Unfortunately, children today know all too well the very serious side of bullying and youth suicide. For local author Darrell S. Bryant, an 11-year-old sixth-grader at St. Andrew's, finding a way to help turn negative news stories into a positive message for other young readers is something he feels very strongly about.
He says he hopes his first published book, “The Flower Nerd,” will be a lesson for others to respect one another.
“I got the idea for the book after I saw a news story about a girl in Colorado who was 10 and killed herself after she was bullied,” Darrell says. “... This book is about a girl who lives in New Jersey and she gets bullied at her school ... It’s not good to treat people the way they don’t want to be treated. You should respect everybody else.”
While Darrell says his book does have a happy ending, he also hopes his story will encourage everyone to think about the way they treat others.
Readers young and old can meet Darrell and hear more about “The Flower Nerd” at a book launch party from 2-4 p.m. Oct. 20 at Premier Bowl & Bistro in Pooler. The launch party is free and features a reading, giveaways and live music.
And he’s not just sharing his message locally. Darrell and his mom also sent some books to the Lulwanda Children’s Home of Uganda in Africa, and Darrell will Skype with the students in November.
Though he’s hoping to share his message around the world, it’s Darrell’s mom Shyann who was first taken by her son’s talent for storytelling.
“When I read it, I saw how it was written and how he was writing in third person, I said, ‘You should write a book.’”
Now with his first book under his belt, Darrell is working on two follow-ups to “The Flower Nerd” as well as a historical fiction book based on the American Revolutionary War — and he does his own research for his books.
His advice to other young authors is simple but insightful for such a young mind.
“Just believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything.”
IF YOU GO
What: “The Flower Nerd” launch party
When: 2-4 p.m. Oct. 20
Where: Premier Bowl & Bistro, 4 Towne Center Court, Pooler
Cost: Free, books for sale