At only 9-years-old, her resume is one to be envied. She has written seven books, but until now, none were published. That changed this past fall when Ricki became the youngest author in her publishing company, Balboa. Ricki and her family felt her stories should be available for all, to help teach and inspire.
Fly High Butterfly is a story of faith, hope, and friendship. Rose, a young butterfly, is separated from her mother and befriends a young girl named Ricki. The two set off on a hopeful adventure that leads to Rose reuniting with her mother.
“When I write books, I want to connect with people,” Ricki said. “I want it to inspire them.” That is exactly what she is doing. When Ricki and her mother, LoWana Hardy, decided to take her stories to the next level, their main goal was to make sure these books helped in giving back to the community.
“Our goal is to donate to underprivileged kids,” LoWana said. “We are teaming up with Half Priced Books for their donation drive. Ricki will be able to give out free books to children who may not be able to afford them.”
With an African American and Panamanian background, Ricki had a desire to turn Fly High Butterfly into a dual-language book, being printed in both English and Spanish. Her hope is to team up with surrounding school districts and have her book be a tool for dual-language programs.
Encouragement from family and her teachers at school has given Ricki the confidence to expand her brand. Not only does she have more books in the pipeline, she has created Ricki Reads– a website where cartoon-Ricki reads to and interacts with her fans. Videos of Ricki reading will also be added to her YouTube channel.
“The goal is for her to start doing these videos of her reading her own books and other books that she admires. We want kids to actually join in and enjoy learning how to read,” LoWana said. “It’s not all about bragging rights. It is about helping. If God blesses you with a gift, you have to give your gift to others.”
Fly High Butterfly was created as a way for Ricki to give part of her passion to friends, to connect with them, and to touch lives. She hopes her books inspire others to create and use their gifts, as well.
“When I grow up, I want to be a writer, and if I can, be a part-time singer,” Ricki said. “I want others to know they should let their imaginations go wild, have fun, but don’t forget to do the work.”
Keep an eye out for Ricki’s soon-to-be-released titles including, Where’s My Crown, Not Always a Royal, and her trilogy, Summer School Nightmare.
Follow Ricki on her website, www.RickiReads.com. Her books can be found online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Wal-Mart.
photo courtesy of LoWana Hardy