Seven-year-old Natalie McGriff, from Jacksonville, FL, used to hate her hair and hate reading. Many parents would sigh and not know what to do about sparking a love of reading and raising their child’s self-esteem. However, what Natalie’s mom, Angela Nixon, did instead was collaborate with her daughter to create a children’s book, The Adventures of Moxie Girl. Now, thanks to the crowdfunding platform, One Spark, Natalie is going to be able to help other young readers of color see how beautiful, brave, and and powerful they are and can be.
The mother-daughter duo created the superhero, Moxie Girl - moxie, of course, meaning “the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage” – as a way to show that the things we often see as our flaws are actually our greatest strengths, if we learn to see them that way. Moxie Girl is based on Natalie, and starts out hating reading and her hair in equal measure. But then, as Natalie explains to ABC News:
But she gets this shampoo from her godmother that gives her hair superpowers, and she saves her local library from monsters trying to eat the books.
After having exceeded their crowdfunding goal on One Spark, McGriff and Nixon were invited to participate in a One Spark festival last month, and after presenting the book at the festival, they won the audience vote in the Education category, which won them a $15,000 to publish their book!
Nixon says they hope to release the book in June, but they’re still not sure how widely available it will be, though several stores have already expressed interest in carrying it.
I hope that the book will be made available both in hard copy form and digitally, making it easier for parents to get it into the hands of kids who really need it, empowering girls of color, and encouraging more diverse representation in the media.