Penn Manor High School senior Toby Holsinger can add a new title to her name – published author.
The Mountville teenager wrote “This I Know … Devotions for Teens,” a book of 90 daily devotions that was recently published by Cross River Media and is available on Amazon.com.
Each short story in the book covers a different topic, including bullying, gossip, forgiveness, grief and patience. For each day’s devotion, a different girl finds herself in a difficult situation. The book then offers advice on overcoming the difficulties with prayer and inspiration from Scripture.
While the characters and scenarios are fictional, Toby said she was able to draw on her real-life encounters, and she wrote the book specifically for teens like herself, with their unique experiences and struggles.
Toby began working on the project in 2012 after a poem she wrote caught the attention of her high school English teacher, Lisa Mayo. Toby posted the poem, about a frightened child running to her father’s arms during a storm, on Facebook. A relative of Toby’s who is a professional writer shared the poem with a publisher, Cross River Media, which took an interest in Toby’s writing.
The devotions book began taking shape, and after a series of edits, rewrites and a title change, “This I Know” was released this fall. Toby will participate in a book signing fundraiser with another local author Dec. 3 at Uncle Leroy’s Candy Shop in Strasburg.
She is under contract with Cross River for five years but does not have another writing project in the works at the moment. After graduation, Toby plans to attend Lancaster Bible College and major in social work.