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Riverside sophomore publishes new age fairy tale

Kiara Brown. Courtesy Photo
As Riverside High School's Kiara Brown reflected on well-known fairy tales like “The Princess and the Pea,” she felt many of the classics were outdated. So she went ahead and wrote her own.

The local sophomore then took it a step further -- and she's now published her own children’s book, “Princess Pretend and the Not Knight.”

Brown said she didn’t like that “Princess and the Pea” sent the message that the princess was only considered such because she was fragile. She wanted to send a message to kids that they didn’t have to be like stereotypical princesses or knights.

“If you don’t have long hair or have a different skin color, it just means you’ll be a different kind of princess or knight,” Brown said.

She got the idea for the book a couple years ago. The hardest part was drawing the illustrations, she said, and it ended up being a good exercise in taking things one step at a time.

She did everything herself, from plotting and writing the book to illustrating, designing the cover and contacting publishers and printers.

With hard work, dedication and the support of her friends and family, Brown was able to make her first book a reality. She arranged to print the book and is expected to receive the final copies later this month. She plans to sell the book through her website.

“I always wanted to write books,” Brown said. “I thought I had to wait until I was older, but I realized I could do it now.”

Brown also took rough drafts to elementary schools and read to students who would then give her feedback. She said she got a lot of positive feedback that she incorporated into the final draft, as well as encouraging messages.

“The whole thing can seem really overwhelming,” Brown said. “Eventually you’ll see it pay off and make an impact.”


Wow! This is so impressive and inspiring! My shout outs to Kiara for modernizing classic fairy tails to today’s needs and for giving children confidence about themselves! I cannot wait to read this to my kids…great Christmas gift idea :)

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