ALEXANDRIA, VA – Eight-year-old Naevia Thompson is very creative. She enjoys telling stories and creating comic books. During breakfast with her mother Parris Elliott (who works in special education with Alexandria City Public Schools), she draws or journals. One day while at home during the pandemic, she said, “Mommy, wouldn’t it be cool if I had magic glasses?”
The little girl’s question planted the seed for “Naevia’s Magic Glasses: The Series.” The collection, with its first book expected to be released in the spring, is now in the funding phase. The story, based on real life events, is one of adventure, featuring a main character also named Naevia. One day, Naevia accidentally breaks her favorite pair of glasses. They are replaced with a magic pair that help her when she is confronted with challenges. Wearing them, she travels to meet famous women throughout American history who assist her in figuring out solutions.
Both at home and at school, the always smiling Thompson must wear glasses due to a disability called Retina of Prematurity, or ROP for short. Mayo Clinic describes the condition as “abnormal blood vessel growth in the light sensitive part of the eyes (retina) of premature infants.” Thompson was born at 30 weeks, weighing just three pounds and two ounces.
Elliott wants the book series to be a learning experience for young readers.
“We hope to inspire children, teach tolerance about children with disabilities, and bring forth prematurity awareness through March of Dimes (MoD), a nonprofit that battles complications in childbirth,” she said. “Of course, we also aim to make kids laugh!”
A Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise $8,000 by Christmas Eve. As of this writing, the amount raised equals nearly $2,600. There are different donation tiers and sponsorships. The donation page can be found HERE. A portion of the funds raised will be donated to MoD.
Elliott credits MoD for helping to improve Naevia’s health after birth. The dedicated mother is very active with the nonprofit as a mission mom and coordinator of the local sorority.
The money will also go toward self-publishing costs, including but not limited to, illustration, editing, and advertising. Elliott also wants to provide copies of the book to all of the elementary schools in the Alexandria public school system.
The plan is to publish with Archway, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster. The company assists self-publishing authors with their goals and gets copies to major retailers.
When asked why she chose a Kickstarter campaign over a children’s book publisher, Elliott mentioned the often long wait for approval and the desire to put the book series out.
“Many of the current books out currently about little Black girls are not told by former little Black girls,” she said. “We want to tell our story, support and show tolerance for kids with disabilities, and of course, have fun with reading!”
The donation page’s link was updated on Jan. 17, 2022.