Gallant Kids Spotlight: Nia Mya Reese
A first grade assignment encouraging students to write about something they knew well sparked a literary career for Nia Mya Reese.
When she was 7, her teacher asked her to write a book about a subject where she felt like an authority. She knew exactly what topic to cover: Pesky younger brothers.
“I am an expert at taking care of my annoying little brother,” Nia Mya, from Hoover, Alabama, said in 2017.
When Nia Mya was 8 years old, her debut book became an Amazon bestseller.
The brother in question, Ronald Michael, was often too rough when they played football together, and he could be super frustrating at other times. Nia Mya explained that she coped with his exasperating traits by being patient and trying to teach him things. She detailed her tactics in her first book, “How to Deal With and Care for Your Annoying Little Brother,” which was released in November 2016. Her follow-up books include “Bully at School: A Bully’s Perspective” and “The Sore Loser (Don’t Be One).”
Her debut book became an Amazon bestseller when Nia Mya was 8 years old.
“I was very, very tickled,” said Nia Mya’s mom, Cherinita Ladd-Reese. “I said, ‘I think you wrote your first self-help book for kids.’”
While writing her initial book, Nia Mya established solid writing and editing routines. She’d pen a draft and share it with Ladd-Reese. Then mom would encourage her daughter to double-check the spelling and read it out loud. If anything sounded off, Nia Mya would revise the sentence so that it read better.
“We went through a long process,” Nia Mya explained after her first book became a hit. “My mommy checked it.”
Nia Mya’s books include “How to Deal With and Care for Your Annoying Little Brother,” “Bully at School: A Bully’s Perspective” and “The Sore Loser (Don’t Be One).”
Nia Mya felt undeterred by the hard work and started working on her second book about bullying. For this book, she wondered what the bully experienced that caused them to pick on other kids. This idea shaped the perspective of the book.
“You see both sides,” Nia Mya told Birmingham’s CBS 42.
For her last book, she urged children to learn how to lose gracefully without behaving like sore losers. Nia Mya faithfully jots notes in a journal, and those ideas eventually become her books.
“I really can’t keep up with the ideas that are coming out of her head. She has books, businesses inside her head, really good ideas,” her mother told the Birmingham TV station.
Now 13 years old, Nia Mya has received a lot of attention for her books, but she doesn’t let it go to her head too much.
“She’s been totally unbothered,” Ladd-Reese said.
As for her mom and dad, they’re happy for her success but also want her to enjoy being a kid.
“I cannot even begin to explain how proud I am,” Ladd-Reese said. “I always told her, ‘You are going to help a lot of people.’”