SUGAR LAND, Texas — KHOU is Standing for Houston by celebrating the heroes who live next door. Nia Shetty might be the youngest neighbor we've spotlighted so far.
The 10-year old loves to read. She's read 20 books during the last 16 weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.
"I’ve always loved books. And staying at home just gave me more time to read more and I’ve had this idea for a long time," Nia said. "But during this pandemic seemed like the perfect time to do it."
With her parent's permission, the rising 6th grader launched Page2Page, a book review page on Facebook in late March. Authors and publishers have noticed and some are now sending her advance copies of their books so she can review them.
"Because I really felt that I could connect to my viewers and that I could really explain my book to them and show all of the emotions and imagery," Nia said.
The Sugar Land girl really misses her friends. She hasn't seen them since Spring Break. That's why she's diving into novels. Books are a comfort for her.
"They just transport you to so many different places. And, especially during this pandemic when I had to stay at home," Nia said. "Reading books just made me feel like I was actually going places, when I was actually sitting in a chair in my house. It just takes your mind off all of the stressful things."
"I know it might not be as stressful for some kids. Like, they’re like, yea! No school," Nia said of how kids might be processing the pandemic. "But sometimes it just gets a little overwhelming. Like, sometimes I was just like, why can’t I go back to school? I want to meet my friends. And it was actually kind of tough on me."
That's why she pushed her parents to grant her permission to create Page2Page on Facebook. Her parents manage the social media page, but Nia is allowed to create as much content as she'd like.
"Because sometimes words aren’t just enough. You have to let your children, just express themselves in whatever way they think is best. Poems, art. A story. Anything. Even a song," Nia said. "They just need to express themselves and let out their feelings. Otherwise all their feelings are just tucked in. Tucked away. And who knows if they’ll come out."
May we all take a page from Nia Shetty, a 10-year old girl who reminds us why we should all never judge a book by its cover.
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