By Adriana Parente
Almost every student is familiar with hard work — it comes with the territory. But third-year journalism student Yara Kashlan is more familiar than most, releasing two children’s books this summer and undertaking the marketing and promotion herself.
Yara Kashlan’s first book is titled, Curry, Sushi and Falafel. The story addresses the acceptance and enthusiasm of trying different foods.
“Children are able to learn about and accept other cultures, building bridges rather than bullying each other for what is different and unfamiliar,” Kashlan said. Her younger sister, who was teased at school for eating cultural food, inspired the moralistic book. It was published July 7.
Her second book, which was published Aug. 7, is based on a character named Mona, who learns about the importance of being neat and organized through humour. The tale is named Messy Little Missy.
Kashlan began writing during high school when she undertook a creative writing assignment.
“Ever since then, [the book] has been on a shelf collecting dust,” she said. It was only this summer that she discovered Summer Company, a grant program for student entrepreneurs offered by the Ontario Government. Kashlan started a small publishing company, A RAY Creative Publishing, with the $1,500 grant and undertook all the roles herself, including writing, marketing and accounting.
“I learned a lot in such a short amount of time about what it takes to run your own business,” she said.
“I would love to keep on using my craft as a storyteller and continue to write children’s books that will inspire and education, while still being fun,” she said of her future in writing. Kashlan is currently working on her third book, which she hopes to have published in the future.