'How-To' Book for Middle Schoolers
'How-To' Book for Middle Schoolers
Posted on 05/23/2017
Ever wish middle school came with a field guide? A.C. Reynolds High School junior Aryelle Jacobsen has you covered.

Her book, “A is for Awkward,” alphabetizes the complications of adolescence and how to deal with them.

“This is a book on how to survive it and gain the best experience,” she said. “It’s all about developing confidence.”

Each page features a concept – like “B is for Brave” or “T is for Time Management” – advice related to the topic and original art by local teens.

“It’s written by teens for teens,” Jacobsen said. “It doesn’t have a lot of complicated language. It’s personable and relatable.”

She is writing a curriculum to accompany the book to make it easier for educators to use it and interact with students.
The book "A is for Awkward" sits open on a shelf.
“I could have really used this book in middle school,” she said. “Kids’ confidence levels are made or broken at that age, and that influences the decisions they make. It’s a really crucial time in a kid’s life.”

Jacobsen hopes the book will encourage younger students and help them develop an attitude of optimism and gratitude. She tested curriculum ideas at Cane Creek Middle School earlier this year, and she’s working with some of her teachers on lesson plans.

“She has excellent, engaging strategies to get children interested in the book,” said Laura Mayer, an instructional coach at A.C. Reynolds. “Middle schoolers are drawn to it, and I think it’s really helpful for them.”

Jacobsen also used the book for her Girl Scout Gold Award project, and she has been nominated for a National Young Women of Distinction award, a Girl Scout title that recognizes outstanding 10 Gold Award projects that address national or international needs.

“This project has really helped me to learn about what I love personally and what I can pursue as a career path,” she said. “I have a passion for helping people.”

Jacobsen said her book should be published sometime this summer. After her senior year, she plans to study public health in college and work on more programs to boost teen confidence.
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