Coming Soon: Teen-Written Books!

For several weeks, you’ve heard us talking about our effort to publish teen-written children’s books. These stories, written during Reach’s summer program are incredible. And, if you’ll humor me, I want to emphasize this point. This is not simply a fundraising effort or an opportunity to get undeserved applause. These are professional quality books. At their core, these books are about showing off the talents of our teens. We want you to be amazed by the things they, once unleashed, are able to do. If only we’d get out of their way…

Now, a summary of our four stories:

The Gloomy Light
Ernie and Sal are best friends. Ernie is a llama, and Sal, a color-changing frog. When aliens kidnap Ernie – he does, after all, have the ability to speak all animal languages – what will Sal do? Our froggy friend searches the animal kingdom for his lost best friend. But, will this story have a happy ending?

Join Joshua, Za’Metria, Dana, and Kyare on this fantastical voyage. Though the characters are animals, human themes of friendship shine through. Sal refuses to let his friend simply float away. This is a story of true friendship. Find out what happens in The Gloomy Light: Sal & Ernie’s Adventure.

The Airplane Effect
A young boy struggling with the effects of Cancer and a dream of a more normal life. These are the simple components of the emotional story scribed by Marc, Sasha, Angelo, and Sean. Experienced in working with young people, our teens uncovered the most important aspect of childhood: play. Their young main character, stuck inside due to his illness, simply wants to have fun.

Frustrated, he throws a paper airplane out the window. What happens next? You’ll have to read it to find out! A young girl, a special plane, and the power of play. Read more in The Airplane Effect.

Trio + 1
Jealousy. Envy. Loneliness. We’ve all felt these emotions. In this incredible story of frustration and friendship, Jordan, Rico, and Brandon share the silly things we do when feeling bad about ourselves. Bobby, the editor of the school newspaper at REACH Middle School, is jealous of a popular threesome. His plan: break up the trio. Does it work?

The whole school gathers to watch the trio compete in the Coolest Kid Competition. Three contests – athletics, arts, and academics – will determine the winner. But, will the friendships survive? Read more in Trio + 1.

One Lonely Camel
How often do our stories for children explore sadness, loneliness, and disruption? While these children’s books are rare, the reality is all too present for many of our young people. Rashaan, Sejal, DaQuan, and Zorita took on this challenging topic through the eyes of Larry, the lonely camel.

Swept away from his home in Egypt, and left without his family for the first time, Larry finds himself living in a zoo. Tunechi, a friendly hippo, welcomes Larry to the zoo family. A rapper, Larry overcomes his stage fright to share his story. But, how will the other zoo animals receive him? Find out in One Lonely Camel.

Coming, October 2013…

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