What does it take to write a book and have the book published?

The students at Rockdale Elementary School in Miami are a little more familiar with all of the trials involved in writing and publishing a book since they did so earlier this school year.

Under the direction of library media specialist Darcy Riley, financed by a grant from the Shawnee Tribe, the students in grades kindergarten, T-1, first and second, wrote a book for each class. The students in third, fourth and fifth grade each wrote individual books. They also illustrated their books with their own original drawings.

"It was a great way for the students to see the process of how to write a book, edit it and have it published," Riley said. "It gave them a great sense of accomplishment and pride.

"The books are a reminder of their elementary school days they’ll have forever."

Matthew Allen, third grade; Abbie Osborn, fourth grade, and Skylar Fuser, fifth grade, gave copies of the books they wrote to representatives of the Shawnee Tribe Wednesday.

"I found writing to be harder than talking about something," Allen said.

Fuser found working on the book to be a good opportunity to use her imagination.

"I came up with my best ideas when I was talking with my friends," she said.

Osborn noticed that she played with her pencil when trying to come up with ideas.

"It was hard for me to write about myself," Allen said.

Jodi Hayes, Shawnee Tribal administrator, and Tena Booth, tribal director of children and family services, received copies of the books.

They were considering putting the books in the tribe’s library.

"They are so special," Hayes said. "You can see just how hard the children worked on them. Some of the details are amazing."

The children began working on the books in September and were able to wrap them up and present them to family members at Christmas.