12-Year-Old Florida Author Releases Debut Children’s Book

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Katrina Kusa tackles bullying, environmental preservation in imaginative story for kids

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In my life, I’ve learned the important lesson that you must never abandon your friends, no matter what – and that’s the message I hope to impart through ‘The Kingdom of the Lizards.’

A Naples-based middle schooler has released her first fiction book – an entertaining children’s tale that centers around a young, nature-loving girl who, after befriending a clan of lizards, must save them from a menacing bully. Katrina Kusa, a seventh grader at the Royal Palm Academy an award-winning author, explores themes of preserving the environment and standing up to bullies in her fantasy short story, “The Kingdom of the Lizards.”

Inspired by her own observations of kids manhandling small critters, Kusa presents readers with the tale of Clara, who fosters a deep connection with a community of lizards that live under her favorite oak tree. When antagonist Daniel captures and threatens to harm the lizard kingdom’s leader, Clara embarks on a rescue mission to save her imprisoned reptile friend.

“In the past, I’ve seen kids capturing little lizards and using them like toys, sometimes killing them. I’ve also seen bullying happen at school, too,” Kusa said. “In my life, I’ve learned the important lesson that you must never abandon your friends, no matter what – and that’s the message I hope to impart through ‘The Kingdom of the Lizards.’”

A book written by a kid for kids, Kusa’s story provides a strong message for children of all ages. With colorful illustrations by Belarus-based artist Pavel Kulsha, Kusa hopes “The Kingdom of the Lizards” will entertain her readers and inspire other young authors to share their art with the world.

“The Kingdom of the Lizards”
By Katrina Kusa
ISBN: 978-1-4808-4368-4 (hardcover); 978-1-4808-4367-7 (paperback); 978-1-4808-4369-1 (electronic)
Available at the Archway Publishing Online Bookstore, Barnes & Noble and Amazon

About the author
Katrina Kusa is a seventh grader at the prestigious Royal Palm Academy and the recipient of the Florida Authors & Publishers Association 2017 President’s Book Award for juvenile fiction. Kusa, who is 12 years old, penned her first book, “The Kingdom of the Lizards,” at age 10, and has written two other books since. Passionate about nature and art, Kusa enjoys writing magical stories, composing and performing music and spending time with her parents and two tenacious Boston Terriers, Max and Penni. She also speaks Russian, Spanish and English and is currently learning French. Kusa resides in Naples, Fla. To learn more, please visit http://www.katrinakusa.com.

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