Writing my next chapter


By Brooklyn Koester

I have always hated Harry Potter. Growing up, my mother was absolutely obsessed with the series, so being the rebel kid, I decided I was going to hate it and never read anything like it. I read thousands of fairy books. That is not an exaggeration either. I swear that I made my mom get me all the “Rainbow Fairy” books, which have seven books per complete story and more stories than Disney owns. I read a lot in my childhood and even in elementary school I remember looking around when the adult in the library read aloud to students. I was eager for it to end so I could get up and check out books of my own to read!

In middle school, I participated in “Battle of the Books” and absolutely loved being part of a community of readers. After that, I went to a different middle school for about a year and a half, and even there, I always found my place on the shelves of books. By this time in my life I was more dystopian young adult books than magical fairy books, but reading was now a welcomed escape to a world of unknowns and possibilities. My favorite series was called “The Darkest Minds” and to this day I still reread the first book in that series to remember who I was back then and appreciate all the growth I have done to become the person I am today. The trope of finding a new friend group that mimics the family relationship was one that I treasured. Middle school is hard on everyone, but having comfort in fantasies and future ideals made it easier for me.

As all kids do, once school became more serious, I started taking rigorous high school classes where I had to learn how to study. The free time that I usually spent on reading library books was now allocated for anatomy and calculus texts. I did not read books that weren’t required for my schoolwork for three years. I felt like I just couldn’t find the time. During December of my junior year, I was scrolling TikTok, and saw a bunch of people recommending books. I was curious and realized how much I missed escaping through reading. The book, “A Court of Thorns and Roses” caught my eye. I had recently gotten an Amazon gift card so I decided to purchase it. Now, over 30 books later, I have absolutely no regrets though my bank account might have a different opinion. I started with what I thought was a five book series, only to find it is connected to another eight book series that is connected to another three book series. And, I have them all.

I did not have the time to read, so I had to make the time to read. Ali Hazlewood, one of my favorite fiction writers, is most famous for her portrayal of strong women in STEM dating a person who matches their intellectual abilities. These characters would never dumb themselves or their goals down for others. These fictional characters inspired me to pursue engineering even though culturally it is painted as a male-dominated field. Books have an amazing power when a reader recognizes herself in the potential of fictional characters. It is inspiring. It makes a dreamt of future seem attainable. I have always loved creatively solving problems and am a whiz in math and science. While I know that statistics say that I will likely switch my major at least once in college, I plan to double major in electrical and computer engineering with the goal to create animatronics at Disney Imagineering.

My favorite books are the ones I can relate to the most. While I have no magic powers or have never overturned a whole government system, I have unwavering morals and values. I learned a lot about myself while reading other people’s stories. I am always going to love a fighter going against all odds, and am forever a girl’s girl who has learned how to be her own hero. Instead of creating an army to snuff out bad guys, I created a club that provides free menstrual products in the girl’s bathrooms here at Sidney High. Less impressive than becoming queen, but much more achievable in the real world- and far more needed.

Brooklyn Koester is the daughter of Kathryn and Andrew Koester. Over the summer she plans to work at Smoothie Life/ Amos Memorial Library and create lasting memories of Sidney before heading off to college to study electrical and computer engineering. She has been accepted to Carnegie Mellon University, Miami University, and many others. She is still thinking…

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