June 20, 2005
|Photo courtesy of Jennifer Korte
Evan Korte�s book, �Poor Old Dog,� features his Britney spaniel, Jango.
A UMNS Feature
By Allison Scahill*
by the tragedy of the Dec. 26 tsunami, 8-year-old Evan Korte has found a
way to make a difference in the lives of survivors.
help from his mother, Jennifer, Evan has written a book titled "Poor
Old Dog" to sell as a fund raiser. All the profits will go to the United
Methodist Committee on Relief to aid those affected by the tsunami.
author was visiting (Evan’s) school in December, and she was talking
about what it was like to write books and work with the illustrator,"
says Jennifer Korte, of Grand Blanc, Mich. "Evan thought that was so
cool and said to me, ‘I want to write a story, and I want you to be my
and Evan sat down one night, and he told a story about their family
dog, Jango, a Brittany spaniel. His mother gave feedback and the two
bounced ideas off of each other, then finished the text of the book. All
that was left were the pictures.
needed something to write about, so I just thought I’d write about my
dog," explains Evan, who just completed second grade. "It’s just
something that I wanted to do."
the tsunami hit Dec. 26, Korte says she called her three sons in to
watch the news with her, not realizing at first how serious or
overwhelming the news was going to be.
thought, ‘Oh my gosh, what do I do with this complete devastation
they’re seeing?’" she recalls. "I immediately asked them what we should
do to help."
four of them brainstormed on fund-raising ideas, but it wasn’t until
Evan asked his mother, again, to illustrate his book that the idea came
about to sell it.
"It was a like a light bulb that went off for both of us," she says.
The book may never have been finished if not for Evan’s persistence, Korte says.
kept telling him that I didn’t know if I was good enough, but then I
thought, ‘What am I going to teach him about what he can do if I don’t
do this?’" she says. "So I drew the pictures and scanned them into my
computer and printed off a copy."
Evan says he was confident in his mother’s artistic ability.
thought she was a good drawer," he says. "When my brother and I were
little, we always asked my mom to draw dinosaurs for us. We really liked
dinosaurs, and she kept drawing really good dinosaurs."
says she initially thought about giving a few copies to relatives and
neighbors who would be more than willing to buy a copy. She realized the
book’s potential for a wider audience when she took a copy to her Bible
study and Evan took one to his teacher. The rest was history.
ultimate goal is $1,000 in sales, and he has already passed the $750
mark. He decided to give the money to UMCOR because of its church
connection, he says.
"It works through the church, so we know we can trust it," he explains. "It’s who we usually send money to."
Rev. Dave Truran, senior pastor at Fenton United Methodist Church,
where the Kortes attend, has bought a copy of the book and says he fully
supports Evan’s effort.
"We didn’t really know much about it until an article appeared in the (Michigan Christian) Advocate," Truran says. "After we got wind of it, I thought certainly their home church should do something."
church’s librarian suggested a book signing, which will be July 10.
"She said, ‘Since we have an author, why don’t we have a book signing,’"
Truran says. "It’s exciting … this young boy who wrote this story and
his mother doing the pictures."
books are sold for $2 or any amount of donation. "I got really excited
when someone gave us a $100 bill for just three books," Evan says.
addition to the book signing, he will probably walk through his
neighborhood knocking on doors in order to reach his $1,000 goal, he
says. People interested in the book can call Fenton Church at (810)
Evan says he has wanted to write a book since preschool but is not sure if he will continue with his writing career.
a pretty good writer, but this is the first one to be published," he
says. "I’m just thinking about (writing another book) right now."
a mass communications major at United Methodist-related Baker
University in Baldwin City, Kan., is an intern with the Convergence Team
at United Methodist Communications.
News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.