YOUNG ADULT NOVEL Just A Kid, the latest novel by Summerland writer Rie Charles, was inspired by Greta Thunberg, the Nova Scotia teenagers who started the Pink Shirt Day initiative and others. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Novel celebrates power of young activists

Summerland author was inspired by Greta Thunberg and anti-bullying advocates in Nova Scotia

When Summerland author Rie Charles watched the impact made by young activists, she wrote a novel about the difference one young person can make.

Just A Kid is a short book, just 96 pages long, and is intended for younger readers.

READ ALSO: Children’s book examines losses

Charles said the story was inspired by the actions of Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and the actions of a group of teenagers in Nova Scotia who launched the pink shirt movement as an anti-bullying initiative.

The novel follows Meerin Hoy, a nine-year-old girl who wants to save her community’s favourite park from development.

Charles said the story is intended to show what is possible when people of any age choose to speak up and get involved.

“You can do this. We all have power,” she said.

“Hopefully you can choose to use it.”

At the same time, Charles said young people, and especially girls, tend to receive a lot of opposition and criticism when they choose to speak out on an issue they consider important.

The book is published by Red Deer Press and Charles is working to have it on the shelves in bookstores in the region and in the province.

In addition, it is available at the Summerland Arts Centre and Gallery’s gift shop.

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