Oscar Rios, 27, graduated from CPP in 2016 with a bachelor of arts in philosophy with an option in law and society.

“Will’s Choice” is a 12-page book that began its existence in 2016 and took about a year to complete and was self-published this year by a self-digital publication.

“I came up with the idea for a class assignment,” Rios said. “I wanted to make a book that explained the idea of making choices to children from an early age.”

It took some time to come up with the title, but over multiple edits and progression Rios and his illustrator came to the collaborative decision that “Will’s Choice” would be the best fit for the narrative.

Oscar Rios’s childhood friend, Adam Quinn Castillo, illustrated “Will’s Choice.” (Courtesy of Adam Quinn Castillo)

Rios works a full-time job in security and plays in the band Zeitgeist and The Mage with his twin brother.

He also enjoys competing in Pinball, Marvel Vs Capcom, and Smash Brothers Ultimate tournaments at Super Arcade in Azusa.

Future written works to come from Rios are: his short story “NewK” and the prequel to that short story “New United States of America.”

Rios also sees himself going to law school or continuing to work on his creative projects such as filming and editing videos on top of writing.

The book’s illustrator is 27-year-old Adam Quinn Castillo who has been an artist since 2006 and has been friends with Rios since childhood.

Rios asked Castillo to help create the art back during the project’s birth and Castillo expressed that from then the project grew on them and they became more invested in it over the recent months.

Castillo tutors children, ranging from grades first to 12th in after school as well as in STEM lessons and wants to continue working on more illustrator projects.

As a result from the book, Castillo hopes to see dissemination impact its readers.

“It is an easy-to-read picture book meant to introduce philosophy terms and concepts to very young readers,” Castillo said.

According to Rios, the concept of this book essentially is to teach kids about making decisions and producing responsible choices. 

“Will’s Choice” is also written in an effort to teach kids the proper way and ideals in making decisions and also in hopes they learn to produce responsible choices.

Rios expresses that the hardest part of the book was getting started but after that it wasn’t as challenging to write the narrative.

They felt this book was intuitive for adults but felt a sense of struggle to make it intuitive for children.

“I respect children and their ability to think and be great members of our society and that helped my doubts go away,” Rios said. “Their perspective is an important one that shouldn’t just be neglected or laughed at. Which is what also gave me the energy to not stop the project but to follow through.”

Creating art for the book was another challenge but Rios was happy to have a very skilled artist.

“Will’s Choice” will also be available for free as a PDF later this spring.

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