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Power of Story

Feb 19, 2013

Girl Scouts, from Daisies to Ambassadors, on the It’s Your Story—Tell It Leadership Journey find out how important storytelling is, in much the way writer Natasha Yim did. As a child, Natasha’s younger sister was afraid of the dark and couldn’t sleep. So Natasha would make up stories to help her fall asleep.

When she got older, Natasha kept telling her stories to kids in a group home, many without families. “Being away from family can be scary and lonely, so sometimes I told the children stories about my family, sometimes they were made up stories,” Natasha explains. “It comforted them. Sometimes the stories made them feel less lonely or sad, sometimes the stories helped them talk about their own families.”

That’s when Natasha realized the power of story. “A good story can make you feel angry, sad, triumphant, excited,” she says. “It can help soothe fears, inspire curiosity, open up the wonders of a new world, whether imaginary or real. I like to think that my stories do all these things.”

So Natasha began writing about exotic and fascinating adventures. Natasha grew up in Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, which gave her an appreciation and curiosity about the world and other cultures. She’s written about the Chinese dragon boat festival, a woman who rescues endangered elephants in Thailand, the last female Chinese empress in Cixi, The Dragon Empress, and a Native American princess who helped Captains Lewis and Clark navigate their way across the American West in Sacajawea of the Shoshone.

Natasha’s next book, due out next year, is a take on Goldilocks and the three bears, titled Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas. “By the time it hits bookshelves, it would have been a nine-year journey for this book with many rejections and one canceled contract along the way,” Natasha reveals. She advises girls to never give up and, most of all, to have passion. “Have passion for what you do and believe in yourself. The passion will drive you, believing in yourself will keep you going when the road to success gets rough. But the best successes are the ones you’ve worked hard for.”

Read more about Natasha’s books and advice for young storytellers on The Studio.