol Ann Johnson, who Folz has been working with since 2008.
“I think it’s for the young and old,” she said. “It’s a tool. It can be used as a tool ... to support kids and expand their awareness.”
The story tackles adult issues — including identity and self-esteem, courage and forgiveness — and presents them in a way for younger readers to both relate with and enjoy. The book also teaches children about mindfulness and consciousness, ideas that are popular with many adults and are introduced to children in an age-appropriate format for them to easily incorporate into their lives.
“We’re talking about a lot of adult concepts and put them into an enchanting story for kids,” Folz said. “My hope is that when they read it they find everything they need to be themselves without fear.”
We’re talking about a lot of adult concepts and put them into an enchanting story for kids. My hope is that when they read it they find everything they need to be themselves without fear.
Folz started writing “The Heirloom” in 2000 while she was working full time as a nurse practitioner, even though she didn’t enjoy writing at the time.
“I felt it was important for me to share an idea I had,” she explained. “It was a calling.”
She and her husband Brian moved their family from Michigan to Gig Harbor nine years ago, where Folz now volunteers for hospice with CHI Franciscan Health and runs an intuitive reading and consulting practice.
Her natural empathy and heightened intuition has been apparent since childhood and is part of the inspiration for her book, to encourage children — and adults — to remain connected to natural gifts and a strong sense of self.
“I think we all have certain natural abilities and gifts to offer to the world,” Folz said. “I feel like a lot of kids disconnect from their natural gifts. This (book) is a tool so as they grow they can feel confident in who they are.”
To celebrate the release of her book, Folz is hosting The Heirloom’s Birthday Party from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 28 at Rosedale Hall. To RSVP and for more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
“A lot of heart has been put into (this book). It’s not something that’s been done quickly and thrown out there,” Folz said. “This is a very unique story.”