LIVINGSTON, NJ — Following the success of her first book, “Yay! It’s Thanksgiving!,” earlier this year, Livingston fifth grader Elina Brahmandam has decided to make it a series celebrating American holidays as well as other world cultures.

The second book in her “Yay! It’s a Holiday!” series—entitled “Yay! It’s Christmas! Christmas Giving with a Twist!”—is now available on Amazon.

“I always thought that the world of writing and publishing books was for adults,” said Brahmandam. “Publishing my first book proved me wrong. I felt thrilled to see my first book on Amazon, and I loved hearing from people that it made them laugh so much. It made me feel so motivated to write my second one and probably many more in the future.” 

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Brahmandam, who also has a passion for computer programming, photography, baking, graphic design, acting, drawing and many other activities, also drew her own illustrations for both books.

“Yay! It’s Thanksgiving!” tells the story of a clever turkey named Mr. Gobbles and his journey to the White House to be pardoned by the president, while “Yay! It’s Christmas!” tells the story of a young girl named Cassie’s mission to do something different for someone special during the holidays.

Using Amazon’s publishing platform, Kindle Direct Publishing, Brahmandam was then able to create digital and paperback versions of the book.

“It is great to see her bring her hobbies and skills to life through these creations,” said her mother, Vidhi. “It is amazing to see her plan, focus and work diligently on her passion. It is an essential skill to succeed in life.”

Brahmandam’s parents have been encouraging her passion for writing from the start, inspiring her to start a blog entitled “Along the Starry Way” at only eight years old.

“In the beginning, she posted short stories and personal narratives for her classmates and friends; and as she got older, she started writing ‘how-to’ blogs and opinion blogs,” her mother said, adding that her recent blog posts include topics like education, baking, book recommendations, universal healthcare, animal testing and treatment of zoo animals as well as hot-button topics such as how to survive remote learning, fun things to do during quarantine, how kids can help their parents during the pandemic and more.

When she isn’t blogging or writing and illustrating for her book series, Brahmandam also spends time tutoring second and third grade students in English Language Arts (ELA).

She began tutoring earlier this year after her parents encouraged her to think about how she could help the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. As she began to discover various local organizations that were finding unique ways to assist those in need, Brahmandam selected Livingston Neighbors Helping Neighbors (LNHN) as the beneficiary of all the proceeds she received through her first batch of ELA tutoring sessions.

“Yay! It’s Christmas!” is available now on Kindle and in paperback through Amazon BY CLICKING HERE.

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