This week, student blogger Riya G. '27 shares her passion for writing and how she uses it to spread a positive message.

I’ve always wanted to not only express my love of writing, but also spread an impactful message through my words. However, just writing an essay wouldn’t be enough to spread a message. Though an extracurricular, I received an opportunity to express that message by co-authoring two books. Through writing, one can think and come up with wonderful ideas and express their creativity. It's like making your dreams and thoughts about a topic come alive on paper. I co-authored two books, and they both spread a positive message to readers. 

In one of my extracurricular activities, we started writing an animal special, holiday-themed book, which created awareness to help abandoned animals. Most of us are aware of the efforts of the Humane Society and of various shelters to find temporary and permanent homes for abandoned animals. Holiday Fostering is a collection of narratives by grades 5 and 6 students about how animals have been helped by us in various ways. The narratives include animals of many kinds from a bearded dragon to a fluffy innocent hamster. We imagined these animals in all types of real life scenarios and made creative efforts to rescue them. These tales are an inspiring collection of how animals can be helped and how homes found for them. Each tale will melt your heart!

I have a pet hamster, Simeon. He was my inspiration for my narrative and I created it into an intriguing tale for readers! In order to convince my parents that I should own a hamster, I wrote essays, made an expense report, showed them pictures, and even more. But, my ultimate answer that I still received was a ”no,” from my mom. I finally took my mom to the pet store to show her. Finally, with utmost effort, I managed a “yes” from her. Then, winter white hamster, Simeon, was brought into my house on November 10, 2018. (I could talk for hours about my hamster…)

All of us get a break for the holidays and we get to spend time with our families, and animals also deserve a home with love. I hoped to create an eye opener for my readers to show that animals have feelings and deserve everything possible. 

Another book co-authored by me and my friends is The Little Traveler. The stories in this book are inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s story novel, The Little Prince. In The Little Traveler, an adventurous little boy visits many planets and learns a lesson from each. His charming escapades across the galaxy are punctuated by grown-ups who have lost that child-like pleasure, and forgotten what is really important in life. These lessons are relatable for every child who has had to explain (to grown-ups) things like the importance of taking breaks and making time for friends and family, and for every grown-up who, despite all odds, never lost that youthful spark that carried them through childhood. I believe that us children are gifted with innocent wisdom that far surpasses any of the accumulated wisdom that adults can express. This collection of stories is a gift: a look at the world from the purest perspectives. It is a function of youth to notice inconsistencies and absurdities in the activities of grown-ups, and it would be wise to learn from them. ;) Don’t we all ever wonder why sometimes adults do things that just don’t make any sense?!

That was the writing part, now let’s get to the illustrating part! I love art, too. I was honored to illustrate the front cover of both books. Illustrating a book may seem easy, but there are so many restrictions, especially with children’s books! I couldn’t really go all out, due to the limitations, and really express my art skills, but I am content with how both books’ front covers turned out.

Additionally, I learned about publishing, marketing, and pricing. Combining these skill sets, I spent months perfecting my story and artwork for children and grown-ups to enjoy. Overall, creating these books was a very motivational experience, and I learned one more thing: everyone should be encouraged to spread positivity and impactful messages, be it in a small way. It will benefit our society, and it will definitely bring a smile on the giver and the receiver. 

"Holiday Fostering" and "The Little Traveler," which Riya co-authored, are both available for purchase on Amazon."

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Photo by Ed Robertson.