As she plays with the locks of her red hair, Matilde is telling us a story. Or better, the plot of a novel.
Kathy is a lucky girl, living her “perfect life” in her town. Until she is forced to move far away, far from her town and her perfect life, with all that that entails. Her new friend, Jay, will help her and will become her “light of reason”. With a surprise ending, we obviously can’t tell.
Matilde has always been loving writing, ever since elementary in the public school; she loved to write short novels, “fan fiction or my own stuff”. Now, for her Personal Project, she wrote a book, I’m such a liar. “As a matter of fact I already started it, but it was just a few chapters and it was intended to be a movie script. When I heard of the Personal Project I just decided to turn my original idea into something more complete. I printed it using an online service, my dad helped me with the layout and I asked my best friend to design the cover for me”.
Spurred by the freedom the IB offered her, Matilde has faced a linguistic barrier that a few years ago she wouldn’t have been able to overcome so well. “My elementary teacher encourages me first, one of the first printed copies was for him. I moved to the International School during MYP2, and it was hard at the beginning to relate with a language I knew so little. Then, slowly and with Mr Thomas’ help, I also succeeded in writing a book completely in English”.
Inside Matilde’s novel, there is much more than a teenage plot; a lot of reflections and sensitivity. There is a little bit of her life in it, maybe. “I would like this novel to help people thinking about the effects that our behaviours have on the other people; on the fact that if someone is acting weirdly maybe is facing some difficulty and turning our back on him, is the worst thing we could do. That’s why I wrote the novel using the first person, because I want the reader to be in the main character’s mind”.
And that’s what, in the end, makes a good a great book.