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Monday, January 16, 2012

Diary of My Days in Kenya

Rachel Yurchisin is the author of Diary of My Days in Kenya.  Her love of science and nature  inspired her to write a children’s book in the hopes of passing on her passion to other young "budding" naturalists. She is currently a sophomore in high school and resides in  Cleveland, Ohio. Rachel participates in educational programs at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Museum of Natural History.  

The inspiration behind the book began when Rachel was in elementary school.  Rachel's fifth grade teacher Sister Elizabeth gave the class an assignment to write a story appropriate for their age group.   Rachel says, "The book took a lot of research for a fifth grader, but I got an A+ on the assignment."

The actual story line came from the Plain Dealer newspaper. Rachel used friends' names and names of famous tennis players for characters in the book.  The animal characters in the book received their names from Swahili, the main language of Kenya, because those words reflected their attitudes and demeanors.   Rachel revealed that the protagonist's name, Susan Polling, was randomly selected from a phonebook.  

Rachel admits that she had forgotten about Diary of My Days in Kenya until the summer of 2010.  While she and her mother were cleaning out some grade school boxes, they found the story. Rachel says, "We decided to send it in to a publisher, Halo Publishing, and the rest is history."


Diary of My Days in Kenya is a fictional story loosely based upon the real life occurrences of a nomadic lioness who nurtures baby oryx as if they were her own young. During a drought, the naturalist Susan Polling and other professionals are sent on assignment to observe and document this special pairing. Polling offers readers interesting insights as to why this unique phenomenon has transpired. The story explores how the traditional relationship of predator and prey is transcended, presenting a spellbinding account of how a parental bond—even a non-traditional one—can never be broken.

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1 comment:

Virginia S Grenier said...

Thanks for sharing more about Rachel and her wonderful book.