'When the actual finished book was delivered to our house, I was very proud because of my accomplishment but also because the superhero is Black.'
Like many young readers, Julius Faison loves getting lost in books and following the exciting adventures of protagonists with mystical backstories. So much so, that the 12-year-old from New York City decided to pen a thrilling story of his own—one featuring a central character that reflected who he is. According to Black News, the now-published author and his mother began working on creative storytelling, when the pandemic struck and schools switched to virtual learning, in an effort to use the time at home to develop Faison's writing skills. Little did the young writer know that one of his stories would soon be published and sold across the world.
Faison's Jewels and Stella: The Secret tells the story of Jewels—who is also a 12-year-old boy like the author—his friends and his pet bird as they fight evil to save the world. "It was exciting to publish this book. To be honest, when my mom said the story could turn into a book, I was skeptical but I knew she had published before. Each day we added to the story and we worked with a team to bring the book to reality through Kindle Direct Publishing," the youngster said of publishing his first ever book.
"When the actual finished book was delivered to our house, I was very proud because of my accomplishment but also because the superhero is Black. I love Greek mythology and usually, the characters are not Black so it is nice to see a character on the cover with brown skin," he added. The student of Durham Nativity School—who lives with his mom, dad, brother, and a host of animals, including their pet parrot Stella—revealed that aside from reading, he also enjoys playing soccer, chess, gaming, and spending time with his family.
"I plan to donate some of the profit from the sales of my book to my school, Durham Nativity which is a boys' school with predominately Black and Latinx boys," Faison shared. "I also plan to save and invest in new soccer equipment and in coding technology. My dream is for the book to be made into an animated movie produced by a Black company like Tyler Perry productions!" Jewels and Stella: The Secret by Julius Faison is now available for purchase on Amazon. The book description states: "When immersed in an online video game, a sixth grade Black boy named Jewels Washington receives a call from a stranger."
"The stranger then reveals that he hacked his way into Jewel’s computer to have a conversation with him. But the things the stranger tells him leaves him completely perplexed and he is forced to question the nature of things around him. Later, while returning from a school soccer match, Jewels, his younger brother and his best friend get attacked by several mysterious people," it continues. "Their eyes and skin glowed red in the dark. As they faced certain death against the inhuman-looking monsters, a strange flying object saves them and vanishes. Slowly mysteries around Jewel’s apparent peaceful life begin unfolding, revealing the unthinkable truth behind his strange blackouts and the secrets of his parents. But the real question is, could he ever hope to protect himself and the people he cares about from his schoolmate who declares himself as a powerful warrior from another planet? Read along as Jewels demonstrates his bravery to alter the very fate of mankind from extraterrestrial threats!"