A Soviet refugee turned author is teaching kids to love the history of their town and Rugby School as part of a collection of children’s books.
Three of Julia Fox’s collection of over 20 children’s stories are about Rugby after success in getting youngsters to understand the Syrian refugee crisis with a book on her brother’s experiences.
The 44-year-old author donates all the proceeds from her publications to charity and uses illustrators from Third World countries to bring her stories to life.
Julia’s most recent book follows Tommy the Learned Cat around Rugby School, and a sequel is due out in November as Tommy explores Rugby.
“People may think, ‘Rugby’s a typical British town, what could be interesting about it?’ But apparently not,” she said.
“Rugby actually has an amazing history, it is a typical town but it has so many things that makes it unique.”
Julia left the Soviet Union as it was coming to an end with her family, travelling to the US but her brother was heartbroken when they had to leave their pet dog behind.
She moved to Rugby seven years ago and her first book after her brother’s distress, Goodbye Emma, was successful in teaching children to have a better understanding of what it means to be a refugee.
From that came dozens of other stories combining education with entertainment, which Julia says is the key to getting children interested.
Another thing Julia believes in is supporting ‘amazingly-talented’ illustrators who struggle to get noticed as they live in places like Georgia, Greece or Ukraine.
Julia’s anthology covers a wide range of topics, including a gelato-loving giraffe and a boy who helps a sickly monster.
Tommy the Learned Cat Goes to Rugby and My Favourite Shop on Webb Ellis Street follow a cat’s journey around Rugby School and the town, learning about their history.
Julia also likes to support small businesses and the opening of new gelato shop MAIA in the town centre inspired her.
The History of Gelato in 13 Scoops can be found in the High Street parlour.
A particularly profound story is Tim-Tim and the Sickly Monster which was written to help a boy with leukaemia separate the illness from his personality.
These are just a handful from Julia’s collection, with plenty more to come.
Commissioning these illustrators helps give her books even more charitable appeal, and keeps costs down, meaning even more money can be donated.
For more information about the books and Julia’s work, visit www.cleverfoxpress.com.