'Moxie Girl' author donates, reads books to local students

Young author gives back

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local 8-year-old author is now taking her message of love to the classroom.

Natalie McGriff is donating her comic book, which won an award at One Spark, to a local Boys & Girls Club.

Action News got a copy of the "Adventures of Moxie McGriff" comic book Tuesday.

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For the past five months McGriff and her mother, Angie Nixon, have been working hard to put her comic books in children's hands.

"It's great to express that message of love and since it is National Literacy Month we really want to get those kids reading at an early age," said Nixon.

That's the message the 8-year-old girl's alter ego, superhero Moxie Girl, is pushing.

She said love your hair and love who you are.

"I think you should like it the way it is because God intended it to be the way you were born," said Natalie.

At one point Natalie experienced racist cyberbullying after she won about $16,000 during One Spark, which helped her create and publish the book.

Bullies talked about the "puffballs" in her hair and the color of her skin.

"It was kind of sad and upsetting but I think they regret what they said now," said Natalie.

Her mother said she still faces some challenges.

"Every now and then we still get a few posts to our Facebook wall talking negatively about Natalie's hair and also when people share the post we put out people say disparaging comments," said Nixon.

But now Natalie is reading to her classmates and other local students and donating 800 books across the country.

The book release will be held at a Philip Randolph park Sept. 27 from noon to 5 p.m.

Natalie donated 50 books to a Northside Boys & Girls Club Tuesday.