By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
Meet Chelsea Simpson. The 11-year-old is perhaps the youngest author in the British Virgin Islands following the launch of her book, ‘The Story of Five Besties’ — a tale about friendship, bravery and kindness.
“I feel happy and excited,” Chelsea, a grade six student at the Cedar International School told BVI News during her book launch at the CB Romney Tortola Pier Park on Thursday evening.
“It was very hard because I didn’t want to grow up too quickly because I really want to enjoy my childhood. But, at the same time, I felt that I wanted to put something out there,” the young author said while describing her journey to writing the book.
The story tells the tale of five friends who went to the beach and experienced an unfortunate turn in the weather.
“They got lost at sea, and they find each other again and goes safely back to shore,” Chelsea explained.
The youngster’s mother Misty Ellis-Simpson — a fellow author — explained that the journey started when she overheard her daughter singing in the bathroom with her toys.
She said after having a conversation with Chelsea, she encouraged her to document the song which she made up about the five friends. That jingle transformed into a book, and in the space of six to eight months, the book was completed and is now being sold for $20.
“I love her creative side. For me, I am always saying what is she up to next? It’s quite cool having her as a new little author,” said Simpson who added that the book is now available at Island Services Limited in Pasea Estate and will also be sold on Amazon.
In the meantime, Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley commended the young author.
He said: “I think it is absolutely fantastic that Chelsea at 11 years old has published a book. I think it really speaks well as to where the BVI is going that we can have persons publishing books at 11.”
He continued: “I hope that she is an inspiration to others that we can understand that we don’t have to just read books. We can write books. We don’t have to just consume culture, we can be creators of culture. She is certainly someone who is very creative, she has a vast imagination, and she has a great support system, and that allowed her to take her dream and turn that into reality.”
The Education Minister then pledged to support the young author by purchasing copies of the book for circulation to the territory’s schools.
“I am looking forward to what else she has to offer. The sky is the limit for her,” Dr Wheatley added.