Middle school student pens book on being successful

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NORWAY — A local girl whose books have been read by former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe and President Barack Obama’s family, has just released her third book, “The Secret Combination to Middle School: Real Advice from Real Kids, Ideas for Success, and Much More!”

The 198-page juvenile nonfiction book is by Marrae Kimball, an eighth-grade honor student at Oxford Hills Middle School in Paris. It gives students tips and advice on how to make their grades, social life and extracurricular activities successful in middle school.

Kimball said the transition from elementary school to middle school wasn’t easy.

“I know what it’s like to start your first day in middle school, including the combination of excitement and nervousness,” she said. “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.”

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Kimball said she involved fellow students in the process, asking for their keys to success in making the transition.

 “I asked students who have already experienced the middle school transition to write about their experiences,” she said. “And I’m a middle school student and have experienced it myself. This book is a compilation of all that.”

Kimball said the transition from elementary school to middle school was hard for her at first.

“The first few months I got migraines on a regular basis, and those are not fun,” she said. “I had been at my elementary school since I was 5 years old, so the middle school seemed huge and it was harder to find my way around only because I wasn’t used to it. And I had some trouble with my locker the first few days. I thought I wasn’t remembering the combination correctly, but come to find out it was just getting stuck.”

Kimball 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!”

She presented her book, “Guaranteed Success for Grade School: 50 Easy Things You Can Do Today!” to Snowe during a 2010 visit to downtown Norway by the Senator. In turn, the senator gave a copy to President Obama, who wrote Kimball to thank her for it. She has been featured in two Weekly Reader magazines and has been interviewed by “The John Tesh Radio Show.”

In “The Secret Combination to Middle School,” readers learn that almost all kids are uneasy about attending a new school. It outlines the major differences between elementary and middle school, including what students should expect and how they can become more organized and responsible. Kimball encourages readers to be prepared while remembering to have fun and maintain a positive attitude.

Melissa Eshleman, Marrae’s mother and the founder of Find Your Way Publishing, Inc., said she is proud of her daughter. “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.”

“The Secret Combination to Middle School: Real Advice from Real Kids, Ideas for Success, and Much More!” is available through Find Your Way Publishing, Inc., Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com. It is also available at Books N Things on Main Street in Norway. To learn more, visit http://www.findyourwaypublishing.com/ [6].

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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