At Girls Write Now, our dream is to help underserved teen girls find their voices through writing and in turn, make the world a better place. In the spirit of this cause, and in honor of National Dyslexia Awareness Month, we were lucky enough to catch up with accomplished teen actress, dancer, role model, and writer Bella Thorne, whose book Autumn Falls will be published next month.
Thorne is an impressive young woman. At only seventeen years old, she’s already starred in the TV show Shake It Up as well as the 2014 film Blended. On November 11, Thorne will add to her list of achievements with the release of her much-anticipated young adult book, Autumn Falls (Delacorte Press). Infusing creativity into all her many projects, Thorne is an inspiration to girls everywhere who are finding their own voices.
But despite her many accomplishments and rising stardom, the teenage role model hasn’t had it easy. In first grade, Thorne was diagnosed with dyslexia, a language processing disorder that can make tasks like reading, writing, spelling, and word organization difficult. Not only for those with dyslexia, but for young women and writers around the world, Thorne is a shining example of what can be accomplished with the right attitude and drive.
We spoke with Bella about the writing that inspires her, her battle with dyslexia, finding confidence through creativity, and her advice for other girls and women.
Girls Write Now: We are asking authors to list a book that changed or transformed them growing up. What book, written by a woman author (or not), inspired you as a teen? For Malala, it was The Alchemist. There is no wrong answer.
Bella Thorne: Ghost Girl by Tonya Hurley was really important in my life with my dyslexia to feel the joy of reading.
GWN: Girls Write Now is working on a “count” to see what girls are reading in school vs. what they want to be reading—and if there’s a disconnect. What do you remember reading at school? What do you read now on your own?
BT: I don’t really recall what books I read in school in earlier years. My dyslexia didn’t allow for it to be a fun time in school. I read books privately.
GWN: What are your hopes and dreams for girls searching to find their voices (and their confidence)?
BT: My hope is that all girls get treated equally and understand that it is ok to be different and that they are just as good as anyone else. Everyone has the right to be heard. My dream for ALL girls around the world is that they develop confidence to share their creativity and wisdom with others. I believe we are all special and that girls should stick together. I believe if we are all supportive of other females, we can make big changes in the world.
GWN: What would be your advice for them?
BT: My advice is to stay true to yourself and don’t lose your individuality.
For more about Bella and Autumn Falls, visit her official website.