A majority of people don’t like going to the doctors for shots, even more so when you’re a kid. But with nine-year-old Sanaa George’s new book Sistas Unite, the experience can be seen not as a scary one, but brave. The children’s book which outlines Sanaa explaining to her younger sister Milan shots are okay after Milan faints in the doctor’s office is meant to encourage children to not be afraid of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Sanaa says it all started at Steele Elementary School, when she was writing an essay for a Parents As Reading Partners writing contest. There she won the contest out of her entire fourth grade class and “asked my mom if we could turn it into a book,” she says.
The plot is about two sister who argue nearly the whole book about getting the vaccine and the younger sister eventually ends up fainting from fright. Awakening, she discovers the ordeal is over, the shot was given while she was asleep, and no harm was done. The sisters make amends and trust one another to be there for each other.
Her mother, Fallon George, immediately investigated ways to turn the essay into a book, riding her daughter’s motivation and enthusiasm. She came across the option to self-publish on Amazon, which they did, “I wanted her to go with her dream of making it a book,” she said, saying it took about a year from writing the essay to publishing.
The message of facing your fears at the doctors was something Sanaa felt necessary to share with people in Baldwin and beyond, since it can be purchased on Amazon. Locally, she has been reading to other children at the Baldwin Public Library to spread her courage around. She recalled a positive reaction, “They liked it and it felt good (to share).”
The hope is other siblings will unite, as the title reflects, and go through life facing future struggles together, instead of alone and scared. “I felt like other siblings should unite and I feel like you shouldn’t be scared of certain things,” she said of the message of the book, continuing to say, “Never be scared and treat your siblings nicely.”
Since they were able to publish, Fallon hope’s others will join in encouraging their children to write. Something they experienced seeing mother and daughter duo Sandhyia Gosine and Isabella Brielle Ramcharitar do previously. Also from Steele, the Georges took note of how easy it was for them to self-publish. “We’re just trying to let kids know that they can do the same thing, make a little money for themselves, and encourage other kids to write,” Fallon said.
Sanaa expects to write more books in the future showing the sisters traveling different journeys and overcoming any obstacles in their way together.