Inspiring Others: 11-year-old becomes Oakland County's youngest published author

Posted at 7:01 AM, Dec 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-14 10:48:22-05

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — ”I like butterflies. Dolly Parton, glitter, blue and purple,” said Kennadee Fabin.

You heard the Dolly Parton reference there? Well, 12-year-old Kennadee Fabin is a true fan. Her bedroom wall even sports a quote from Dolly.

Kennadee says the superstar and philanthropist even inspired her to write her first book.

“Well, [Dolly Parton's] just an awesome person. She is kind, generous, forgiving. She's all the good adjectives,” Kennadee said about her idol.

Kennadee is especially impressed with Dolly’s ‘Imagination Library,’ which has given away 200 million books globally. So, Kennadee got busy and penned her first book: “Kind Again: How to Return to Kindness like Dolly Parton.”

“Include everyone. Say thank you. Be mindful of your words,” Kennadee said while reading an excerpt from her book.

Her 109-page guide draws from some of her own experiences.

“Well, when I was younger, there were like a few times that I got bullied, and I see people, like, getting hurt by people. And I just, I don't know, I just wanted to be happier. If people act more like Dolly Parton, there won't be as much bullying,” she said.

Her father couldn’t be prouder.

“She actually wanted to publish before she was 12, so she would be one of the youngest published authors in Oakland County,” said James Fabin, Kennadee’s dad.

And she did it! The book was published on October 9th — a few week's shy of her 12th birthday on October 31st.

And her sixth grade classmates, teachers, and administrators at East Middle School in Farmington Hills have been cheering her on.

“It's amazing. I mean, we are all about literacy and helping the students to grow. And, so, to have someone already be a published author in sixth grade, she is off the charts. We're so proud of her,” said Torrie Maas, Assistant principal at East Middle School.

Writing does run in Kennadee’s family. Her dad has self-published three books.

“Now, a lot of people might think, you know, dad had a heavy hand on this. But what do you tell them?" I asked Mr. Fabin.

“Oh, no. So, she wrote the chapters,” he replied.

“All I did was help give her a little bit of a hint. ‘Hey, maybe add a little more here. What about this? And I would quiz her. ‘What are some of the things you'd do with your friends to show kindness?'” he said.

I asked Kennadee how she tackled this tall order.

“It's kind of like coloring in a picture. I made the outline where I put the chapter title and then I put a few things in it that I wanted to add in there. And then I really just filled it in, just like coloring a picture,” the young author said.

It took her more than four months.

“I was like, 'Is it really published?' I did not believe it. And when I, when I first saw that some people bought it, I was screaming,” Kennadee said.

And if Dolly ever finds out? Well, these butterfly wings will be over the moon.

Her next goal is to donate the proceeds of her book for the month of December to Michigan Humane.

Her ultimate goal is to meet her idol — Dolly Parton.

When she grows up, Kennadee wants to work at Dollywood and become a veterinarian.

You can find her book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online retailers.