Takoma Academy Senior Publishes First Book
What do you do when you are a 13-year-old who isn’t allowed to watch television or play video games? This was the question that Darius Bridges asked himself after school one day as he sat in his bedroom searching for something to do. Bridges, the grandson of artists and son of a musical mother, has always been creative. As an award-winning student who garnered ribbons for his poetry and artwork, he loved to draw, paint and use his imagination to create all types of images. So in his bedroom that day, he decided to make an origami puppy. He drew a happy face and polka dots on the puppy, and named it Dot.
Story by Ron Mills
Dot is a happy-go-lucky puppy who wants to spread happiness throughout the world. The next day, Bridges took his creation to school. His classmates embraced Dot and then encouraged him to create more puppies. He created 12 pups including: Pierre, Angel, Zad, Raven, Twitch, Gadget, Lily, Aleksander, Damien, Laura Love and Super Pup.
Four years later as a junior at Takoma Academy (TA), Bridges finished writing the children’s stories about the lives of the 12 pups. His stories promoting self-esteem, creativity and wholesome values were so captivating, his parents, Conrad and Cheryl Bridges, decided they wanted other students to read them. Conrad encouraged his son to write stories for all the pups, and Darius’ stories were compiled into a book and published in March 2015 under the title Stories of the Personality Pups.
The pups live in the town of Puppyville, each with their own name and unique personality, from happy to shy, energetic to cool and artistic to smart. The pups enjoy all kinds of fun activities, and three of them have sing-along-songs.
Darius wants the Personality Pups to help children from all over the world identify with a pup that best matches their own personality. He wants them to use the book to explore and use their own imagination by reading their stories through the illustrations of the pups. Today, Darius is an entrepreneur who has sold hundreds of books to children in the region.
While Bridges, who is president of the senior class, wrote most of the stories before attending TA, he says the staff, vast resources and diverse people attending TA caused him to take a second look at his book and change some things in it. “Takoma Academy is a school full of different cultures, interests and personalities. TA’s diverse environment helped shape my personality to be more realistic and relatable,” he shares. “I thank Takoma Academy for their love and support throughout this journey of becoming an author.”
For more information on Stories of the Personality Pups, visit myppups.com.