Confident and kind, Flower Picker protagonist Amelia is not afraid to be herself. In 17-year-old author Olivia Marie Spallino’s literary debut, Amelia wholeheartedly tackles difficult subjects of bullying, heartbreak and disappointment in entertaining neighborhood adventures. As the story progresses, readers witness Amelia grow from her experiences and develop a strengthened sense of confidence and self-discovery. Although Spallino says that Flower Picker is a work of fiction, she does acknowledge that the novel “is not a true story, but a story based on true events.” Today, Spallino travels to local schools promoting her book and writing. “I’m very passionate about writing,” Spallino says as she describes the visits. “I could talk for hours about what I love.” With its positive messages regarding self-confidence and acceptance, Flower Picker is perfect for middle-school readers. It is available for $12.95 at And Books Too, The Little Paintbrush, J & R Educational Supplies, The Book Rack, A-Bryan’s Jewelers, Coccolare Spa and Teche Drugs and Gifts. You can also find it in New Iberia at Books on the Teche or in Opelousas at the Back In Time Café and Teacher’s Playground. The Kindle version of Flower Picker is for sale in the Amazon Kindle store. – Katie Macdonald

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