Briarcliff Middle School Sixth Grader Publishes a Novel

Anushka Rai

As she wraps up her first year at Briarcliff Middle School as a sixth grader, Anushka Rai has accomplished a dream: she self-published a book on Amazon called ‘Chasing the Stars.’ With the help of her parents, as well as her friend Lily Ahmed, who drew the cover, Anushka wrote a book which, she hopes, will bring inspiration to others.

Here is a summary of the book, in Anushka’s own words:

Trinity Shwartz is the new girl when she moves to an entirely new state. During every school year in the past, Trinity has been told to do things that please others instead of herself. And she listened. But this time, things were different. A new state, new school, new people, and this time, a new Trinity.

According to Anushka, the book is recommended for kids as young as third graders.

“The book does contain words that a third grader might not know, but then again, it is normal for books to have new words. It’s supposed to help people increase their vocabulary,” she explained.

During the creative process, Anushka focused on one thing – to help and inspire others.

“I had one goal the entire time I was writing: to write something that will inspire and help people around the world,” she said. “I have always wanted to help people, I just never knew how, and I have always loved writing, so I thought, ‘I like writing, and I like helping. Let me combine those together’ That is how ‘Chasing the Stars’ came to be.”

Anushka is not sure if she wants to make a living as an author, but no matter where life leads her, she plans to continue writing.

“I have other passions, such as music and science, so there are a lot of things to consider, but I do hope that I never stop writing,” she said. “Writing helps me pour out my feelings and stay calm in tough situations, such as the pandemic. It’s my way of coping. I hope that in the future I will keep on writing, even if it’s on the side.”

“I am so proud of Anushka and her desire to share a love for reading with others,” said Briarcliff Middle School Assistant Principal Amy Gladstone. “I am looking forward to reading ‘Chasing the Stars’ this summer.”

Click below to order the book on Amazon.


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