"Adventures with Darian" is a captivating children's book written by J. L. Rames that takes readers on a thrilling adventure across the seven seas. The story follows a daring pirate named Darian, who has monocular vision and is searching for the treasure that will earn him the title of "Most Piratical Pirate". Along the way, he learns important life lessons about perseverance, problem-solving, creativity, and community.
As an elementary occasional teacher and mother of two, Rames wrote the book hoping to provide representation for children with vision impairment, like her son. She believes that disability does not define someone's ability to achieve and wants to inspire children to embrace their differences and never give up on their dreams.
Did you know that only 3.4% of children’s books have disabled main characters?
Through the character of Darian, the book also promotes the power of diversity and daring in achieving one's goals. It's a fun, engaging, and inspiring read for children of all ages and encourages important conversations about vision and eye health, diversity, and differences.
The Inspiration Behind the Story
"When my son Darian was only three years old, he was diagnosed with a rare eye condition called Coats disease. Abnormal blood vessels in his eye leaked fluid, causing his retina to swell and begin to detach. His eye rapidly degenerated. Three months later, at SickKids in Toronto, we discovered that he had progressed to stage 5 Coats and his retina had completely detached. The doctors decided that the best outcome for Darian was to remove his eye.
My son deserves to see a main character with a prosthetic eye.
Children like my son deserve to see themselves represented in stories, but more than that, they need to see themselves portrayed as regular kids where their vision impairment is NOT the focus of the story but a part of it. Wanting to share a story with my son motivated me to write this for him and other one-eyed warrior children.
The Challenges of Self-Publishing
Self-publishing the book was difficult, but Rames's passion and belief in the project drove her to take the risk. The most fulfilling part of the journey was the hope that the story would inspire children with vision impairment to see themselves as heroes and celebrate their differences.
Readers can purchase "Adventures with Darian" through the author's website and social media pages. It's a must-read for parents and kids alike, and by reading this book, children can learn important life lessons, promote diversity and inclusivity, and support the representation of children with disabilities.
As promised, here's an excerpt from the book:
"Darian wanted to prove to everyone that he was the most piratical pirate. He sailed the seven seas, searching for the treasure that would win him the title. He battled fierce storms and swam through treacherous waters. But, in the end, he discovered that the greatest treasure of all had been right in front of him all along."
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