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Marlow Elementary School student excites friends about writing
Kyla Shuman
Marlow Elementary School fourth-grader Kyla Shuman and teacher Ginger Pevey pose at a book-signing event Friday. - photo by Photo by Birk Herrath

GUYTON —  There was an egregious violation of etiquette in the Marlow Elementary School media center Friday.

All the students’ boisterous screaming and clapping was forgiven, however, because it recognized the inspiring achievement of a classmate.

Fourth-grader Kyla Shuman, 10, is the proud author of “Birth of a Storyteller, A Collection of Narratives.” The three-story assemblage of writing assignments from teacher Ginger Pevey’s class is available at and for $9.99.

“It is the best feeling in the world,” Pevey said during a book-signing event for her prized pupil. “This is what being a teacher is all about.”

Kyla said her creative juices are always flowing.

“Sometimes in class, I think of things while we are learning in writing,” she said. “I think of titles or the names.” 

Pevey said all her student have “taken off” as writers this year. They have been propelled by working in small groups.

“They are all sharing in the learning,” Pevey said. “They share their writings and make suggestions for each other. One conversation starts another conversation and gets momentum going.”

Kyla read a story from her book to her classmates. Given a choice, they enthusiastically opted for a scary one.

“I like scary stories because I like to leave everybody in suspense,” Kyla said.

Pevey said Kyla’s motivation sets her apart from other good writers.

“She works on it here at school and at home as well,” Pevey said.

Kyla’s classmates, especially her best friends, are impressed with her writing skill.

“I’m really proud of her,” Cali Griffith said.

“I think she could be really successful if she keeps improving,” Jurni Dekle added.

Kyla dedicated her book to her paternal grandmother, Yolanda White. White was in the process of writing her memoir when she started encouraging Kyla to put a book together.

White offered her thoughts just before her granddaughter’s recent birthday.

“She didn’t want to just give a gift,” Kyla’s mother, Teshewanda Shuman, said. “She wanted to invest in them — Kyra has a twin brother — and give them ideas and spark something bigger. She put her writing on the back burner and shifted her attention to Kyla.”

Mrs. Shuman appreciates the importance of writing and is thankful for her daughter’s affinity for it. She is a master teacher at Effingham County High School.

“It’s special,” the proud mama said. “At the high school level, kids are often apprehensive about writing and so, hopefully, this will inspire others.”

Writing is far from Kyla’s lone skill. She sings, dances, plays basketball and runs track. She is also a blossoming fashion expert with her own YouTube channel.

“My favorite thing is kind of a tie between dancing and singing,” Kyla said.

Kyla merged her writing and singing by penning a few songs. That doesn’t top the feeling of being the first Marlow author to have a book available and checked out in its media center, however.

“I think that’s pretty cool,” she said.

Mrs. Schuman hopes her daughter’s book will embolden students to strive for more in all their subjects.

“It doesn’t have to be writing,” she said. “It can be anything that you desire to do. You just have to believe in yourself and take that first step.

“You never know where it will take you. Just take what you are good at and go for it.”

Shuman has no doubt that the book experience has opened Kyla’s eyes to endless potential.

“It shows her that anything is possible,” she said. “You don’t have to be an adult to write a book. She said she has started on another one already.”