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8 year old author and youth advocate LaNiyah Bailey was introduced to the world on NPR Radio after she and her parents appeared on Michel Martin’s show “Tell Me More.” Broadcast in over 500 cities, it led a world-wide discussion in support of President Barack Obama’s anti-bullying initiative and the epidemic of Bulling in America.

Shortly thereafter, her phone began ringing off the hook. Major media outlets such as CNN, FOX, NBC, BET, WGN, AOL, ABC, Huffington’s Post and many others throughout the world, including London and Korea. They wanted to know more about this young girl’s “inspiring courage” after she penned the highly-acclaimed children’s book Not Fat Because I Wanna Be with her mother LaToya “Toyiah Marquis” White and illustrator Laura Pérez Ricaud.

The book detailed the story of fictional character Jessica. Jessica was bullied because of her weight which was caused by an underlying medical condition, which caused her to gain weight even though she was very healthy and active. At such a young age, Jessica had to endure some painful and unhappy times. Finally Jessica decided to stand up for herself. The story was based on LaNiyah’s very own true-to-life experiences of being bullied and teased because of her weight.

Since the book's release, LaNiyah has been featured in magazines, interviewed on 100’s of radio shows, blogs and TV shows. The book has garnered “5-star reviews” and is currently in lesson plans in schools throughout the United States, London and Korea. Ms. Bailey received what is a “dream come true” to her--a letter from the first lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama expressed her support for LaNiyah’s efforts and appreciates that LaNiyah and her family is standing with her in her childhood obesity initiative and awareness.

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Finding the Courage to Be Yourself

I may only be 8 years old, but I have learned a great deal. I've learned that bullying is for losers and losers are just not cool! Writing two books has shown me that I may be young but, I can achieve whatever it is that I put my mind to. If I strive hard and really focus on what it is that I want, I can do it all. I want other kids my age to know that they can do the same things I've done if they put their minds to it. If I had just 500 words…

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