Zaila Avant-garde Image Credit: ShutterStock

Spelling Bee Champion Zaila Avant-garde to Release 2 Children’s Books

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The 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee winner, Zaila Avant-garde, is preparing to make her debut as a children’s book author this year after inking a deal with Random House Children’s Books.

According to PEOPLE, the 16-year-old prodigy’s first offering will be a nonfiction book titled It’s Not Bragging If It’s True: How to Be Awesome at Life, which will be released on May 2. The book, The book, aimed at readers ages 8 to 12, features various “personal anecdotes” that depict how Zaila has achieved so much at her young age. Zaila says she hopes her book “will motivate and uplift other kids who are pursuing their dreams.”

Zaila won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in June 2021, making history as the first Black American to win the competition. Since then, she has appeared on the cover of Time magazine and was honored by Sports Illustrated at the age of 14. Her second book, a picture book titled Words of Wonder from Z to A — will hit the shelves on June 27.

“I’m extremely excited to have my first books published, and I’m especially happy that they are for kids,” she noted in a press release. “As a child who knew my favorite books by heart, I know firsthand the joy that a good book can bring.”

Outside of her literary feats, Zaila’s first love is basketball. She currently holds three world records — one for the most balls juggled in one minute (four basketballs), most dribbles in 30 seconds with four basketballs and most basketballs (six) dribbled by one person simultaneously, which she co-holds with another person.

Zaila is also interested in neuroscience, forensics and molecular biology — so watch out, world!

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