11 year-old author's books help Damascus couple cope with tragedy


WASHINGTON COUNTY, VA - 11-year old Ian Justice is the author of two books, and soon a third. They're a part of his seven-part children's series called "The Boy Named Ash''. Ian may not have realized when he was writing his books, how they could impact the lives of those reading them.

The books follow the life and times of a young boy named Ash.

"His crazy imagination gets him and all of his other friends into sticky situations and they have to try to find fun ways to get out of those situations," says Ian Justice.

When a local Damascus couple first read Ian's books they were immediately drawn to them.

"I just thought it was amazing that such a young boy could do books like that and the stories were so cute and enjoyable," says Janice Donovan.

But to the Donovans, the books mean something more. A few months earlier, they lost their baby grandson, Bennett. They say reading Ian's books are helping them find comfort and healing.

"It helped me I think to remember Bennett and realize that he's kind of living through Ian's books," Janice says.

Janice and David first met Ian and his father RJ, at their little book-swap library they built in memory of Bennett. Later that day, a visitor showed up in their front yard.

"It happened to be RJ, he had no idea where we lived, and he told us Ian was writing a book and he was wondering if Ian could dedicate that book to our grandson, and we agreed," Janice says.

"I like helping people and I do realize what they're going through. I never had that happen to me, but I know how they feel," Ian says.

David says the dedication means a lot to him, and he hopes others can find support in Ian's words.

"It gives his books more of a purpose to me, his dedications, and I think it will help a lot of families, and I just think it's a great concept for a young boy," David says.

Ian says he wants to continue dedicating his books, and he hopes they will touch the lives of others as well.

"It's amazing that a young boy is giving back to society right now at his age. he probably doesn't realize how much he's giving back, but he is," Janice says.