NORWAY — A young published author is writing her third book — this time with the help of her Oxford Hills Middle School classmates.
Marrae Kimball of Norway, a seventh-grade student at the Oxford Hills Middle School, is writing a book about the transition from elementary to middle school that deals with the logistics of entering middle school and the academic and social concerns that students face, including making new friends and the fear of losing old friends.
“I guess mostly I just didn’t know what to expect,” Kimball said about her biggest fear of starting middle school. “We had a step-up day where we visited the junior high for a half day, which helped, but I still knew there was a lot more I would need to learn and get used to.”
Kimball’s classmates are helping by answering questions such as what was their biggest fear entering middle school, did anyone help and how, what do they like best about middle school and do they wish they were back in elementary school.
“They are working together as a class and will be choosing the content, title, book cover, etc,” Kimball’s mother, Melissa Eshleman said. She, along with classmates and teachers, helped Kimball write her first two books, “Guaranteed Success for Grade School: 50 Easy things You Can Do Today!” and “Guaranteed Success for Kindergarten: 50 easy things You Can Do Today!”
“Right now, they are in the process of answering questions that will be in the book to help others,” Eshleman said.
She said her daughter has adjusted to middle school and really enjoys it but she had many sleepless nights, tummy aches and even migraines the first few weeks of school because she wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
“Entering junior high is a child’s biggest transition since kindergarten, and can cause anxiety, stress and worry,” Eshleman said. “Students go from being the oldest in their school, to being the youngest. The fear of being bullied and picked on is another cause of stress and concern and it is Marrae’s hope that her new book will help with such matters.”
Kimball said she was very excited to go to middle school, but the new school seemed “really big” after attending the same elementary school for seven years.
“I thought I might get lost trying to find a classroom,” she said. The school has 538 students, compared to 434 at the elementary school.
“In elementary school we did switch classrooms but they were all right beside each other and all the same kids switched with me at the same time,” Kimball said. She said she also wondered what it would be like to have a locker with a combination when she went to middle school.
“What if I couldn’t remember the combination or it didn’t work or open? If my locker didn’t open, I might be late for class, which would not be good,” she said.
Kimball said she was most excited about seeing her friends after summer vacation and not having recess anymore. “And I looked forward to having a lot more foods to choose from at lunch time. . . . And I looked forward to the dances. Those are so much fun.”
Kimball received national attention for her previous publications. She has been featured in two Weekly Reader magazines, received acknowledgment from President Barak Obama and Sen. Olympia Snowe, and has been interviewed by “The John Tesh Radio Show.”
Her new book will be published by Find Your Way Publishing Inc. and should be available in June. It will be available through Find Your Way Publishing, at Books N Things on Main Street in Norway, and online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.