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Recent graduate out of Lancaster County co-writes children's book about COVID-19

JJ Vulopas and his eighth-grade co-author created a fictional "World of Can", allowing children to discover ways to continue to thrive during these uncertain times.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — JJ Vulopas is a recent college graduate from Lancaster County. He and his eighth-grade co-author Riya Jain just published a children’s book about all things COVID-19. The book is called The Class That Can: Coronavirus

Vulopas explains, “One thing that this book really wanted to hammer home is that even though there is this new unprecedented crisis facing us, there is still a lot of things we can do to stay safe, happy and healthy – emotionally and physically, while still keeping everybody safe”.

The book has many local ties to Lancaster County. The illustrator, Bill Dussinger, is from Lititz, and the company that is printing the paperback copies is located in Lancaster. 

Vulopas says, “Right here on the cover of the book is a wonderful illustration by Bill Dussinger, it’s the bar of soap punching the coronavirus germ, knocking it out. The idea is that we all have power, as humans, and as children, we have control.”

The author duo created a world of can – touching on the things that kids are doing now and the things that they can continue to do.

Vulopas says, “The book takes place in a virtual classroom, the kids are learning from home. Their teacher, Mrs. Can, who is sort of intended to be the ‘every teacher,’ she is this zany, really caring and creative elementary school teacher.”

The book is written in a Q&A format with answers by medical experts to many of the questions kids may be wondering about.

Vulopas explains, “We were trying to make it relatable, so many kids are learning from home through this entire crisis and couldn’t actually be with their friends. We’re addressing that as well what is a virus, why is washing your hands important, and what are other precautions that we take?”

JJ hopes that the book will empower young minds by giving them a relatable framework.

“Now for the first time in recent history children across the nation, all across the world are united based under this one big ‘not’ – this one thing everyone can’t do. We have these restrictions because of the coronavirus. It has to be addressed in an accessible way that kids will understand," Vulopas says. 

Free digital copies of the book are available for educators, and for each paperback book sold, another paperback copy will be donated to a school.