Published at the Age of 9

Most writers spend their entire career waiting for the moment when they see their name written on the front cover of their own published work. For McKenzie Betts, that honor was accomplished at the age of 9 when she published her children’s book Blue Bear Finds A Rainbow. McKenzie’s book confronts the issue of self-esteem and helps children to love and understand who they are.

When asked to describe the book in her own words McKenzie stated that “It teaches you to like yourself for the way you are and not to want to change.”

Blue Bear Finds a Rainbow tells the story of a self-conscious bear who develops his self image through what others say about him. The negative remarks from other bears causes him to feel sad and doubt his ability to succeed. After Blue Bear finds an unexpected friend, he begins to develop a positive sense of self-esteem and learns that he is perfect just the way he is.

Through the illustrations of Stacie Desautels, the positive meanings hidden within McKenzie’s words comes to life. Students at Lulu Ross Elementary School had the opportunity to hear McKenzie’s story as School Counselor Jay Lingo and Principal Cindy McKenzie read her book to the entire school.

McKenzie will be sharing her book with children at Mispilion Elementary School, Morris Early Childhood Center and Avenue Methodist Church in the upcoming weeks. She has even been asked to speak to the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford about her book and her experience getting it published.

Currently, McKenzie is working on a second children’s book that features Yellow Bear who talks about the experience of making new friends.

“Yellow Bear has a lot of friends but when a new school is built many of them go to the new school and Yellow Bear has to make new friends,” describes McKenzie about the new book she is currently writing. “He meets a blue bear and a black bear and finds out that they share the same experience of moving to a new school.”

McKenzie’s parents, Bobby and Diane Betts, are very proud of their daughter’s accomplishment and have encouraged her to make all the decisions regarding her book.

“It has all come together so easy,” commented Mr. Betts. “It all fell into place for her and we will give her all of our support. The publishing company was great with her realizing that she was just 9 years old.”

Blue Bear Finds a Rainbow is currently being sold online through international book providers including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. To order a copy of the book, individuals can send a check for $22, which includes shipping and handling, to The Betts Family, P.O. Box 110, Lincoln, DE 19960. Orders should include buyer’s name, address, phone number and email address. Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit a family friend, a nine-year-old girl named Lily, who was badly injured in an automobile accident.

With her first published book at the age of 9, McKenzie is looking forward to a lifetime of helping children. In her free time, McKenzie plays school at home and hopes to become a teacher when she grows up.

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