Homewood-Flossmoor High School junior Nichelle Joi started her day off on Monday reading a book for young students as part of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service program.
But it wasn’t just any book she was reading. It was “My Camera and Me,” the fourth book she’s authored.
The story focuses on a girl who gets a camera for her birthday and how it opens up new worlds to her. Nichelle says it depicts her “passion for film.” She’s a film class student at H-F and hopes to major in film in college. This book is dedicated to her work in film.
Nichelle said she started writing short stories when she was in fourth grade. Her mother, Marilyn Alexander, owns Destined to Publish and put her daughter’s words into a book, “The Joy of Writing: Short Stories for Kids,” with drawings by Toren N. Turner. Two years later, she published a second book, “The Mystery of the Missing Artifacts,” about a group of friends who, through the magic of writing, end up in China in search for artifacts.
“Beautiful Brown Child” was written in 2020 “when things weren’t the best for all of us, and I just wanted to have words of inspiration for kids all around.” The picture book encourages children of color to accept who they are, celebrate diversity and realize their significance.
The MLK event, Readers are Leaders project, gave members of the H-F wrestling team a two-hour window to read to younger children as part of a service project. Nichelle said she tagged onto it because she needed service hours as a member of the H-F National Honor Society, and “I like hanging out with kids. It was the perfect opportunity.”