CHICAGO — When a fourth grade student found herself grappling with anxiety, she expressed her feelings by writing. Now a teenager, a north suburban high school student is sharing her story with other children and inspiring young authors along the way.
Taylor Hirsch is one of Chicago’s Very Own.
At just 16-years-old, Hirsch is already a published author and mentor.
“So each day there’s a lesson: Let’s be optimistic, let’s push through things, let’s use our positive energy to get what we want to do,” Hirsch said.
Hirsch — the author of the children’s book “Yummy Up Bakery” — regularly holds book readings for elementary students where she discusses her path to becoming an author, but also the plot of the book, which addresses anxiety.
“When I was in fourth grade I’d get a lot of anxiety and writing was an outlet for to get my feelings out on paper,” she explained.
In 2014, the 10-year-old Kipling Elementary student of Deerfield entered a young authors competition. She won the district award for “Yummy Up Bakery.” The story is about bakery items experiencing anxiety as they wait for selection.
“They are at this bakery and each day they are just kind of waiting to be chosen, because if they are not by the end of the week, they will be thrown out,” said Hirsch.
The book was published in 2018 and Hirsch’s storytelling has been a hit with young critics.
But behind the sweet talk, there is a message Hirsch hopes will resonate with children.
“It’s like focusing on who you are as a person and not what other people think of you. I wanted that message to come across to the kids,” said Hirsch.
And no surprise — her parents are proud.
“The fact that she put this together into a book in a night and then had the thoughtfulness to choose characters is really a continuation of how she was as a young child,” said her father Justin Hirsch.
“Extremely proud,” added Taylor’s mom, Julie Hirsch. “I was getting shivers when she was reading.”
Taylor said she loves the interaction and the feedback she receives from the children.
“I love kids. I always loved kids and I just wanted the message that I had in this book to soar.”
Hirsch said she will continue writing. Her latest interest is poetry.