The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Child author plans sequel to ND football book

JOANNA LAGEDROST | Friday, November 8, 2013


Jacob Keyes, the boy who published a book about Notre Dame football at age 10, has plans for a sequel, this time co-written by his sisters Grace, 10, and Tess, 8.

The siblings from Spokane, Wash. have begun working on a new project called “The Little Gipper Spirit,” a follow-up to Jake’s book, “The Little Gipper’s Welcome to Notre Dame Football.” 

“Little Gipper Spirit” is a youth movement meant to encourage kids to find their passion and use that to help people down the street or across the globe, Grace Keyes said.  

“Jake wrote his book and we wanted to do something more and get more involved,” Grace Keyes said. “[It’s] a joint effort.”

Jake Keyes, now 12, said the movement also stemmed from adult responses after publishing his first book and its 2012-2013 season supplement, “Echoes Awake!” Many people reached out to congratulate him and asked him the nature of his next project, he said.

Mike Keyes, the father of the Keyes siblings, said his family realized Jake Keyes’ accomplishment might inspire other young people to positively impact the community with their passions, just as it inspired his sisters. 

The Keyes children not only formed the movement, but have also launched the “What’s Your Passion?” essay writing and art submission contest, Grace Keyes said.

“Kids are going to write about what their passion is [or submit artwork] and say how they’re going to use it to help other people, and the best essays are going to be put in a book,” Grace Keyes said.

The contest, which is open to all first through eight graders, launched Nov. 1 and will close Jan. 15, 2014. Essays should contain a maximum of 500 words, and art submissions must be scanned.  Entries are accepted through

The Keyes siblings will act as judges of the submitted works. Each one will oversee the works of a specific age range, Grace Keyes said.

“We will pick the entries that best show how kids are using their passions to help others,” Grace Keyes said.

Selected submissions will be featured in a book scheduled to be published in late spring 2014. The book will be officially licensed through the University and sold in the Notre Dame Hammes Bookstore, Jake Keyes said. 

“We want kids to help others,” Jake Keyes said  “By entering the contest, they’ll probably discover more about what their passionate about and use that passion in new way..”

For more information, visit

Contact Joanna Lagedrost at [email protected]