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RHMS student tackles bullying in book, looks to help others
Daryl A. Rejas Jr
Daryl A. Rejas Jr
book cover
The Richmond Hill Middle School seventh grader’s first book, “Panda’s Twinkle-Twinkle Toes,” is now available on Amazon as a paperback and on Kindle. Simply type in Daryle Rejas Jr. on Amazon’s main page to find his book.

Daryl A. Rejas Jr. is a seventh grader at Richmond Hill Middle School. As of Feb. 10, he’s also a published author. His first effort, “Panda’s Twinkle- Twinkle Toes,” is now for sale on Amazon. It’s a story for kids ages 4 to 14 about fitting in and learning to deal with bullies.

Rejas knows a bit about both.

The son of two soldiers – retired Master Sgt. Daryl Rejas and former Sgt. Sally Rejas – he’s already moved five times over the course of his young life. And, he recalls a third grade bully in Maryland, home of Fort Meade.

“There was a girl,” Rejas said. “She would bully my friends and I wanted that to stop, so I took the lead and let her bully me.”

His experience with that bully and his enrollment in a magnet program there with a creative writing platform combined to inspire Rejas to turn the issue into a story.

As one thing led to another, Rejas’ parents gave him support and helped him find an editor and illustrator – Miara Farnsworth – but they wanted it to be his book, done his way, and they saw it as a way for their son to give back to his community.

“Mommy and Daddy had never done a book before, so we had a lot to learn and luckily we’ve had a lot of help” Sally Rejas said.

“But this was entirely his book. He made all the decisions. We didn’t want to do the work for him. We are going to help him talk to kids. And he’s not going to profit off these books. He will use it to pay for the next book and he will donate profits from books he sells while speaking to nonprofits to those nonprofits.”

In that regard, Rejas, who has a goal of selling 300 copies of his debut, has already been invited to give a 10 a.m. reading on Feb. 21 to the Coastal Georgia Moms Group. The event is at J.F. Gregory Park.

He also wants to partner with Operation Kid Forward and the League of Brawn Development Center for Men, Inc.

“He wants to have an event called, ‘How to raise a King!’ to discuss anti bullying and how to cope with mental health. After he sells 300 books, whatever he raises he wants to donate it Brawn Development Center for Men Inc, to help keep boys off the streets,” Rejas’ mother said.

Sally Rejas said her son’s experiences are not uncommon, particularly for children whose parents move often.

“Everyone says military kids are very resilient, and they are, they do great, but they also deal with trying to fit in in a new school and with bullying,” she said. “No one gives us a blueprint on how to raise our kids, but this is a way to talk about the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about it. And we’re also hoping that by Daryl showing them that he can write a book, it will inspire other kids. These kids are so brilliant and creative.”

In other words, “we want him to use his platform for the greater good,” she continued. “Both his father and I are veterans and that’s about service, so we try to instill that in our kids. We ask them ‘how do you serve your community?’ We don’t want to raise self-centered kids where everything is me, me, me.”

As for why Rejas chose a Feb. 10 release date, it’s his sister Savelly’s birthday. She’s a student at the University of Alabama. Rejas also plans on attending college, where he hopes to “continue to learn about writing and story making,” he said.

His advice for other kids who think they might want to give writing a try?

“Even though it will take a while, don’t give up. It might be hard, but you will continue on and you will find success,” Rejas said.

Rejas family
The Rejas in a family portrait, from left: Savelly Pérez, retired Master Sgt. Daryl Rejas, Sally Rejas, cousin Jayla Robinson and in the front is author, Daryl A. Rejas, Jr. Photo provided.
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