Teen pens children’s book

Published 10:13 am Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Curtis Smith, right, gives Nicole Borneman, center, and Borneman’s mom, Karen, a quick tour of Arrow Printing to show how Borneman’s book was printed. Borneman is the author of the United Way of Freeborn County’s 11th book, titled “Timothy Learns a Lesson.” -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

For the first time, someone who’s not an adult has written a book for the United Way of Freeborn County.

Nicole Borneman, 15, is a freshman at Albert Lea High School and got to thinking during a science class about a book idea.

“I figured bullying would be a good thing to write about,” Borneman said. “It affects a lot of people.”

Email newsletter signup

United Way Executive Director Ann Austin said this was the first year anyone in the community could submit a book. The books are being read and distributed by volunteers this week to all students from kindergartners to third-graders in Freeborn County.

The book, titled “Timothy Learns a Lesson,” is about Timothy, a boy who is a bully and learns that his actions can hurt people.

“I’m really happy with the way it turned out,” Borneman said. “It took a long time to get all the pages drawn and colored.”

Borneman planned to read the book to students at Halverson Elementary School, where she once attended. In fact, her first-grade teacher encouraged her to write and told her she’d one day become a published author.

“I’ve always liked writing,” Borneman said.

Borneman has been writing since she was 8 years old and likes to spend her time reading and drawing. She lives with her parents, Wayne and Karen, brother Charley, her dog and two cats in Albert Lea.

As far as submissions for the United Way book, Austin said Borneman’s was one of the most polished ones. She also liked the anti-bullying theme of the story.

“This is relatable for kids,” Austin said. “We got a lot of great response from the subject matter.”

Albert Lea’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program has adapted the book into reader’s theater to perform it for elementary students, as well.

Borneman will be signing books from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Northbridge Mall as part of its Family Fun Festival on Saturday. Children are invited to bring their copy of the book to get signed and to meet the author or ask questions.

Arrow Printing published the book, and Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, Alliant Energy, Wells Fargo and Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services sponsored the book.