Ruby Diaz’s new adventure book is designed to empower young girls
Civil engineer Ruby Diaz is on a mission to empower girls.
The Parkite, who works for Chevron, decided to write a series of children’s books to accomplish that objective.
Her first book, which was released earlier this week, is called “Lulu and the Magic Pendant: Flying High in Hawaii.” It’s about two sisters — Luna and Luisa, named after Diaz’s two daughters — who use a magic pendant to travel through time.
Diaz will unveil more of the book when she does a book signing and reading from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25, at Dolly’s Bookstore, 510 Main St. The event is free and open to the public. For information, visit http://www.dollysbookstore.com.
Although the book is labeled “Adventure #2,” it is the first book Diaz has ever written.
“I did it this way because ‘Adventure #1’ would be the fourth book in the series,” Diaz told The Park Record. “It will be like a prequel and will be about the discovery of the pendant.”
The book series will feature life lessons that will empower girls, but can also be used to empower anybody including boys and adults, she said.
“I use lessons like being positive, being persistent, not giving up and not being afraid to fail,” Diaz said. “It’s interesting that the current society leans to perfectionism, and people think that failure is bad. But in reality, failure is a way to learn things.”
The book, like the others that Diaz will write, is a combination of nonfiction and fiction.
“I want to write about famous characters who are great role models for girls,” she said.
In “Lulu and the Magic Pendant: Flying High in Hawaii,” the two famous characters are Amelia Earhart and Queen Liliuokalani, the last queen to rule over Hawaii.
“These characters have a list of great accomplishments and they guide the story and show how the girls can succeed in life,” Diaz said.
The first character Diaz decided on was Amelia Earhart.
“As I thought about her and flying, I started to think about going to a place that I thought was interesting that would have characters that will be part of the story,” she said. ‘That’s how I decided on Hawaii.”
Diaz chose to write about Queen Lilioukalani, and knew she had a lot of research ahead of her.
“Although the book took five months to write, I read maybe 30 or 40 books for my research prior to writing it,” she said.
While writing the book, Diaz came up against another challenge: to make sure the book was easy for children to read.
“So I had my daughter Luna read it,” she said. “Luna is eight years old, and I had to make sure there were not too many complicated words.”
Diaz also had her husband and friends read the book.
The idea to write books that empower girls blossomed from being a mother and being a successful engineer.
“In my field of work, 90 percent of engineers are men,” Diaz said. “So when I go to different construction sites, I’m the only woman. But that doesn’t matter. I think if you do a good job and treat people with respect, you will be treated respectfully in return.”
Diaz also wants girls to know that they don’t need anyone to tell them what they can or can’t do.
“I have always been independent, and I want to convey to girls that you can still be a princess and or a queen and still be independent,” she said. “You don’t need that Prince Charming. The challenges I have gone through is just a matter of perspective. It’s not that there are many difficult things to do. It’s just that you have to get them done.”
Diaz wants to write as many books as there are women to write about.
“The next book will be about Madame Curie,” she said. “I went to Paris this summer and learned more about her and the settings she lived in.”
Ruby Diaz, author of “Lulu and the Magic Pendant: Flying High in Hawaii,” will sign her book from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25, at Dolly’s Bookstore, 510 Main St. The event is free and open to the public. For information, visit http://www.dollysbookstore.com. For information on the “Lulu and the Magic Pendant” books, visit http://www.luluandthemagicpendant.com.
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