Fairfield author navigates middle school struggles in her new book

FAIRFIELD — A local author’s new book, “Greta Grace” is the result of many years of life experience, she said.

Joanna Quinn, of Fairfield, recently had her first book published. The story involves a middle schooler going through the trials and tribulations many went through during that part of their lives.

Quinn is a former middle school teacher who worked in the Bronx and Stamford. She said what she saw while teaching, as well as watching her own children grow up, influenced the story she tells.

“I witnessed things as a middle school teacher, and then having kids in middle school you hear stories and you see things as well,” she said. “It kind of was a nice compilation in the end.”

The most challenging part of writing the book, which is written for youngsters ages 9 to 12, was actually sitting herself down and doing it, Quinn said. The book can be found on Amazon or at Quinn’s wesbite.

After teaching for a number of years, Quinn opened up the pre-school Small To Tall Scholars in Fairfield. She said she eventually sold the school, adding her goal at the time was to get her book out into the world.

“But, I started it and then it got shelved because I was raising kids and what not,” she said. “I circled back around once my kids were college age.”

But the time was valuable, Quinn said, and she always wanted her story to focus on middle school because she loved teaching that age group.

“It’s a time in their lives in which in one hand they want a teddy bear and the other hand they want a boyfriend or girlfriend,” she said. “I just feel like it’s a time where it can be really challenging. A lot of middle school kids go through some of the same experiences.”

Quinn said those experiences could include friendships ending or having trouble fitting in.

“What readers will find in the book are relatable experiences that not all but some of them will go through in middle school,” she said. “They can connect with the main character in that way because it’s as if she is them or a friend.”

As readers go through the book, Quinn said, they will see that Greta has wise older people in her life who give her advice and teach her how to handle things in a way most middle school students would not handle them.

“Without preaching, it’s a good way to also inspire them and empower them,” she said.

joshua.labella@hearstmediact.com