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Young author nominated for Girls Rock! Award for new book
OXFORD HILLS — Thirteen-year-old author Marrae Kimball, of Norway, who recently published her third book, "The Secret Combination to Middle School: Real Advice from Real Kids, Ideas for Success, and Much More!" has been nominated to receive an award at the 5th Annual Girls Rock! Awards ceremony April 5 at the Senator Inn in Augusta.
The 198-page non-fiction book gives students advice they need to succeed in middle school, in terms of their grades, social life and extracurricular activities.
Jackie Dupont, vice president of Research and Programs of Hardy Girls Healthy Women Inc. of Maine, recently informed Marrae, an eighth-grader at Oxford Hills Middle School, that she was nominated "for making Maine a better place to live," according to Melissa Eshleman, Marrae's mother and founder of Find Your Way Publishing, Inc. in Norway.
"It was pretty exciting when we got the e-mail she was nominated," Eshleman said.
According to Eshleman, Marrae has received national attention for her previous publications – “Guaranteed Success for Kindergarten: 50 Easy Things You Can Do Today!” and "Guaranteed Success for Grade School: 50 Easy Things You Can Do Today!," her very first book, which she wrote in the fifth grade.
“I’m very proud of Marrae and the effort she has put into this book,” said Eshleman.“This book is a must-have for students making the move into middle school or junior high school.
"Rather than just hearing from teachers, parents and other adults, this book gives the real, honest perspectives of kids who are in their own age group and who have faced the same challenges.”
Marrae was featured in two Weekly Reader magazines, had a meet and greet with U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, in Norway during a campaign stop in 2010 and received recognition and a personal "thank-you" from President Barack Obama and his family for her work.
"We know Marrae's books can, and are making a positive difference in the lives of many children," Eshleman wrote in an e-mail announcing Marrae's accomplishments.
The transition from elementary school to middle school can be tough on kids, but Marrae said she hopes to make it a little easier with her latest book.
“Going from elementary school to middle school isn't easy, and I wanted to write a book that covered my experiences and what I found helpful as I made the transition,” said Marrae.
Marrae said the idea to write her books initially came after witnessing some students "acting immature" during a field trip to the State House in Augusta.
"A lot of the boys kept having to be told to take off their hats in the building," Eshleman explained, "so she had come home asking me why these boys had to do that ... they didn't know that it was respectful to take off their hats."
“I know what it’s like to start your first day in middle school, including the combination of excitement and nervousness," said Marrae.
"I want kids to know that this doesn't have to be a frightening time, but rather a chance to become more mature and make new friends that may last your entire lifetime.”
In April, five winners will be chosen among 40 nominees; they will be recognized through a slide show, receive a certificate and be listed in a booklet seen by more than 600 people throughout the weekend-long event.
Marrae said she plans to write another book as she transitions to high school, or possibly college and beyond.
"I think writing would be fun to do for a career," she said. "I think it would be really cool."
"It's just amazing to know I am helping other people," Marrae said. "It feels great."
“The Secret Combination to Middle School: Real Advice from Real Kids, Ideas for Success, and Much More!” is available at Books N Things on Main Street in Norway and online retailers.