News and Events
June 2024

Author’s Notes from “When Duty Calls”

Meet some of the sixth-grade Brookland Middle School authors—and their characters—from When Duty Calls, the newest 826DC book!

We’ve been working with this cohort for this year’s Young Authors’ Book Project (YABP), a full-year classroom writing and publishing project. These students are a vibrant bunch and it’s been a ton of fun to write with them. Now, they’re about to become published authors!

Their collection of hero and warrior stories, When Duty Calls, comes out tomorrow! The When Duty Calls authors will debut the book at the free, all-ages Young Writer Showcase event happening tomorrow afternoon, 4 PM to 6 PM, downtown at the MLK Library.

when duty calls

Before the students take the mic tomorrow and their book officially hits shelves, check out some of their authors’ notes below!

Authors, assemble!

Jayden H.

My name is Jayden, and I’m from Northwest Washington, DC. I am in sixth grade and wish I had a pet monkey named Egypt. My character is Jay Harris and he is a warrior. He is a warrior because warriors stand up for themselves, they fight anyone who gets in the way of what they want, and they are a little reckless.

One thing I admire about my character is his personality. I like that he is goofy like me. When I was writing my story I enjoyed the process, I thought it was fun. I liked working with others; we helped each other come up with ideas for our story.

My favorite part when creating my character was describing what he looked like. I was inspired by chicken fried rice. One day I was eating it and saw a vision of my character in the bowl.

Jayden A.

My name is Jayden A. and I’m 12 years old. I’m in the sixth grade and am from the country of El Salvador.

My character is Per Stegen and he is a hero. He is helpful to people in need and relentless in different moments.

When I was writing my story, I chose details that were relatable to me and others—like watching or playing soccer and liking FC Barcelona.

Caileigh H.

My name is Caileigh, I am in sixth grade and I’m 12 years old. I am from Washington DC. My character is Niyah Johnson.

She is a hero because everyone is thankful that she stopped a problem. I chose for her to be a hero because I felt like it was right for her and I wanted her to be somewhat like me. I relate to my character because she is shy and always needs somebody there with her. I admire her confidence.

When I was writing my story I thought about how I can make her like me but with a few changes. I wanted to give her confidence and I wanted to relate to her.

Zaire B.

My name is Zaire and I am 11 years old and I’m in the sixth grade. I’m from Washington, DC and my favorite teams are the Baltimore Ravens and the Philadelphia Eagles. My character’s name is Jontavious James II. He is 16 years old and plays football.

Jontavious is a warrior because he is never afraid and he’s always ready. I relate to Jontavious because I take care of my mom. My favorite part about creating my character was choosing his facial features and the clothes he wears. My favorite part about my story is that it felt like I was creating my own world.

I was inspired to make my character because I always wanted to make my own character.

Zoey S.

Hi, my name is Zoey and I attend Brookland Middle School. I’m in sixth grade, I’m 11 years old, and I’m from DC. My character is a warrior because she is very brave and perseveres. When I was writing my story I was feeling good because I got to create my own character and got to make a fun story.

What inspired me to make this story is thinking about when I was younger, I really liked to make my own characters and make little stories. One fact about me is that I make bracelets and really like them.

Amiah J.

My name is Amiah. I am 14 and I am from DC. A fun fact about myself is that I’m talented.

My character is a hero because she loves to save people and likes the feeling of saving people. I admire her personality.

When I was authoring my story, I wrote whatever came to mind and I strove to make it all make sense. I like to describe my character and I can relate to her personality.

I was inspired to write this story because I wanted to experience how it would feel to be an author.

Excited for the book yet? We sure are.

These are just some of the students published in When Duty Calls! You can support all of the authors by joining us at the Young Writer Showcase tomorrow and/or by ordering a copy of the book here.

P.S. If you’d like to read more about When Duty Calls, you can check out the foreword by reporter and author Kat Chow here!