PARIS — Everyone has their own way of coping with the spread of COVID-19, and 6-year-old Liam Holland decided to write a book on how to stop it.

“Ever since Liam was a baby, he’s always chosen books over everything else,” said his mother, Alyson Holland. Contributed photo

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized his work and said he could have a bright future in public health.

While the Guy E. Rowe Elementary School in Norway was closed in November because of a COVID-19 outbreak, Liam’s classes with his kindergarten teacher, Kendra Threeton, were held via Zoom teleconference for weeks.

“When I was stuck at home I could see my teacher because she was teaching lessons on my laptop,” Liam said. “We were trapped at home and couldn’t go to school.”

When Liam and all his classmates were able to return to school Nov. 30, he decided to take what he had learned about the coronavirus and write a story. You could say it’s a bit of science fiction with a big dose of reality driving the plot.

“The coronavirus germs are like specks,” he said. “I like specks. So I wrote about it. I want to let people know how to be safe. The virus is really dangerous. It can make people sick, and they can even die.”

According to Liam’s story, a scientist made a pink ball and tried to put it in a catapult to go into space but it didn’t go high enough and landed in Maine and splattered the state.

He illustrated “The Book About Coronavirus” with artwork created when students work on individual projects.

“He spent the day drawing the book, just pencil marks on the page and it was all stapled up when he brought it home,” his mother, Alyson Holland, said. “He couldn’t wait to tell me the story. As soon as he got home he showed it to me and asked me to write it all down as we went along. It was so precious.”

“Mom wrote down the words for me,” Liam added. “Then we colored it, and me and mom added some new things to the pictures.”

His mother messaged the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention with a link to a video she and her son about the book.

“They sent back a couple of messages saying that they enjoyed his hard work and that they wanted to mail him a note and a certificate,” she said.

“Liam Holland is a great example of how people from all over Maine have come together to help each other deal with the challenges posed by COVID-19,” CDC Communications Director Robert Long wrote. “His work brought a smile to many faces of those of us who have been working for months without a break to help Maine people understand COVID-19 and best protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus. If he does not grow up to become a famous author or film director, he could have a bright future in public health. Thank you, Liam!”

In addition to the CDC’s recognition, School Administrative District 17 is including his book in this year’s digital time capsule archive History in the Hills.

His teacher also praised him.

“He is always looking for something new to learn, and loves to share his knowledge with his classmates,” Threeton wrote in an email. “We recently started our writing unit that emphasizes sharing our ideas with the world – using our writing to show and tell.

“Liam never ceases to amaze me with what he decides to write about, and how much effort he puts into it. I am so very proud of him,” she said.

His parents have shared his video to spread the message about wearing masks to prevent spreading  COVID-19.

“The Book About Coronavirus’ says to wear a mask to keep germs from getting to other people,” he said. “Masks save the world.”


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