East Middle School student publishes book

By: Charity Meier | Farmington Press | Published February 5, 2024

 Kennadee Fabin,12, smiles as she shows off a  copy of her new book, “Kind Again: How to  return to Kindness like Dolly Parton.”

Kennadee Fabin,12, smiles as she shows off a copy of her new book, “Kind Again: How to return to Kindness like Dolly Parton.”

Photo provided by James Fabin


FARMINGTON HILLS — A sixth grade student at East Middle School in Farmington Hills recently became one of the youngest writers in the state to publish a book.

“I wanted to get it done before I turned 12,” said Kennadee Fabin, “so that I could be one of the youngest authors in Oakland County and one of the youngest in Michigan, probably.”

According to her father, James Fabin, the goal helped to motivate his daughter to finish the book, which was independently published by his company.

“To help encourage her to keep writing, because it’s hard to stay focused and keep writing. It’s a lot of words and a lot of typing. I would encourage her, ‘Hey, if you do it while you are 11, you’ll be one of the youngest published authors in Oakland County because I looked it up.’ So that really helped to motivate her to keep working on it. I was looking for anything to help motivate her to keep working on it because she kept wanting to play with her friends and let it sit, and I knew if you let it sit too long it’s hard to go back to it,” said James Fabin, who has published several books himself.

“Parents these days are just pulled in so many directions, and the kids are just left to fend for themselves on their phone, I feel like. So for Kennadee to get away from a phone and actually write a paperback book, like I said, I’m just blown away. The girl’s brilliant,” said Pauline Hernandez Gassos, the owner of Sweet Spots in Farmington Hills.

Kennadee said her favorite part about being a young author is the reaction she gets from people when she tells them of her accomplishment. She said she really likes that others seem so genuinely happy for her.

Kenadee celebrated her 12th birthday at Sweet Spots with a surprise book reveal to her friends.

“I saw it when her friends opened their goodie bags and it was kind of funny, because they’re all 11-,12-, 13-year-old girls, and they’re like, ‘A book in a goodie bag,’ and she’s like, ‘Yeah, but take a look at the book,’ and they’re all like, ‘Oh, my God. This is you. You wrote this book,’” Hernandez Gassos said. “So it was precious. It was a good moment, and I’m happy that she shared it with me.”

Fabin, 12, is proving that kindness has its own rewards with the release “Kind Again: How to Return to Kindness like Dolly Parton,” which details how and why people need to return to being kind.

“(Kindness) is awesome, and it can make people feel magical,” she said. “Kindness is just great.”

“I thought the book was a very easy read and it was just uplifting and happy. I was just blown away that this girl would write this type of book,” said Hernandez Gassos. “It talks about different examples of how you can make a difference in the world in a good way — sharing jokes with your friends, sitting with someone at a lunch table that’s alone, being kind to animals, loving your pets and taking care of them. Doing more that your parents asked you without being asked.”

Hernandez Gassos said she also tries to reiterate the importance of kindness.

“I try to put out that vibe in this world especially for the pre-teens/teens, because it’s just been such a difficult life for them recently, and a lot of them are going around with no hope. You know they have to worry about school shootings and then COVID and they’re suiciding. I mean these things didn’t happen in my generation, and it’s happening frequently (now),” said Hernandez Gassos, who said her 22-year-old son attended a funeral for a friend as a result of overdose or suicide every year throughout his high school years.

A signed copy of the book is on display near the Sweet Spots register. Hernandez Gassos said it serves as a conversation starter.

Kennadee said she was inspired to write the book as a result of the lack of kindness she was seeing during the pandemic. The danger of the virus was amplified to her as her dad has chronic kidney failure. James said that people were just not thinking of others, especially of those with compromised immune systems. He recalled that Kennadee would often ask why people couldn’t be kind like Dolly Parton.     

“My book is to help people be kinder — help kids make friends, keep friends, apologize to their friends, accept an apology from anyone and just using Dolly (Parton) as an example to make people better.”

Fabin is a huge fan of country superstar Dolly Parton.

“I love Dolly Parton, and because I wanted the world to be kinder, because I saw the fighting on TV, fighting at school. I just wanted to help people be kinder by using Dolly Parton as an example,” Kennadee said.

According to Kennadee, Parton defines kindness by just being herself, giving books to children, not judging others,  giving money to her employees and caring about people.

Kennadee said she tries to implement kindness by complimenting people, being kind to teachers, offering to assist substitute teachers, sharing her supplies and befriending new students.

Kennadee was recently the new kid, as she moved to the Farmington Public School District last year from Ohio. She said there are a few special kids there who demonstrated kindness to her. She cited her friends Josie and Lydia here in Michigan and her best friend Savannah back in Cincinnati.

“When we first met Josie, Josie didn’t have a lot of skills to make new friends, but Kennadee was extra kind to her, extra careful, and helped her learn how to make friends,” said James.

“Yeah and now she has a lot of them,” added Kennadee.

“And you and her are best friends,” said James.

Kennadee credits Lydia as the friend who showed her how to open her locker and introduced her to her new friends at East Middle School.

“We’re all born with kindness in our hearts, but we just lose that kindness. We forget about it,” said Kennadee.

When she is not writing, Kennadee said she loves to be outdoors playing with her friends. She enjoys biking, and hiking around nearby forests and ponds. In the book she offers kids suggestions of a vast variety of things to do outside of electronics, especially things outdoors.

Kennadee loves animals and  does a lot of volunteer work for local charities, donating all of the December proceeds from her book, $300,to the Michigan Humane Society.

“As a family, animals are our No. 1 thing to support of all the charities,” said James. “All of our dogs are always rescue dogs.”

As of Feb. 1, Kennade’s book had sold approximately 960 copies. The book is published by her dad’s brand, Dadvice TV, and is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $6.95. E-editions are also for 99 cents, and are free with some memberships.

Kenadee said she has three goals in life: to meet Parton, to work at Dollywood and to go to the University of Michigan on a scholarship. Her short-term goal is to publish another book, a collection of  true short stories, written by herself as well as her friends, before her 13th birthday next Halloween.

She said her advice to others who aspire to write a book that they should just go for it as “it’s really not that hard.”

Kennadee said that for her, writing a book is just like coloring in a picture. She said she makes an outline with chapter titles, and then puts a few things down that she would like in each of those categories and works one chapter at a time  to fill in the gaps.