Rock Hill girl shares her book with other children in Chester

rsouthmayd@heraldonline.comAugust 1, 2013 

— Some children spend their free time playing sports. Some take dance classes. Some play video games.

Taylor-Alexis Barber, 10, of Rock Hill spent a lot of her free time writing a chapter book and getting it published, something she shared with other children Thursday afternoon at Chester County’s Academy of Teaching and Learning.

The school recently received a grant to create a literacy and performing arts center from the CindyMackie Foundation, said Sharon Furr, foundation founder and president.

Furr said when she met Taylor-Alexis and learned about her book, she thought it represented the goals of the foundation perfectly.

Cynthia “Cindy” Furr was a Winthrop University professor who wanted to help “children become something extraordinary,” Sharon Furr said. The foundation was created in honor of Cindy Furr and her 2-year-old daughter, McAllister, or “Mackie,” who were killed in a 2009 car accident in Charlotte – an accident that also took the life of a Clover teen, Hunter Holt.

“Through literacy and through the love of reading and writing, she (Taylor-Alexis) was able to write a little book from her own heart,” Sharon Furr said.

Taylor-Alexis’ book is called “The Tales of Riley The Mouse.” She said it’s about a mouse named Riley as he deals with issues in his life such as bullying, having a crush and having an adopted brother.

Taylor-Alexis wanted to write it because when she was in the third grade, she didn’t feel there were enough chapter books for readers her age.

“It feels exciting and fun,” she said of writing her own book. She’s currently working on her second Riley story.

By reading her book, Sharon Furr said, she hopes Taylor-Alexis can inspire other children. “Because Cindy was so awesome about letting children know, ‘You can do anything, there’s no obstacle that can stop you,’ and this is a prime example of a child that could do anything and will continue to become something extraordinary in life.”

As for Taylor-Alexis, who will be a student at Dutchman Creek Middle School this year, writing is just a hobby. She doesn’t want to be an author when she grows up.

Her career goal?

A Supreme Court justice.

Rachel Southmayd 803-329-4072

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