There is a new author in town and her name is Jada R. Gresham. She has written and published a children’s book entitled “How to Rob the Tooth Fairy,” and as is the case with most writers, she found inspiration for the story from happenings in her own life. However, there is one thing which sets Jada apart from the many other authors of children’s literature; she is only 12-years-old herself.
A seventh grader at Upson-Lee Middle School, Jada is the youngest published author in Upson County, and possibly the youngest published author in the entire state of Georgia. When asked how she feels about having this accomplishment at such a young age, Jada admitted that while she is excited, she often feels the whole experience has been a little surreal.
“I feel great, but also a little weird to have a book published at my age, when most people who do this are in their 20s and 30s,” she said. “It is strange to think that I am the youngest person in Upson County to do it.”
Jada actually started writing “How to Rob the Tooth Fairy,” several years ago, in 2008, after getting the idea for the storyline from her older brother Tomás.
“He inspired me to write the book because he is just so funny,” she said of her brother. “I also thought it would be a good idea to write about since it was a real-life experience.”
She explained that the book’s main character, Jack Wilson, is based off Tomás, who came up with an elaborate plan to rob the Tooth Fairy when he was nine years old. It all began when he lost several teeth at one time and the Tooth Fairy fell behind on her job. Each night he went to bed with his teeth under his pillow and each morning he woke up to find them still there. Tomás was not a happy camper, because there was a particular toy he wanted to buy and his money from the Tooth Fairy money was his only source of income.
After nearly a month of waiting, the Tooth Fairy finally came to visit when Jada lost her first tooth and made a stop in Tomás’ room as well. However, he was still upset the next morning because the money she left was not up to his calculations of what it should be. Therefore, he devised a plan to get back what he felt was rightfully his by robbing the Tooth Fairy; he would leave her a note and execute a sneak attack when she took a break to write him back. The story quickly became a family favorite and together they turned it into a two-page bedtime story. However, Jada is the one who completed the story as part of an assignment for school when her mother, Monekia, was homeschooling them both.
Once the story was finished, Jada read it to a first grade classroom that her family had adopted as part of their homeschooling. She was unsure how they would react, but the students loved it and even asked if it was available at the book fair for them to purchase. It was not, but their reaction gave her mother the idea of looking into publishing the manuscript. After researching several companies, Monekia and Jada decided Xlibris, a self-publishing and print-on-demand publishing company, would be the best fit and offer the most creative control. They were able to work with the illustrator and recreate Tomás’s room for Jack as well as adding in a few hidden things such as Jada’s dog, Whistle, and her hamster, Cookie. There is even a birthday card to Jack from Tomás.
Jada has always had a love a reading and writing, in fact she has been doing it since she was two years old and six years old respectively. When asked how she would feel if she was told one day that her book happened to be a child’s favorite to read, she stated she would be extremely excited.
“It would be great to know that somebody else got as much happiness from my book as I did,” she said.
When she is not working on her next book, Jada is busy playing basketball and soccer, as well as working hard at school. She hopes to one day go to college at Duke University or Harvard and wants to become a surgeon, but keep writing books as a hobby.
Plans are in the works for a book signing to be held in early October, but pre-order copies of “How to Rob the Tooth Fairy,” are available now for $16 (soft cover) or $25 (hard cover); both come with a free gift. To order, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-938-0213 and leave a message with your order information. The Thomaston Times will bring you information on the book signing as soon as it becomes available.