Vanessa Carranza is reading a new book called "Richmond Tales: Lost Secrets of the Iron Triangle." Her fifth grade class at Lincoln Elementary School actually helped the author pick out the character's names and revise the early chapters.
"It makes me feel like we did a good job to have a book published by her with what we said and what we thought about it," says Vanessa Carranza, a Lincoln Elementary student.
It's the story of two friends. Who travel back in time and learn about their neighborhood's past from the Ohlone Indians, the early 1900's, World War II, to present day and then forward into the future.
"What do you like best about the book?" asks ABC7's Carolyn Tyler.
"That it actually tells you about Richmond," says Nate Eden, a Lincoln Elementary student.
Richmond's Iron Triangle can be a tough place for a child. Crime is a daily occurrence. The author says she did not sanitize the violence, but her pages offer another perspective.
"I hope actually acknowledging it for the kids could be a kind of healing for them, but also because this is a place with a rich history, it could give them a pride about where they live," says Summer Brenner, the author.
Her novel has been given to every 4th and 5th grader in the school district for summer reading, and the crowd that gathered for her book signing on Thursday showed how they are love it.
"I think it gives them a bigger sense of who they are and a glimpse of the potential they have," says Marin Trujillo from the West Coco County School District.
Five thousand of these books have been printed and nearly all of them have been given out. The district would like a second printing, but right now there's no money.
Meantime the lucky ones who have the book are hoping for a sequel.
Author Summer Brenner.com