Girl from Cary Pens Anti-Bullying Book, Runs Book Review Site

O Ayeshastarnsarticlesize

Bullying often makes a victim want to shrivel up and disappear into a space where he or she is invisible. But being bullied earlier this year at a new school only served to propel a young girl to step into the limelight and share her humiliating experience with others through a book she wrote this summer.

The 10-year-old author, Ayesha Starns, originally from Cary, also started a book review website,, when she was 9 years old with the help of her mom, Durdana Ricchiuto. Since going online, Starn’s site has attracted 900 registered teen and tween bloggers, as well as four clients seeking to promote their products and services.

Starns says a love of reading inspired her to start the book review blog, but she got the desire to write the book when she accidentally sat in a puddle on a school bus, after moving from Cary to live in Providence, N.C., six months ago.

“I’m not going to point out names,” Starns says, recalling the events leading up to her decision to write her book, Buddy Bully. “I sat down in a puddle on the bus. Some people bullied me. I went to class as usual. I got angry, upset at myself.”

When she got home from school and told her mom what had happened, the two got the idea to write the book so that other kids could learn from her experience. Starns says she wants kids to know that, if she can stand up for herself, they can do it, too. The principal at her new school also helped boost her confidence and inspired her to write by awarding her a leadership certificate after the incident, she says. “He gave me a little hope, and I got a little proud of myself,” she says.

Buddy Bully explains that bullying can take many forms, like cyberbullying, and contains a worksheet that helps children made decisions on how to handle various situations. The book’s goal is to help tweens and teens deal with bullying with confidence and without losing their self-esteem. Additional help is provided through the book’s blog:, where kids can write about themselves and how they dealt with bullying.

“In the beginning of the book, there is a message for every single child in the world,” Starns says. “It tells them who is their biggest anti-bully expert in the world.”

“Who is that?” I ask.

“Nope!” Starns says. “I don’t want to spoil the surprise!”

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