Return to Headlines

Parkway Elementary Fourth Grader Pursues Passion for Writing

Student credits her school learning experience for developing her into a better writer.

There’s a new author in town. Ricki Brathwaite, a fourth-grader at Parkway Elementary recently published a book entitled “Fly High Butterfly.” The overarching themes of the book are faith, hope and friendship. 

“The book is about a butterfly named Rose,” Brathwaite said. “She met a girl named Ricki and because she met Ricki, she found her mom.”

Brathwaite first became interested in writing after reading other books, giving her inspiration to start writing her own stories like “Fly High Butterfly.”

“I wrote the book during my free time at school,” Brathwaite said. “After I wrote my book, I showed it to my friends to see if they liked it.”
Ricki is a young author and a fourth grader at Parkway Elementary.
Sure enough, her book was a hit with friends, and is now available online through retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Balboa Press. Brathwaite credits what she has learned at Parkway to help her become a better writer. 

“Writing class helped with my grammar and the language authors use to write stories,” she said, noting her favorite part about the writing process is letting her imagination go “wild.” 

Brathwaite’s teachers aren’t surprised by the young author’s success as she has been a standout student in the classroom. 

“Ricki has a natural ability to write,” said Laura Tighe, Brathwaite’s teacher from last school year. “As her former third-grade teacher, I witnessed her creativity every day in the classroom. She was a positive influence to her classmates showing them that writing is fun!” 

Her current teacher Vicki McMahen added, “Ricki is a joy to have in class. Her sweet spirit and confidence show through her creativity in her writing. She has had the opportunity to have her book published to share her values of friendship and hope.” 

Brathwaite dreams of being a full-time writer when she grows up. She said she wants to write books, scripts and screenplays, and even wants to write songs as she loves to sing as well. 

“I just want to inspire others,” Brathwaite said. 

Her advice for other budding authors?

“Dream big and have fun with writing, but don’t forget to do the work,” she said. 

The Spanish version of “Fly High Butterfly” will be released Nov. 6, and that’s not all to expect from the young Parkway Panther. She is currently in the process of launching a literacy cartoon and has a few more book ideas up her sleeve. 

“I also have seven more books that we plan to publish,” she said. 

Visit to learn more about Brathwaite and her book “Fly High Butterfly.”