Last year, N’DIGO featured Chicago author I’deyah Ricketts as our January 27, 2011 cover story. Just eight-years-old at the time, Ideyah’s love for writing, curating story ideas, and ultimately authoring them won her a feature as one of the youngest people to appear on CBS’s popular Someone You Should Know news segment.
With the loving support from her parents, Michael and Karen Ricketts, the creative talent published her first picture story book, Where Are The Animals?, an educational reading tool that encourages active learning and helps students associate letters and sounds with objects.
Within a year’s time, I’deyah takes readers on another literary journey with Lyla Lyte and the Li’berry Fruit, her first novel.
The 188-page adventure is set in Screenfield, a town where books have become close to non-existent due to the town’s mayor, Mr. Crinkle, burying them all in a jealous tantrum. Because there are no books, Lyla doesn’t know how to use her imagination.
That just doesn’t sit too well with Lyla. She grows bored watching TV all the time and yearns for something more. Something that will sharpen her imagination.
Determined to find these hidden stories, she rallies up her crew, i.e. three best friends, Nick, Samantha, and Megan, and together they go on a hunt. What’s discovered, however, is a pretty big surprise that may bring a major change to Screenfield.
I’deyah shared in our 2011 conversation, “It takes place in a town where TV dominates and the main character is a girl named Lyla Lyte. She tries to use her imagination, but she can’t because there are no books. The Mayor buried the books because no one was watching his TV program because they decided to read.”
I’deyah’s writing is fast-paced and imaginative, a perfect match for her age group, while also offering educational tactics. With her novel, Lyla Lyte and the Li’berry Fruit, when you visit the website, readers are able to take chapter quizzes to test their comprehension of the story.
Now nine-years-old, I’deyah has crafted a story that brings mischief, curiosity, laughter, and full-blown entertainment.