Walterboro Native lifts spirits with vibrant children’s book about the pandemic

By: Jessica O’Connor

Patricia Middleton has aspired to become an author for several years.

A former reading lab instructor at Colleton Middle School, Miss Middleton retired from teaching amid the pandemic. In her new free time, she decided the time was right to pursue her dream of writing a book. Inspired by a vision to bring hope to young readers around the world during this confusing time, she set out to write “When I Leave My House – Moving Beyond Covid-19” in 2021.

“I always said I would write a book once I calmed down after leaving school,” she laughed. “And I’m retired now. I was lying in bed one night and all of a sudden it came to me, and I kept writing and writing. I wrote four pages in half an hour the first night.

The book illuminates the thoughts of a little girl as she makes plans for all the things she plans to do once the pandemic is over. Adorned with vibrant illustrations to further draw readers into the story, it serves as a source of light and love for young people as they navigate these difficult times.

“It’s important that we don’t lose sight of all the negative emotions caused by this virus which still play a big part in children’s mental stress,” Miss Middleton said. “I hope this book will be a source of motivation for children and a tool for adults to let children know that there are better days ahead, when we can take off our masks and be among the people, in especially family and friends.”

The book received approval from the program coordinator and the Colleton County School District Superintendent. Miss Middleton plans to visit each of the elementary schools in the district to show the books to students and donate a copy to each of their libraries.

Although the pandemic no longer presents itself in quite the same way as in 2020 and 2021, the author still believes that “When I leave my house – Moving beyond Covid-19 is still relevant.

Parents can find a copy of this uplifting book on the author’s website: or on Amazon, where it currently has a 5-star rating.