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Holding Plant

Beatrice Foxx Saves the Planet

March, 2019

Summary: *Potential Spoilers* Beatrice Foxx is a ten-year-old girl whose differences cause her to be smothered by her parents, overlooked by her teachers, and teased by the school bully Billy Mires. All Bea wants is for someone to take her seriously. After an accident at a research laboratory whilst on a school trip, Bea develops the power to hear plants. They tell her that the world is in desperate need of help, and Bea realises it’s up to her to get the world to listen back.

This is one of my favourite stories that I’ve written, not to mention one of the most challenging, since my work is rarely for children. I hardly read anything beyond Jaqueline Wilson as a kid, so it was very hard not to copy her writing style, but I feel like I’ve discovered my own style for children through writing this piece. My main inspiration was to write something meaningful, particularly to children with disabilities. I wanted Bea’s experience to be as honest as possible to how children living with hearing impairments navigate the world, whilst not making the whole story about the negative aspects her disability, by instead focusing on what makes her unique. *Potential Spoilers* As only Bea is able to hear the plants that ultimately help her save the universe, whilst classmate Billy is not affected at all due to his typical hearing ability.  

Science fiction is also a rare genre for me, but I felt it went hand-in-hand with wanting children to realise the bigger impact they can have on the people and the environment around them. Whether it be saving the world from climate change or treating other classmates with empathy and kindness. I also felt it was important for Bea to have the opportunity to be cured of hearing impairment but want to remain the way she is. Since she comes to realise that seeing the world from a different perspective can be just as much an advantage as it can be a hindrance; the key is to face each obstacle as it comes and to never give up.  

It was an honour and honestly quite a surprise to win the University of Winchester’s 2020 Writing for Children Award. I think if I were to try to get a story published, it would probably be Bea’s – as it would probably be the shortest one to finish! Also, in all seriousness, I feel like this story would help younger readers the most. There is so little representation in children’s media for those with disabilities, and the little that is available is usually more focused on their obstacles than their potential. Bea exists to show everyone that anyone with ambition can change the world.

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Beatrice Foxx Saves the Planet: Project
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