Let’s be honest. Teenagers get a bad rap. It is the obnoxious, facebook-bullying ones that make the news, but they don’t all fall into that category. There are teenagers who start non-profits when they see a need. There are teenagers who raise thousands of dollars for cancer research. And of course, teens who are coding and building apps that the world finds invaluable.
On a smaller scale, but just as important for character development, there are teenagers who shovel their neighbor’s driveways and others who watch their younger siblings while their parents work. These quiet teens might not make the news for their contributions to society, but their actions don’t go unnoticed.
In one of my previous jobs, I worked at a youth mentoring organization and spend a lot of time bowling, hiking and doing homework with teens who were waiting to be matched with their adult mentor. When given a chance to open up with someone they trust, the conversations with teens are so real. Their sense of humor shines, their creativity is inspiring and they are willing to talk about their goals. One of my favorite teens wanted more than anything to become a paramedic. When she didn’t have the funds after high school, she joined the United States Navy in order to learn the skills she would need for the future.
Today, I would like to tell you more about two teenagers (and an amazing 9-year-old) who were able to write and publish books. Imagine, a teenager having the tenacity to draft, plan, write and publish a novel, something not many adults manage to accomplish:
Olivia Lodise is the author of Violet Path and was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She has two sisters, one older and one younger, who are very supportive of her writing. She is completely bilingual in French and English, and has studied Mandarin for over five years. She has also traveled extensively, from visiting family in France, to the Trans-Siberian Orient Express to practice her Mandarin.
Although Olivia is very scientifically inclined and therefore interested in studying and creating artificial limbs, writing is one of her strongest passions. Some of her favorite novels include When the Wind Blows by James Patterson, Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce, and La nuit des temps by Rene Barjavel. Charles Baudelaire’s poetry has inspired her greatly as well. She prefers reading in French and writing in English, and hopes to appreciate doing both in Mandarin in the future as well.
At the age of fourteen, Amberle Cianne discovered that she wanted to be a writer because it allows her to express herself and create something real and tangible from her imagination and her experiences. At the age of seventeen, she became a published writer with her first book, Nightmare in Niceville. The story started off as a playful school activity until Amberle’s imagination took over. The story took on a life of its own and like a true fiction writer, Amberle let it run where it would.
Born in Tennessee in 1994, Amberle moved to north Georgia around the age of seven and has lived in the area ever since, yet has moved around quite a bit within the region. According to Amberle, moving around has helped her develop her creativity and to see the world from different perspectives, which can be a valuable tool for someone with a passion for writing. She is blessed with an incredible family and friends who give her unending support and encouragement to continue writing, which is something she has come to love. Amberle’s wish for all who read her book is that they will enjoy reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it.
Filly Girls by Sarah Voskamp – Sarah was inspired to write her first book, Filly Girls, when she was nine and would love to write more because writing is her passion. In fact, she hopes to grow up to be the next J.K. Rowling! While Sarah is very smart and enjoys all of her subjects in school, reading and writing are definitely her favorites. Sarah also loves sports, her family, and her friends. She is now a teenager and lives in Florida with her family and favorite adorable dog!