May 25, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 25, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

West Orange’s Asher Yarmush: Published Author at 8 Years Old

Highlighting: “Alex and Henry in China” by Asher Yarmush. Independently published. 2020. English. Paperback. 30 pages. ISBN-13: 979-8554016318.

Asher Yarmush, a 8-year old student at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, wrote his first book during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic back in 2020. Asher’s book was self-published by his mother, Talia Liben Yarmush, on Amazon, and listed as the #1 new release in Jewish Children’s Books.

During the summer of 2020, when the pandemic closed most camps and programs, Asher, who lives in West Orange, spent the summer at Mommy’s Day Camp at home. Every day his mother would prepare activities for him and his younger brother. One of these activities consisted of a writing workshop where Asher spent time creating his own stories. During this time, Asher explored his talents in creative writing and soon found his love for it as well. In addition to the writing workshop, Talia read stories to Asher. Asher recounted how one of the tales was written from two perspectives, and it inspired him to try and write a similar story with two points of view. However, Asher ended up writing a book from one viewpoint. Also, during the school year, his first-grade class studied China. During this time, Asher grew fascinated with China, researched more about the country and read many more facts. All of these factors contributed to the making of Asher’s first-ever children’s book: “Alex and Henry in China.”

“Alex and Henry in China” follows the story of two best friends, Alex and Henry, who live in Beijing, China. Alex was born in Israel and Henry was born in China. In the story, the two buddies compare facts about Israel and China in school, parks, home and other settings. This narrative also includes Hebrew and Chinese words, beautifully hand-painted watercolor drawings on every page. Many of Asher’s classmates bought the book, and so did his teachers and even the school library. During school, when a funny part of his book was read for all to hear, Asher says the whole class laughed out loud, which made him feel really good. Asher’s book is 28 pages long, which is the standard length for children’s novels.

The entire process took Asher and his mother around six months from start to finish. Asher spent three months writing the book, then his mother edited his work, and drew sketches for Asher to fill in with his watercolors. Asher remarked that the writing process was “very hard work,” but he “felt really excited” when his mom finished the final edits and all the drawings and paintings were complete. Asher described how writing his first book “feels great and makes me feel happy, and proud of myself for the work I did.” Writing, Asher explained, is a passion of his, and he would love to be a published author when he is older. In the meantime, Asher is working on the sequel for “Alex and Henry in China,” which will be called “Alex and Henry in Israel.”

“Alex and Henry in China” is dedicated to Asher’s parents and teachers. The tribute reads as follows: “To my parents who I love so much and who always helps me when I need it. And to my teachers at JKHA, where I learned about China. I hope you are proud of me and all of the fun facts in this book.”

By Julianne Yvette Katz

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles