Sunday, Dec 8, 2019
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Teen author encourages library cadets to write

It was a simple, but powerful message that 15-year-old children’s books author Sierra Blair delivered to the Library Cadets Programme, and it’s that writing is something anybody can excel in.

The young author who launched her writing career as a 13-year-old now has two books under her belt in The Books of Roman Series, based on the antics of her baby brother.

The first, “Roman & His Mean Family” is available in paperback and on Kindle from Amazon, while “Roman and The Pink Flamingos” is available at the Atlantis Resort and at Ardastra Gardens and could be checked out from select libraries across New Providence.

In her first public speaking engagement, the 10th grade student addressed a Library Cadets training meeting for future information and media specialists. The monthly gathering assembles public and private school students from sixth through twelfth grade.

“It was such a delight to hear Sierra’s motivations for writing and her goals and aspirations for future publications,” said Dorcas Bowler, the Ministry of Education’s director of libraries for the National Library and Information Services Department.

“Sierra’s timely presentation as a young author has stimulated others to share this passion of writing and illustrating of real-life experiences. In addition, writing underscores the importance of using one’s powerful sense of imagination and special interests to create stories that would live on in the minds and hearts of readers,” said Bowler.

“The young author was able to speak fluently on her subject and was able to motivate the audience, young people like herself, to write and to write well.”

The director invited the teen author and her mother, media and public relations professional Tosheena Robinson-Blair to bring remarks to cadets in hopes of transitioning club members from aspiring to professional writers with their works finally making it onto paper and into the world.

Bowler’s strategy seemed to have worked in at least one case.

“I want to write a book to help and encourage young girls,” said Alidia Magnus, an 11th grade student at Government High School.

“Many young girls go through stuff I go through and even worse,” said the 16-year-old who lost her mother at a young age.

“I still feel like I’m a blessing in spite of it all. I want to open other girls’ eyes to come with a smile on their face each and every day.”

For Blair the presentation capped of a whirlwind mid-term break which saw the Kingsway Academy Principal Honor Roll student appear on ZNS TV 13’s The Conversation with host Shenique Miller and on Kiss 96.1 FM’s Ed Fields Live.

“I was more nervous about speaking to the Library Cadets than I was about the media appearances. Not only was it my first public speaking event but like myself, teenagers can zone out if they have no interest in what the person is talking about,” said the teen.

“It was exciting being able to share my experience with others who are interested in becoming authors. I’m happy if I was able to inspire at least one person with my story. It’s rewarding to know you made a difference.”

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