To the moon and back!

By Emmet McElhatton

A space-travelling fairy, who keeps the moon full with the dreams and wishes of sleeping children, is the celestial theme of a Tyrone author’s brand new book.

Titled ‘The Moon’s Beam’, Michelle Young’s book features concepts of imagination and invention; hope and optimism; mindfulness and observation – and reminds kids, and maybe even parents, about some of the essential ingredients of a happylife.


Hailing from Castlederg, Michelle’s credentials for writing children’s books are about as strong as it gets: She’s a mother of two, who served her time as a primary school teacher, before setting up her own creative writing company, ‘Ink Wing Academy’.

This is the last book in a three-part series of short stories she wrote during the first lockdown.

“The first one was called ‘The Little Lightbulb Boy’, and the second was called ‘Saoirse and the Healing World’,” Michelle explained.

“The Lightbulb Boy came from the idea of being a source of light in the dark early days of the pandemic.

“Then we have ‘Saoirse’, which is Irish for ‘freedom’, so that probably dosen’t need too much explaining given the context!”

The first two books were published in a book of short stories called ‘Light on the Horizon’, and Michelle was humbled by their success.

However, to her surprise and delight, ‘The Moon’s Beam’ was picked up by another publisher and is due for release July 29.

“I want to awaken in kids the self-knowledge that they have the potential to be storytellers, whether by the written or spoken word, or with pictures and images,” Michelle described.

“Most of us are fortunate enough to be born with the capacity to express ourselves and describe our world.

“I want children to develop the fundamental skill of narrative, to expand their vocabulary and sharpen the tools they use to shape and understand the world and themselves.”

‘The Moon’s Beam’ would make a fun and magical bedtime story for anyone up to the age of eight.

To launch the book, Michelle will be having ‘Book Hunts’ in the week running up to July 29, where she will hide a copy of the book in various play parks for lucky kids to find, and inside, they will discover a magical message.

“I’ll be doing this in Gortin Glen Park, Mitchell Park, Castle Playpark and in Spamount too – but keep an eye on the Ink Wing Academy Facebook page for updates,” Michelle concluded. “And I’ll soon be starting a creative writing project around it for kids aged seven and older.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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