Nguyen Vinh Hanh Linh, a year 12 student at Concordia Hanoi, is the author and illustrator of the short story Be Monster. She dedicates the first four months of book sales revenue to support children orphaned by COVID-19, through the You Are Not Alone campaign.
Linh has a 5-year-old brother who is afraid of darkness. Personally, when she was a kid, she was also scared of the dark, but never knew why. Linh understands that not only her brother, but many other children also have fears that they may be reluctant to express to adults. As an older sister, Linh feels a closer connection to her younger brother; and that’s why she decided to write a comic to share and connect with children like her brother.
The story revolves around the adventures of a boy named Tom, and Momo, a luminescent monster hiding under his bed. Besides overcoming the fear of the dark, her book also has messages on the values of self-love, supporting one another, and friendship without discrimination.
“I’ve always loved to draw, and have participated in a few competitions in and out of the country. This time, I wanted to use my creative skills to publish my book Be Monster. Even though I had never written a book, I was inspired by my brother’s innocence, my personal experiences, and my family members. After four months of conceptualising, writing, and illustrating each individual page, the book has finally been published through Tre Publishing House; it’s an illustrated story with less than 50 pages, available in both Vietnamese and English.”
In recent times, COVID-19 has taken away the families of thousands of children in HCMC. Linh may have fears of the dark, but these children don’t even have parents. Putting herself in their shoes, she can somewhat understand some of the challenges they are facing. Hence why she wants to support these children to whatever extent she can.
On the occasion of publishing her first book, Linh would like to spread the spirit of solidarity and kindness to her young readers through a fundraising campaign in support of children in disadvantaged circumstances through the You Are Not Alone campaign.
Hanh Linh has had these charitable intentions since she started writing her book in May 2021. After some time researching, she decided to place her trust in You Are Not Alone with the donation of VND48,731,000 under her name, Nguyen Vinh Hanh Linh, and all her young readers.