By Alesha Capone
Writing a book at the age of eight is an impressive feat.
Deciding to donate profits from the sales of the book to a good cause is even more remarkable.
But Point Cook author Tommy Shen says that a simple desire to help other youngsters sparked his generous act.
Tommy said he decided to donate profits from his book to the Lighthouse Foundation, after hearing about its good works from his mother’s friend Beverley.
The charity, which was founded by former Melburnian of the Year Susan Barton, provides housing, care and counselling for young people at risk of homelessness.
“Beverley, who does a lot of charity work, said that the Lighthouse Foundation looks after young children so I was very happy about this as it is all about kids helping kids,” Tommy said.
“The pandemic has made people lose their jobs and now there are many unfortunate families whom I would like to help.
“I want rich people to help the poor people, so when I grow up I will become an illustrator and earn lots of money to help lots of poor people.”
Tommy’s children’s book, Book About Dragons, has been published by Greenhill Publishers.
It is about 88 types of dragons and the relationships between them all. The book includes English and Mandarin text and illustrations provided by a Mexican illustrator.
With a Chinese mother and an Indonesian father, Tommy said that he developed a love of dragons from a young age.
“I was born in the Year of the Dragon and I think sometimes that this is why I love dragons so much,” he said.
Helping others is also something which runs in Tommy’s family.
His great-great grandfather founded an orphanage in Hong Kong in the 19th-20th century.
Tommy said his great-great grandfather “was a great teacher and he was really kind”.
“He taught children who didn’t have a home – he was a real good hero,” Tommy said.
Book About Dragons is available at www.lamoneta.org.au, $8.88 for an e-copy and $29.99 for a hardcover copy.