A Friend for Festus is a children’s book by Jennifer Greene-Sullivan
Illustrated by Joshua Wichterich
November 2020, we were in full pandemic mode at the Wheeler County High School as well as in the rest of the South. It seemed like we were all living in a perpetual state of panic and of stress since April 2020. My tenth grade honors English class and myself were looking for something happy or for anything fun. We had all been trapped in small places and in fear for too long.
May 2020, I decided to purchase a Jack Russell pup for my husband as an anniversary gift, and I noticed that my students loved stories about our Jack Russell, Festus, and his fun antics. So that November while we were all working on Rhetorical Analysis Essays, I began to write when they worked on their assignment.
My imaginative version of Festus took life and jumped and played inside my Google drive. Eventually, I allowed them read it and make suggestions. My students that semester were incredibly funny and caring. They supported my ideas while offering me excellent advice.
Finally, before my students and I went home for Christmas break 2020, I had planned to send A Friend for Festus to my illustrator. I often have to wait to send my manuscript to Joshua, my illustrator, due to financial issues, so I finally got to send the story off Summer of 2021. I was so excited to see Eve and Festus come to life in the illustrations. While my book was being illustrated, a dear sweet student of my mine was killed in an ATV accident.
My WCHS family mourned right along with Paulette’s family members. She had brought so much joy and inspiration to me that I dedicated the book to her.
#LLP Paulette McLeod 2021