Lauryn Marie Burks: Published First Book at Only 5 Years Old

by Karl Nelson II, Intern Media 

How often do you find yourself making the following statement?

“There are not enough hours in the day.”

For me, that quote is very much so a part of my daily life.

Well, the same goes for Lauryn Marie Burks, a young author who published her first children’s book at just 5 years old.

While adults often feel the weight of the world on their shoulders, it’s important to remember that children feel the pressure of the world too, even though their stresses are uniquely different.

For some young people, they’re juggling things like school, sports, friendships, peer pressures, and more.

As for Lauryn, even at 5, at the time, she dealt with the pressure of “staying on task” and adapting to her parents’ sometimes “hurried” lives.

It was challenges such as those that prompted Lauryn to write her first book — “My 100 Hands.”

The title of the book was inspired by something in particular that Lauryn said to her father one day when she was rushing to put on her clothes, shoes and coat.

“Daddy, I wish I had 100 hands,” Lauryn said, at the time.

That statement sparked a later response from her dad.

“What would you do if you had 100 hands?” he asked Lauryn.

It was that question that caused Lauryn to ponder.

“This sounds like a children’s book,” Lauryn thought to herself.

Well, being the “bright, articulate, imaginative child” that she is, Lauryn began writing “My 100 Hands.”

My100Hands

Lauryn created characters in the book — “hands” that had the ability to assist her with tasks like homework and could also cheer her up when she was feeling down.

The book was such a success that both children and adults happily supported it, and I was one of those people.

In fact, months ago, while in my hometown of Baltimore, I visited my church, Bridgeway Community Church. As I set among the thousands of members in our congregation, there Lauryn was.

She had popped up on the big screen in a pre-recorded interview with a member of the church.

I was both impressed and inspired by how Lauryn carried herself during the interview and with how well she articulated the creative approach she took in writing her first book and now other published works — “My 100 Hands Go To School” and “Pretty Hand Goes To Paris.”

LaurynMarieBurks3

Following the church service, Lauryn was in the lobby signing several copies of her books for people like myself, who wanted to support her.

I could have easily walked out of the church that day without finding out more about Lauryn’s story, but the true journalist in me wouldn’t allow me to make such a mistake.

I’m glad I made the decision to support Lauryn because now Intern Media has added such a unique and inspirational new journey to its wall — a journey that’s far from over, as Lauryn continues to impress readers of every age.

Lauryn is setting the stage for more young writers and creative thinkers, who are also on the rise.

Take a closer look at our interview in its entirety and let your imaginations run wild just like Lauryn’s does as a young author.

LaurynMarieBurks2

The Interview

Q. What made you want to write a book?

A. Well, my dad was getting dressed one morning and he was rushing me to do stuff like put on my clothes, my shoes and my coat. I went up to him and I said: “Daddy, I wish I had 100 hands.”

He didn’t listen to me at the time, but then all of a sudden he came back to me and he said: “What would you do if you had 100 hands?”

I responded, saying, “Well, daddy, I could get dressed easier if I had 100 hands. I could make lemonade. I could clean my room.”

From there, I came up with a big list of ideas and then all of a sudden it sounded like a children’s book to me.

Imaginatively, I wished I had 100 hands, so my 100 hands kind of popped up at my door step. They were now mine and were ready to help me do stuff. So, that’s where the title came from.

excerpt2

 

 

Q. If you could choose three hands to keep with you everyday, which ones would it be and why?

A. My first hand would be Smarty Hand because he helps me with my homework, and if I didn’t understand something at school, I’d have him there to help me.

My second hand would be Pretty Hand because she’s really nice. We both like art, books and all kinds of other things.

My third one would be Happy Hand because any time that I’m down or I don’t feel well and I just need someone to cheer me up, I always know who to call; Happy Hand. He makes life fun and interesting, and even though he gets into trouble, he’s still one of my favorites.

Q. How did it feel to have so many people buying your book at Bridgeway?

A. It felt great to see all of the people coming and buying my book, giving some good reviews on it and it just felt nice to see my name in the spotlight. I’m just happy that I accomplished all of these things. It made me feel positive.

