Rudheath Senior Academy pupil Paige Keen has had her superb debut novel published at the age of just 16.
The Year 11 pupil’s story, which focuses on mental health and promotes the message that ‘it’s okay to not be okay’, is titled 1-in-4 and is available on Amazon.
Paige bases the tale’s main character, Sophia, on her own experiences and journey with mental health, and all proceeds will go to charity.
Paige, an anti-bullying ambassador at Rudheath, said: “The message is that ‘it’s okay to not be okay’.
“Young people feel very misunderstood about their mental health. It is always a difficult subject to talk about, it is very sensitive, but I think the more conversations we have about mental health, the more the stigma will slowly break away.
“Writing this book is a huge step forward for me. In Year 10 I wrote a descriptive language piece and I remember my dad saying I should write a book, I thought to myself ‘I can’t write a book’.
“But I had an idea and I kept working on it and building on it, and it finally turned into a book that is readable.
“My teacher Mrs (Jemma) Morell has been a lifesaver throughout this process. I’d send her the script and she has been pushing me throughout all of this. Without her I wouldn’t be sat here with a book in my hand with my name on it.
“I hope that when people read this book it will help to see that there are people who have suffered from poor mental health from the age of 12. Too often things are put down to a friend issue, or just feeling sad, and people don’t always take it seriously.”
The story of 1-in-4 explores the mental battles of its main character is Sophia, who is haunted by anxiety that never seems to go away, and Logan, who struggles with negative voices inside his own head.
Paige will donate all proceeds The Diana Award, which runs anti-bullying campaigns in schools across the UK, and Mind, which is a mental health charity offering people of all ages advice and support.
Rudheath Senior Academy also provides its own platform in the drive to stamp out bullying.
As well as working within the school, ambassadors like Paige have trained more than 300 other pupils from 15 nearby primary schools to identify classmates in need of help.
The school joined North West Academies Trust (NWAT) last year and a £6m transformation is well underway.
Paige’s book 1-in-4 is available through Amazon: