Swimming and camping. Sounds like a pretty typical list of summer must-dos for most kids.
But right in-between sleepovers and Six Flags, two little literary wonders from Citrus Heights are gearing up to see their advice for life bound on store shelves.
“Don’t stuff food in your mouth,” said 10-year-old Isabelle Busath, reviewing one of the rules she’s helped write.
“I know this boy in my class who does that … I won’t say his name,” she giggled.
Monday Busath and her 8-year-old cousin Isabella Thordsen eagerly read aloud from the mock-up of their “Little Book of Rules” which is in the process of being published by Simon & Shuster.
“Lots of people are going to be saying ‘oh my gosh these little girls wrote books,'” said Thordsen from her defacto writing studio – her aunt’s house in Citrus Heights.
Her mother, Sarah Tatarakis, still can’t believe her daughter and niece have written their way into impressive college funds just by writing about situations they’ve heard or lived through.
“I have to take this call from my daughter’s agent. It doesn’t seem real, but that makes you a proud mommy,” she said.
“If I knew this would have been published, I would have wrote a little neater,” said Isabelle, since many pages in the new book appear as they did in the girls’ original notebook.
Seven months ago, the girls’ little book of rules was a little book lost – dropped in a Walmart parking lot while in Isabelle’s care.
After FOX40 mounted a search to find the authors of lines like “no stealing,” and “try to make things fairs,” and “go to bed early if you have dance in the morning, ” the station reunited the girls with their handwritten handbook for life.
The kudos, requests for copies and offers for these wanna-be-famous writers to become the bona fide real deal poured in.
Simon and Schuster stood out.
“We could tell that they wanted the girls. We could tell they had personal connection with the girls,” said Michelle Busath, Isabelle’s mother.
While writing rules about who gets to ride in the front seat was easy, it was difficult for 8-year-old Isabella to visualize how they would get into print.
She thought publishing meant she’d have to give up the wire-bound notebook, where she and her cousin have penned pieces of wisdom from home and school.
“I was kinda mad. I didn’t understand she said nothing’s going to happen with your book and so I started getting excited,” she said.
Now favorites like “don’t bite the dentist” will be on featured pages. And the girls are still writing.
They’re on rule 246, up from the 158 they had in January.
FOX40 asked what kind of summertime rule the girls might suggest.
“No pretending to drown,” offered Isabella.
“Have fun,” said Isabelle.
In addition to a summer edition of their rule book, the girls are also considering writing one for Christmastime. “Don’t pull Santa’s beard,” is already on their list.
The book is due out in October and will be available at Target and Hallmark for $12.99. You can pre-order on Amazon.com right now.
With all that’s come to Isabelle and Isabella thanks to a misplaced book, there’s almost no greater proof that sometimes you gain when you lose.