LaurynMarieBurks5

Q. You’ve done group readings with other children. What is the best part about reading to other children? 

A. The best part is seeing all of the happy faces when they come in and when they leave. It’s great reading to other people and seeing that they appreciate my work.

I get to see the school and the children and what they’re learning. It just makes me so happy when I go to schools and see their projects of their “hands” and I love it because it’s really cool. It’s really cool to see the different art projects and the artwork on the walls about the hands from my book. It just makes me happy.

Q. How have your parents helped you as a young author? 

A. My dad helped me edit my story. He’s helped me print and edit since I was 5, when I started. I mainly wrote the story, and it was fun writing.

My mom and my dad have pushed me and made me feel like I can do anything that I put my mind to. So, I’m just happy about that. They help me do a lot of things.

LaurynMarieBurks1

Lauryn,

Thank you for sharing your story with Intern Media and its audience. More importantly, thank you for being an inspiration to the youth and to adults with your creativity as an author. I wish you much more success in the years to come, and I’m confident that you’ll continue to have an impact on the people you come across just like you had an impact on me. God bless you and your family. Welcome to the Intern Media family!

Karl Nelson II, Founding Editor of Intern Media

KarlHeadShot

Advertisements

Intern Media: Children are the future

by Karl Nelson II, Intern Media 

If you’ve ever doubted the notion that the youth are our future, it’s young people like Katrina Surcel-Debes and Lauryn Marie Burks whose lives serve as a constant reminder that the future of our communities and the world at large truly does lie in the hands of our children.

img_5609_2
Lauryn Burks, Child Author
katrina
Katrina Surcel-Debes, Entrepreneur and student at the Park School of Baltimore

What these two young ladies have accomplished thus far is proof that investing in today’s youth is the smartest thing we can do as a society.

Lauryn is set to be my first Intern Media feature of 2017, but her story takes me back to a very special and memorable moment in the two-year history of my interview series; my interview with Katrina at the Park School of Baltimore in the summer of 2015.

At the time, Katrina had just finished the third grade as a Lower School student at the Park School, my alma mater.

While balancing school, sports, and childhood, Katrina still managed to develop her own business, Kiki’s Harvest All Natural Granola — making granola from scratch and selling it to local buyers.

Katrina is fearless, and with the unwavering support from two loving parents who encourage her to think outside of the box, it’s no mistake that she’s where she is today.

It’s interesting how one can live on this earth for many years, but experience life in a whole new way by simply tapping into the talent and youth of a child.

When I interviewed Katrina on that summer day, I learned about the makings and dealings of granola — something I had never really given much thought to before.

It was Katrina who opened my eyes to something new, and without even realizing it, she taught me about the nature of running a successful business from the ground up — something even some adults have never been able to master.

img_2544

Katrina’s story is evidence that you don’t have to be an established and successful adult to start something and to create a lasting platform. You can be a child and be more ready than ever to cement a career of your own.

To hear from a third grader, at the time, who didn’t skip any steps in what can be a difficult process in running a business, and to see her actually embracing that level of responsibility, that was reassuring for me.

The fact that Katrina became a business owner as an elementary school student gives me all the confidence in the world, knowing that she’ll be shaping society for the better for many more years to come.

Katrina,

Thank you for inspiring me. I know that most adults will tell you that it’s children who can learn a thing or two from us, and that’s true. However, I want you to know that it’s adults like myself who can also learn a thing or two from the youth. And that’s what happened here. I’ll never forget how much fun it was to interview you on that beautiful summer day at the Park School, and having your mom there in support of you was special as well. You’re an amazingly talented kid, but more importantly you’re a person of great character and your future is beyond bright. Continue to be a game changer, not only at Park, but in life in general. I will continue to follow your journey and I promise you that I won’t be surprised at all to see you change the world around you for the better because you have a loving family behind you, a strong educational background, and talent that cannot be taught. You’ve been apart of the Intern Media family since our interview and you’ll always be! Thanks Katrina.

Karl Nelson II, Founding Editor of Intern Media 

KarlHeadShot