A new children’s book illustrated by a 15-year-old girl with Asperger’s syndrome will help young people establish their own voice, the author claims. “Red: A Manx Dragon Called Rufus” was co-written by former teacher Rob Cowely and high school student Karmen. The story follows a dragon who feels he does not fit in until he discovers his singing voice. Mr. Cowley hopes that it would inspire readers in “finding your own voice and a place in the community.” The book’s proceeds will go to the mental health organization Isle Listen. The charity, which already operates in secondary schools on the island, has lately begun to visit primary schools as well.

Karmen, who produced the digital drawings of the book, has used illustrations as a creative outlet since early childhood. Asperger’s syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder that makes it difficult for people with the condition to socialize with others and is marked by repetitive behaviors. Mr. Cowely stated that working with Isle Listen was a “natural fit” as he had seen the mental health difficulties that young people face first-hand during his tenure as a teacher. “I like the fact that they’re going to use the book to get youngsters talking because it’s got that right message in a nice friendly atmosphere to start exploring some of the issues with them.”