Young author presents Snowe with book

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NORWAY – A young Norway author’s advice to other elementary school children should be provided to members of Congress, U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe said during a recent tour of downtown Norway.

“Respect differences. We’ll send that one to Congress,” said Snowe as she talked with 11-year-old Marrae Kimball and her mom, Melissa Eshlemen, of Norway during a meet and greet Republican candidates tour on Main Street on Wednesday.

The advice was one of 50 ideas Marrae, a sixth-grade student at the Rowe Elementary School, gave in her first book titled “Guaranteed Success for Grade School: 50 Easy Things You Can Do Today!”

She wrote the book while a fifth-grade student.

The daughter of Melissa Eshlemen and Curtis Kimball of Harrison learned about Snowe coming to Norway and decided to go downtown hoping to meet her and give her an autographed book. Snowe had heard about Marraes’ book previously and had sent her a letter of congratulations last year.

Standing with a gift bag containing two of her books, one signed to the senator and one to President Barak Obama and his family, she asked if Snowe would give President Obama and his family a copy of the book. 

Snowe said she would.

“These are guaranteed for life,” said Snowe of the advice including, “Hang up your coat,” which she said she intends to tell her husband, former Maine Gov. John McKernan Jr.

“Learn it in grade school and you take it with you for the rest of your life,” said Snowe as she read some of the bits of advice to a small group of Republican officials and candidates and pedestrians gathered around.

Marrae said she was thrilled to meet Snowe.

“I was really excited. I think it was a lot of fun to meet her,” said Marrae.

Marrae’s book not only caught the eye of Snowe but Jason Levesque, candidate for Congress in Maine’s Second District, who remarked on Marrae’s face.

“Look at her eyes,” he said as he watched the young girl listening to the senior senator.

Levesque was so impressed with the book and the author that he posted a comment on his Facebook page a few hours later.

“This might be the first book I have ever 100 percent recommended! I had the honor of meeting the author, 11-year-old Marrae Kimball from Norway ME, today during my downtown walk. This book should be mandatory reading for members of Congress! Go out and buy it today! Support good people doing good things here in Maine!” he said on his Facebook page.

Marrae decided she would try to help younger students by putting together ideas that would make the grade-school experience easier. She and her mom brainstormed ideas. A year later, with the help of family and friends and teachers, the book was written, edited, designed and published by Melissa and her husband Ed Eshleman. The Eshlemans started their own publishing company to publish a book being written by Melissa about infant loss and Marrae’s book, which is available through Books N Things on Main Street in Norway and at www.barnesandnoble.com and www.amazon.com.

An avid reader, and painter, the Rowe Elementary School student said her favorite books are historical fiction and fantasy. She enjoys math, writing and reading in school.

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