Darien middle schooler Isabelle Oefinger published her first book “Stranded on Snake Island” this year. It’s a children’s book for second through fourth grade reading levels, about two girls stranded on an island, trying to find their way out as their parents search for them. The adventure survival story is told from two perspectives, the girls and their parents.

Isabelle said, “I started writing it in the fourth grade. I was mostly inspired by Jeff Probst books ‘Stranded.’”

Isabelle’s mom Amy Oefinger talked about her daughter’s process and how the book came about. “We’ve only lived in Darien for two years. We moved from Texas. She started the book when we lived in Texas. As knowledge of my husband’s job changed to New York, it was the one thing she kept on with.” She said the book helped with the move.

“She’s always been writing. It’s just become a passion for her and now she’s become a sixth grader at Middlesex Middle School,” Amy said.

The book took three months to be self-published on Amazon and is currently for sale. Amy said, “I posted it to my Facebook page and over 180 people bought it that day. It’s both Kindle version and paperback.”

Isabelle initially drew the illustrations for the book herself, but then ultimately worked with a graphic artist provided from her samples.

Isabelle’s fourth grade teacher in Texas asked each student what their five year writing goals were. She said she wanted to be an author and never veered from that thought.

Amy spoke about Isabelle’s continuous interest in adventure books. “Isabelle went to Tokeneke Elementary School. When the kids go to the book fair, they get inspired by these very cool adventure books, and she was the kid to gravitate towards adventure.”

Part of the inspiration of the book came from Isabelle’s travels to Maui, Hawaii and her biggest fear were snakes on the island. She did more research and found out there is an actual snake island.

“It’s just become a passion for her and now she’s become a sixth grader at Middlesex Middle School. It’s a little intimidating to publish a book as a sixth grader and say it’s for elementary kids. But I said, ‘Isabelle, adults write children’s books all the time!’”

“I’ve said ‘you know how many kids could say they’ve written a book?’ That’s really cool.”

Order the book on Amazon.com by clicking here.