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They Called Him Harvey: Woodlands child authors, illustrates book about hurricane

Landon Hayek Hurricane Harvey

THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- When life hands you two floods in two years, what do you do? If you're 9-year-old Landon Hayek, you write a book.

"Three days after Harvey hit Texas, we started documenting Landon's experiences and illustrations," said Landon's mother Jenn Hayek, a Timarron resident in Creekside Park. "In the end, we had created a beautiful short story about love, hope, and community."

The book is titled "They Called Him Harvey."

For days I kept on hearing,

all about this guy named Harvey.

On the TV, at the store,

Harvey, Harvey, Harvey!

Jenn explained to Landon that Harvey isn't a person; it's the name of a hurricane. "I definitely did not want to find my house was flooded," said Landon, a fourth-grade student at Creekview Elementary. "That's what I was most worried about."

Landon did find his home flooded. Again. The first time was the Memorial Day flood in May 2015.

"He knew he would be okay, since we flooded before," Jenn said. "But he was scared of what he would find when he came back to the house after Harvey."

Was there water inside our house?

Would my bedroom ever look the same?

What if my soccer ball floated away?

Would I play in Saturday’s game?

Jenn said she started drawing pictures with Landon to keep him busy and let his emotions flow. At the same time, she was keeping notes on everything he had to say. The end result is the book. "We turned it into a story from his point of view," she said.

"I think it might be able to give other families the time to see that someone else went through the same thing as they did," Landon said. "I was also thinking that I wanted to bring some joy to the community that was affected."

With the help of his teacher, Landon had the opportunity to read his book to fellow classmates. "It felt good to get to read it to other people in person," Landon said. "My teacher always says 'good morning Mr. Author.' It makes me feel really happy that other people care about it."

Jenn said a portion of book sales will be donated to affected families in their community. "Our goal is for our book to reach the hands of as many children as possible who have been affected by Harvey or any natural disaster," she said.

"I want to say that this book will help you feel better about what has happened," Landon said. "It helped me a lot."

Landon ends this chapter of his life experience with a few parting words to Harvey.

"Never do that again," he said. "And I will find your house if you do."

 

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