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Once bullied, Wake seventh-grader writes book about overcoming challenges

Posted March 19, 2021 8:39 p.m. EDT
Updated March 19, 2021 9:34 p.m. EDT

— Many people learn at an early age that life can be tough – peer pressure, grade pressure, bullies, self-image, acceptance.

Haelee Moone, 13, was no stranger to those difficulties.

"I was bullied, like, when I was in the second and third grade. The girl was younger than me. I was 7; she was 6," Haelee said.

Her father, Dedrick Moone, said it pained him to see his daughter tormented.

"From 7 years old until she was 12, she struggled with self-esteem and anxieties and things of that nature," Moone said.

To reset, the single father moved with his daughter from Maryland to his home in North Carolina, where he took her to counseling.

"Then, one day, she just decided she wanted to overcome it all," he said.

Haelee found the stay-at-home solitude of the pandemic a good time for reflection.

"It really started as a journal," she said of what eventually became a book called "The Rules of a Big Boss."

Published last June, it's available on Amazon and through Barnes & Noble and Walmart. It includes lessons about respect, confidence and love.

"This book is a personal journey of how she overcame depression, anxiety, betrayal and things of that nature," Moone said.

"If they have like depression or anxiety, [I want] to show that, like, I have been through that too," Haelee said. "It's kind of like a thing to help relate to them, [for them] to see that they're not alone."

The book closes with these words: "Please love yourself, stay true to yourself, find your vibe and take care."

"Pretty much everything has to start with you," she said. "If you don't love yourself, then you don't know how to love, period."

She also has co-authored her dad's book, a memoir titled "The Unexpected Journey: Fire and Gold," and started her own company, The Rules of a Big Boss LLC, which already has a clothing line.

Haelee's book has generated interest nationwide.

"The book will be given to underprivileged children in Detroit to help with literacy programs," Moone said.

Haelee said she wants to carry her life story on to law school.

"A lot of people who are bullied, they don't get the justice they deserve, and people who are sexually assaulted, they don't get the justice they deserve," she said. "I want to be the lawyer who can help with that."

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