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Louisiana fourth-grader writes, publishes anti-bullying book

December 16, 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Marcayah Carter was teased last school year when she started wearing glasses. Even though she could see better and she picked mint green frames — her favorite color — they laughed.

But look who’s laughing now.

The confident Dorseyville Elementary School student, now a fourth-grader, was quick to brush off the comments, but she recognized that other kids get picked on and sometimes that makes them cry, or they respond by getting mad, which gets them in trouble.

She told her mom about what was going on, and then she started writing.

What came of it was “Don’t be a Bully: Love Always,” a book that tells of two elementary-aged best friends whose relationship falls apart when one friend begins to bully the other. The victim is so upset about being bullied she goes to a doctor for depression, but the bully doesn’t understand how she’s hurting her friend until she’s the one being bullied by someone else.

Marcayah’s mom, Erica Franklin-Carter, surprised her daughter with a hard copy of the book for her ninth birthday in July, contracting a graphic designer to design the cover art.

Since then, they’ve started selling the book around Iberville Parish, and they’ve listed it on Amazon as both an e-book and a physical book. With more than 100 copies sold, they’re about to order their fourth reprint.

“I experienced bullying, and I’ve seen it at school, too,” Marcayah said. She wrote the book “because bullying happens everywhere in life.”

Since the book published over the summer, several other students have reached out to Marcayah.

One younger girl was picked on because of a skin condition that makes her self-conscious, Marcayah said. She didn’t want to come to school anymore and worried she didn’t have any friends, but Marcayah said she asked to be the girl’s friend and to help her at school.

“Every time she sees me now, we give each other a hug, and sometimes, I’ve been walking her to class,” Marcayah said.

Marcayah waved at friends through the window of the school’s library while she had her photo taken and laughed about being “famous.”

The fourth-grader was a speaker at a recent Iberville Parish School Board meeting and met Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi at his office where he commended her on the book. He also bought the remaining nine available copies of “Don’t be a Bully: Love Always” to donate to area schools.

“Marcayah is an enthusiastic and inspiring young lady. She truly is mature and wise beyond her years,” Stassi wrote in a Facebook post about the visit.

Between 4-H Club, cheerleading, Junior Beta and regular school work, Marcayah already started writing another book.

This one, to be titled “Music to My Ears,” will be the true story of her cousin, who’s trying to become recognized as a rapper. Marcayah’s notes are scrawled in a notebook at home, but she hopes to release the book next year.

“It’s really all about following your dreams,” she said.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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