Ayyam-i-Ha is a Baha’i festival that is joyously celebrated in countries and territories all over the world. It is a time of hospitality, generosity, and caring for the needy. This year Ayyam-i-Ha runs from February 26-29.
Baha’is see the young as the most precious treasure a community can possess. In them are the promise and guarantee of the future. Yet, in order for this promise to be realised, children need to receive spiritual nourishment, such as can be found in the children’s classes happening all around the world.
What You Win – A Book of Stories for the Whole Family by Donna Price
Donna Rae Price has authored a book called What You Win: Stories for the Whole Family. The book features 16 short stories. From silly to serious, these hopeful tales are about walking your own path, finding friends, fighting everyday battles and the value of demonstrating good qualities and virtues. The stories are short, sweet and sure to capture the hearts of children who are contributing to the betterment of the world.
Donna generously agreed to tell us about herself, her book, and what she hopes you’ll take away with you once you’ve finished reading it:
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in Northern California (USA), where I live with my family. My mom became a Baha’i when I was eight so I know what it’s like to go to school where no one has ever heard of your religion, or think it’s weird, or to fast during marching band in the heat, or to be quizzed by your friends’ parents. I can really relate to what many Baha’i children are facing.
I’ve been writing since childhood, but for the last 15 years I’ve been so fortunate to contribute to Brilliant Star Magazine. I get to work with a wildly talented and creative crew who are passionate about empowering children and youth. It’s a dream come true for me to have a job with so much camaraderie and hope for the future.
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little bit about your book What You Win?
What You Win is a collection of Baha’i-themed short stories starring 8-12 year-old protagonists. They face silly to serious situations with humour and hope: What’s the use of being a good example? Is prayer for real? How do you tell your friends about the Baha’i Faith? Can you save a friend who’s slipping away?
Baha’i Blog: What was something you learned in the process of compiling this book?
The most important thing I’ve learned about writing fiction is that you still have to tell the truth. The people and situations might be made-up, but the spiritual, social, or emotional parts have to be true. Wondering how you can win when other people are cheating—that feeling is real. That’s the adventure of writing fiction. You can chip away all the complicated, confused, extra stuff of “real” life and focus on universal truths.
Baha’i Blog: What do you hope readers will take away with them after they’ve finished reading?
I hope readers will feel comfort that they’re not alone, that other kids are walking these paths, trying to make friends, trying to be true to themselves, and struggling with everyday challenges. And I hope they have fun reading it.
Baha’i Blog: Who is the book’s audience?
The main audience is 8-12 year olds, but it’s good for family reading. Probably nine and up for reading alone.
Baha’i Blog: Thank you, Donna, for taking the time to tell us about your book.
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.