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Young author has good advice.

Byline: Bill Fortier

COLUMN: From the deck

It probably is a teenager's worst nightmare.

Here you are 13 years old, feeling pretty good about yourself, your school and your snowy hometown of Livonia, N.Y., and the next thing you know, job and personal reasons prompt a move in August 2008 about 400 miles east to Douglas, Mass.

Nicholas A. Cordts, 15, who is a now a sophomore at Douglas High School, didn't feel sorry for himself and the abrupt change in his life, however. In fact, he became president of his eighth and ninth grade class and a top student, as well.

All of that is chronicled in the 128-page "On Moving, Moving On" that Nick authored.

The self-published book that was released earlier this fall is available at about 10 stores in Whitinsville, Douglas and South Grafton, and so far about 100 of the 300 copies of the book, which is for sale at $15.95, have been purchased. It is also available on Nick's website

Nick's mother, Mary Anne, said the book is being reviewed by Barnes & Noble representatives in New York and the young author will be at a book sale and signing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 6 at the St. Denis Church Holiday Fair in Douglas.

Now that we got the business stuff taken care of, let's talk about the book, which is really a very entertaining and informative read in which Nick describes his first year at Douglas High School. He said it took about six months to write it and that he received help in editing it from Douglas High School English teacher Emily Mayo, and his mother, who said one of the things she stressed was having her son provide enough content to, in her words, make it a valid book.

Consider it mission accomplished.

The book is written by a 14-year-old boy in a style to which kids his age can relate. The tone of the book is conversational and there are times when you get the feeling Nick is sitting next to and talking to you as you read. Trust me, that is not an easy thing to do in print.

Most chapters include what he calls an ACTION item that gives advice on how to deal with certain issues.

One chapter described his first days at Douglas High School and how it was tough at first to find a classroom when you only have three minutes between classes.

"Do a walk through a week before and take someone with you like a parent," he advises while suggesting you get a map of the school to help you negotiate the crowded dash between classes.

The book is billed as being for "kids, teens and beyond."

To this reader, however, the beyond part is really key. Nick, who is thinking about writing a sequel on his freshman year at the school, provides guidance that people the age of your loyal scribe will find applies to everyday life in the adult world.

One of my favorite parts of the book talks about how many kids worry about going to a new school.

"This is the worst thing you can do to yourself," he says. "You know why? Worrying doesn't help anything."

Fear is looking at a situation and imagining something going wrong, he observes.

F.E.A.R, he explains stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.

Geez, I've been writing stuff in the newspaper for more than 30 years and I couldn't say it any better.

"It's just your imagination; so change it, kind of like changing the channel on TV when you see something you don't like," he asserts

I wonder if that will work this weekend with all the impending political advertisements that will flood the airwaves. Somehow, I F.E.A.R it won't.

At any rate, Nick should be proud of himself. He's written a book people of all ages can find entertaining and educational. And to that we say, bravo and very well done. Contact Bill Fortier via e-mail at
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Geographic Code:4EUUI
Date:Oct 30, 2010
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