Self-Published Teen Inks Deal With Scholastic
Posted on March 7, 2015
Self-published teen author Aija Mayrock just inked a deal with Scholastic to publish an expanded version of her ebook The Survival Guide to Bullying. Aija is 19 years old now and is studying at the Tisch School of the Arts. Life is good. But it wasn't always this way.
Aija started getting bullied in third grade in New York. She was called fat, stupid, ugly and was excluded from social activities. And it kept getting worse over time. She says she was very creative and loved to write, but it's a mystery to her why her classmates hated her so much. She says it never got physical, but it was constant people taking photos and videos of her and uploading them. Her parents intervened, but it just made it worse. At the end of middle school her family moved to California which helped. But her old classmates continued to jeer at her online.
For years she kept journals about what she went through and her research about how to cope with harassment. She self published her book which was just picked up by Scholastic. The expanded version of the book will be published in paperback and ebook formats in July 2015. The hardcover library edition will come out in September, 2015, just in time for the new school year.
Aija has lots of tips to help kids who are being bullied at school and are absolutely miserable. One point she makes in interviews is that you have to be your own superhero. No one else is going to save you. It's going to take work. But at the same time, you don't have to go through this alone. She says you need to find someone to trust, such a trusted adult. If a child is in physical danger, she says the family must go to the school authorities and if they don't respond, the authorities should be called in.
Her book details her many strategies for coping with bullying, while maintaining one's self esteem. She addresses cyber bullying which is rampant in high schools. She also talks to kids about living with fear, achieving self confidence and how to get inspired. The book includes her rap poems, stories of her years of being bullied and quizzes. She also provides resources for teens who need help they can't get at home or at school.
Aija has been writing since she was a child. In 2013 she won the Silver Medal at the Scholastic Art & Writing Award program in the Poetry category. She also writes screenplays and won the 10-10-10 Student Competition at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Photo: Aija Mayrock