8-year-old, Author/Anti-Bullying Advocate LaNiyah Bailey was ONLY six years old, when she was introduced to the world by way of NPR Radio it was after she and her parents appeared on Michel Martin’s show “Tell Me More.” Broadcast in over 500 cities; it lead a world-wide discussion in support of President Barack Obama’s anti-bullying initiative and the epidemic of Bulling in America, March 15, 2011. Shortly thereafter, her phone began ringing off the hook. Major media outlets such as CNN, FOX, NBC, BET, WGN, AOL, ABC, Huffington’s Post and many others throughout the world; including London and Korea. They wanted to know more about this young girl’s “inspiring courage” after she penned the highly-acclaimed children’s book “Not Fat Because I Wanna Be” along with her mother LaToya “Toyiah Marquis” White and illustrator Laura Pérez Ricaud.
The book detailed the story of fictional character Jessica. Jessica was bullied because of her weight which was caused by an underlying medical condition, which caused her to gain weight even though she was very, healthy and active. At such a young age Jessica had to endure some painful and unhappy times. Finally Jessica decided to stand up for herself.
The story was based on LaNiyah’s very own true to life instances of being bullied and teased because of her weight. Since the books release in March 2011, LaNiyah has been featured in magazines, interviewed on 100’s of radio shows, blogs and TV shows. The book has garnered “5-star reviews” across the board and is currently in lesson plans at schools throughout the United States and Korea.
Title: “Not Fat Because I Wanna Be”
Author: LaNiyah Bailey
Page count: 42
Genre: Juvenile Non-Fiction
Tell us about your book:
The book is called, “Not fat because I wanna be” and it is about a girl named Jessica who was getting teased and bullied because of her weight. The kids in her school didn’t know she was a healthy person so; they always teased her and made her really sad. One day Jessica decided that it was time to stand-up to a mean girl named Brittany, and when she did all the other kids stopped teasing and bullying her.
How long did it take to write the book?
Well, my mom listened to me tell my story for about 1 week. She wrote everything down and we then came up with characters and the setting. I would say it took us about 6 months to finish everything and to get the book out there.
What inspired you to write the book?
Me being bullied and teased about my weight inspired the story. But, my mom helped inspire me to write as a way to talk about what happened and to get it out to help others.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
My mom and I sat down for 1 –week recounting the things that I had been through with bullying and that inspired the story. My mom did lots of research on bullying and we came up with how we wanted the book to read together. It was a very relaxing process for me because, I was able to tell my mother how I was feeling and that made me feel much better.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
That they should never judge people by the way they look on the outside.
Excerpt from book:
In preschool, the other kids teased me about being fat, and spending too much time in the bathroom.
“Fatty pants you can’t run, wobble. wobble. wobble.”
“Fatty pants, sitting on the potty!” sang the mean kids that followed me around the playground.
I would scrub tears from my face and try to run away from them.
I would like to say thank you, for having me today. I hope your readers will share my message and help us spread the word about my book “Not Fat Because I Wanna Be.” I just want kids to know that I am doing this for them and not me.
Please visit my website at: www.NotfatbecauseIwannabe.com
Where can we go to buy your book?
Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Book Stores, Libraries and The author’s official website: www.NotFatBecauseIWannaBe.com
Any other links or info you'd like to share?