Mackenzie Cox never imagined she would be a published author of a children’s book at the age of 17.

“It has taken me two years to finally get my book officially published and it has truly been worth all the waiting and effort. It doesn’t quite feel real yet,” says the Grade 12 W.H. Croxford High School student.

Cox wrote the book, available on Amazon, as part of the Visual Arts and Media (VAM) Academy in her school when she was in Grade 10. When I Grow Up is about Baxter the bear, who wants to become an owl when he grows up. His friends find his dream silly, but they help him and learn that Baxter can become whoever he wants to be.

“I wrote this book with the hope to teach children that their dreams matter and they can become whoever they want to be when they grow up,” says Cox.

Although she says the book was written with children ages four to 10 in mind, Cox adds people of all ages can benefit from the message that everyone’s dreams deserve a chance.

As part of the VAM Academy, Cox is working on writing and illustrating her second book, What Makes Me Special!
After high school, she plans to go to the University of Lethbridge to become a teacher.

“Macki has an incredibly positive attitude,” says Vernon Gray, teacher at W.H. Croxford.

“She has a way of lighting up a classroom,” says Gray. “I am sure that she will make a great teacher.

“Her caring nature is infectious.”