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Asheville teen writes book to help middle schoolers

Aryelle Jacobsen, about to begin her senior year at A.C. Reynolds High School, is now a published author.  Her book, "A is for Awkward" is to help kids make that often tough transition from elementary school to middle school.  (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Aryelle Jacobsen, about to begin her senior year at A.C. Reynolds High School, is now a published author. Her book, "A is for Awkward" is to help kids make that often tough transition from elementary school to middle school.

"My mind was changing. My body was changing. My friends were changing. So, I had a really difficult time when I was entering sixth grade," Jacobsen said.

The marching band member wants other kids to know they are not alone.

"A is for Awkward" is a small, easy-to-read A, B, C book, with a positive message assigned to each letter of the alphabet. Jacobsen credited her friends for giving her ideas and doing all the book's artwork.

Psychiatrist, publisher and family friend Dr. Steven Buser published Jacobsen's book. Buser said it offers a different type of help than most of his books.

"It's not some expert who has a Ph.D. in child psychology who is writing about how they ought to feel as a teenager. It's about a teenager and her friends, who are also teenagers, writing about their very recent experience of middle school," Buser said.

Reynolds High School Principal Doris Sellers said she plans to keep copies of "A is for Awkward" in her office, hoping it will help her current, as well as future, students.

"It may have been written and designed for the middle school years, but I still think it has such an encouraging message and such a positive message, that it would be very appropriate for high schools. They would enjoy it," Sellers said.

Jacobsen hopes to have a copy of her book in every middle school in the U.S. Right now, "A is for Awkward" is available at Amazon, Malaprops and Barnes & Noble.

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