Lulu Junior Author of the Month

Have you ever wished for a secret oasis where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Well then, you’re in for a treat because that’s exactly what we get from November’s Lulu Junior Author of the Month, Noah Leypon!

When the story begins we see our protagonist James is unhappy with how quickly his hometown is changing. In the beginning, his house is surrounded by fields, blooming flowers and birds chirping, but over time that beautiful scene is transformed into a busy cityscape.

When James suddenly goes missing, it’s up to his friends Mike, Chris and Fin to look for clues around his house and find him. That is when they come across the infamous “Mysterious Box”! The box is opened, and they know that it must have been James who opened it.

Why a Mysterious Box, you ask?

“When my teacher gave me the assignment, to write a children’s book, by bringing a picture book to life, I knew right away that I want to write about a mystery,” says our Author of the Month. “Even with reading I’m inspired to read mysteries because they are exciting and it makes you want to read more of it.”

Mike and Chris flip through the photos they find in the box, trying to piece together what happened to their missing friend. Fortunately, they find a map and a picture of a pier! And if years of literary history has taught us anything, when you find a map in a story, you follow it.

This box is filled with photos and maps, but if Noah had a mysterious box in real life, his would be a bit different.

“If I had a mysterious box I would put my family pictures and my rosary in it. I would put those two things in my box because if I was lost with only a box I would want to be able to remember my family and that God is always there with me no matter what,” says Leypon.

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Noah and his four-legged friend pose with The Mysterious Box

Back to the story – following the map leads the trio down a tunnel, through an open hole (and the disgusting smell of seaweed) to a secret beach! Most people would agree finding a secret beach is probably better than finding your lost friend, but luckily these three didn’t have to choose – they’re able to continue on their adventure and find James!

Once found, James explains to his friends he’s been there all along, living his best life on the beach he discovered and is excited to welcome them to the party! The reunited friends spend the rest of their days at this beachside paradise. We fast-forward into the future where two new friends, Parker and Will, come across the mysterious box and begin an adventure of their own!

This story has action and suspense, but our Author of the Month wants you to get more from it than just entertainment.

“I want people to remember that when you have an idea that you want to put your mind to don’t give up and put your best into that one time opportunity. That’s what made me want to write a book because I knew if I put all my effort into it and never give up it could become a masterpiece,” says Leypon.

And just how did it feel to have that completed masterpiece in his hands?

“When I saw that my book had come back as a real hardback book that looked like a professionally published book I was so amazed that my work would turn out as a real book. It really made me happy that they took my book that I created and made it into something that anyone would be super grateful for.”

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The Artist and his Masterpiece

Are you a young author, or hope to become one? Noah has some words of encouragement for all the aspiring writers out there: “I want to let young writers know that even though you are not fully grown up you still can accomplish big things in life. You could have a bigger imagination than a teenager if you just put your mind to it and think big.”

Think big and let your imagination run wild with your very own Lulu Junior book-making kit!

Learn more about our Author of the Month Noah Leypon in the full interview below!

Lulu Junior: Where did you get your Lulu Jr. kit? Who gave it to you?

Noah Leypon: My school purchased the kit for an assignment from my fifth grade teacher.

LJ: Have you always enjoyed writing?

NL: I have always enjoyed writing since I was a little kid. When I was little on my free time I would want to go and write a story of one of the dreams I had. It has always inspired me to imagine my own story and put it onto paper.

LJ: What made you want to write a story about a mysterious box?

NL: When my teacher gave me the assignment, to write a children’s book, by bringing a picture book to life, I knew right away that I want to write about a mystery. Even with reading I’m inspired to read mysteries because they are exciting and it makes you want to read more of it.

LJ: Why did you dedicate the book to your great-grandfather?

NL: I dedicated my book to my great-grandfather because when I was looking through the pictures in the book I saw pictures of army men. The army men reminded me that he was in the army when he was younger. My great-grandfather is a veteran who fought in the Korean war. The pictures related to him because it showed groups of soldiers lining up to go fight.

LJ: What was your favorite part about writing the story?

NL: My favorite part about writing The Mysterious Box was getting to think and imagine my own idea of how a box could be so inspirational to me. When I got to draw and bring the book to life a million ideas popped in my head which had made me think of the wonders a box could bring to my head.

LJ: If you had a mysterious box, what would you put in it?

NL: If I had a mysterious box I would put my family pictures and my rosary in it. I would put those two things in my box because if I was lost with only a box I would want to be able to remember my family and that God is always there with me no matter what.

LJ: How did it feel to see your story published into a book?

NL: When I saw that my book had come back as a real hardback book that looked like a professionally published book I was so amazed that my work would turn out as a real book. It really made me happy that they took my book that I created and made it into something that anyone would be super grateful for.

LJ: What do you want people to remember from your story?

NL: I want people to remember that when you have an idea that you want to put your mind to don’t give up and put your best into that one time opportunity. That’s what made me want to write a book because I knew if I put all my effort into it and never give up it could become a masterpiece.

LJ: Do you have any advice for other young authors?

NL: I want to let young writers know that even though you are not fully grown up you still can accomplish big things in life. You could have a bigger imagination than a teenager if you just put your mind to it and think big.

LJ: What will your next story be about?

NL: My next story would be about a journey through my middle school life. I want to write about the adventures through middle school so that younger kids could know an idea of what their future life could be about when they get older and smarter.

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