Jaia Davis Publishes Her First Book
I Am F.A.T.
|Jaia Davis (wearing the crown) surrounded by her dad Norman Davis (l-r), brother
Malachi Davis, Keson Rowe, church family friend,and mom Tondra Davis.
true,” Jaia said. “I was part of the Math Quest this year. And my team placed third place in the city.”
It was especially hurtful to Tondra because she had been bullied as a child as well.
“I’ve pretty much been heavy all of my life,” Tondra said. “When I was in about second grade, I was bullied and bullied by this guy who called
me fat. I literally took him and threw him into the coat rack. He could have died. He could have been hurt. It was my pent-up anger. You have to
figure out something to deal with that so that you don’t lash out at someone, so that you don’t end up taking it out on yourself or being
depressed or not going to school and then your grades drop. There are a lot of things that come with that. I thank God as I think back on this
situation because that boy could have really, really been hurt.”
Tondra felt that not enough was being done to stop the bullying.
“I have this beautiful child who is very talented and amazing and you are going to make her feel bad,” Tondra asked. “I especially got pretty
angry, initially, with the school system because Jaia is a high achiever. She is definitely helping to bridge that achievement gap. I felt like with
her excelling so much in school that she is the type of child that they should be protecting and encouraging her to continue to do well and not
have the atmosphere be such that she didn’t want to go to school. It was pushing her the other way where she would be a part of the
Tondra was determined to not let Jaia become a victim here and so they took the lemons that were occurring in Jaia’s life and they made
“My mom taught me to reframe the names that bullies called me,” Jaia said. “It was very hurtful when the bullies called me names. But after
my mom taught me to reframe it, it really wasn’t anymore. If a bully called me fat, I could just say, ‘Thank you’ because I am F.A.T., which
means Fabulous, Awesome and Terrific.’”
It worked. Jaia became reengaged in school at the same level and the hurtful words were reframed into words of praise. Since Jaiaj had
always wanted to write a book, Tondra encouraged her to write a book about her response to the bullying. And so Jaia wrote “I am F.A.T.” with
an assist from her mom.
“I wrote the first draft and then my mom helped me write the storyline,” Jaia said. “And then I started writing more and my mom helped me
finish it. My mom is part of my publishing company. I self-published the book. It is my first book.”
And Tondra hopes the book will aid the school district in its anti-bullying efforts.
“What I really like about the book is that in the school system, they have bully prevention,” Tondra said. “You ask the bully to stop. You walk
away. And then you tell. Stop, Walk, Tell. That deals with trying to get the bully to stop. But beyond that, when those words get into your mind,
especially for a child — adults even have trouble dealing with things that people might call them — it’s hard. I am really thankful that this book
could help people in general reframe whatever is going on in their lives to help them feel better about it and be more positive.”
On July 30, Jaia held a book-signing party at the east side Hyvee. More than 50 supporters and friends came out to purchase books and give
“I’ve signed a lot of books today,” Jaia said. “We’re probably going to order more books so that we can sell even more and more and more
books. I am really grateful for all of the support that people have given me. I appreciate it a lot.’
Jaia doesn’t know if she will write a book. “I’m just 10-years-old” Jaia offered as an explanation on why she isn’t diving into another book.
Besides, right now, she has her sights on becoming an electrical engineer.
And her attitude has definitely changed.
“I really feel that this book or the reframing part of it helped her in that situation and she is able to carry it forward into other aspects of her life,”
Tondra said. “She was like, ‘Whatever.’”
Jaia is moving on.
For more information about “I am F.A.T.,” visit Jaia’s Facebook page at Facebook/FAT.
By Jonathan Gramling
Nothing is harder on a parent than to see one’s young
child go through a painful transition in life. And it is often
made more painful because the child keeps the pain to
his or herself, often times letting the pain to fester until it
Tondra Davis found that her daughter Jaia was crying
herself to sleep because a bully at her school was
calling her names.
“We had to pry what was going on out of her,” Davis
said. “She didn’t want to talk about it at first. And in the
last couple of weeks, I learned that she was crying
herself to sleep. And that just really, really hurt me. I just
wished that she had told me sooner. But she was doing
her best to try to work through the situation.”
People would call me stupid even though it is not even