Anaya Lee Willabus is a thirteen year old award winning author of 4 chapter books, poet and visionary who enjoys reading and playing sports. Anaya was born and raised in Brooklyn, where she resides with her parents and two siblings.
At the age of two, Anaya was taught to read. Thereafter, she began to memorize books, demonstrating an acutely photographic memory. Anaya immerses herself in reading books of all genres throughout the year. During the summer, she grew very fond of the summer reading initiative promoted by then Assemblyman, Alan Maisel. Mr. Maisel’s “Summer Reading Program” of which her school supported, proved to be a motivational challenge, as each year, she sought to surpass the previous year’s book total.
Anaya reads in excess of forty books during the summer. To maintain her comprehension skills, her parents challenged her to write detailed essays on many of the books she enjoyed and to illustrate her favorite part. With such development, Anaya enjoyed writing and expressing her opinion of her findings and further build on her literacy skills.
Although Anaya thoroughly enjoys reading, she believes that it is incredibly important to have a balanced and fit lifestyle! She enjoys spending time playing her favorite sport, Soccer. In her free time, she plays with her dolls, goes to the park and spends time with her family. Anaya aspires to be a well known author and teacher when she grows up.
Anaya’s first book, “The Day Mohan Found His Confidence”, was written after her inaugural trip to her parents homeland of Guyana, South America in April of 2014. Upon her return, she started jotting notes from her visit, documenting cultural differences. Her composition of writings seemed worthy of her parents attention and was thereafter drafted on the computer. For over a year, Anaya’s writer’s-flow, which happened at any time, continually developed into her first published chapter book on May 30, 2015. This development crowned her as the first child in US history to write and publish a chapter book at eight years old from Brooklyn, New York.
In the summer of 2015, Anaya went on an extensive book tour which included Canada, Guyana, several schools and churches both locally, nationally and internationally. Anaya’s goal was to promote and motivate other children to continue to ‘read’ and ‘give back.’ Also, over 500 books were donated to the less fortunate children throughout Guyana, South America. The government of Guyana bought an additional 500 books that were distributed to local schools throughout the country.
Anaya’s second book, “A Bully’s Disguise” was published in May, 2016.
Anaya’s third book, “Checo & the Homework Passes” was published on May, 2017.
Anaya’s 4th book– “Make it Happen”-Anaya Willabus is part of a series with several other inspirational authors. December, 2018.
March 22, 2019- Senator Roxanne Persaud recognized Anaya at the launch of her 4th book with a Citation.
March 22, 2019- Anaya was recognized by Eric Adams- BP for her organization- The Stalwarts Youth making strides in the community.
June 6th, 2019- Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce recognized Anaya as a young leader within the Caribbean Diaspora and was presented with a Citation from Eric Adams-BP of Brooklyn.
Among Anaya’s many recognitions from her school are: ‘Student of the Month’ and ‘Lead by Example’ awards. For the past three years, Anaya has been one of the top three earners for the St. Jude’s Cancer Research Center.
Anaya appeared in many newspapers, as well as, on radio and television shows, locally, nationally and internationally. She appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Fox 5 News, PIX 11 News, NY Daily News, Caribbean Life, The West-Indian, News 12, BRIC TV, HOT 97 (Ebro In The Morning), WGN Radio 720, Chicago, WSYR 570 Radio- Canarsie Courier, and most recently Color Magazine.