Photography by Danny Fulgencio.
GRACIE DIX IS A SUPERHERO. Her super powers include imagination, writing and helping animals. This 17-year-old published a book, “Welcome to Superhero School,” and is already working on the sequel.
Dix attends the Shelton School, a private academy that specializes in educating students with learning differences. How can a kid with ADHD write a 292-page book? About two years ago, she decided to write a story and found a website asking for a minimum word count of 50,000.
“I told myself, ‘Well, I better start writing,’” she says. “Once I got past 50,000 words, I was like, ‘Well, I’ve come this far, and this is pretty awesome. Why don’t I just keep going?’”
The book published April 28, which was National Superhero Day. Ten percent of the proceeds — up to $10,000 — benefit the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The plot features 12 superheroes who are trying to defeat an evil organization called Vork while attempting to make friends at a superhero school they attend. The characters’ superpowers include invisibility, flying and morphing into different animals. Then there’s “the energizer,” who can give energy to others so they can use their powers more effectively. Her dog, Snowball, also stars in the book.
“I love my friends so much,” she says. “They’re loyal, sweet and amazing. I wanted to preserve their legacy, so my characters have some of the qualities that my friends have.”
Dix’s favorite classes include algebra II and physics. She calls herself “the grammar police,” but she prefers freestyle writing over nonfiction.
When Dix isn’t writing, she can be found in the theater, singing, creating art, volunteering or playing tennis. She loves travel and is a loyal friend.
“Hiding who you are can hurt you,” she says. “It can cut off your friendships and family relationships and lead you to a deep, dark place. People who are different from each other make us stronger. Our flaws can sometimes be our greatest qualities.”
Dix lives in Preston Hollow with her parents, Richard and Jennifer. The book’s sibling relationship between protagonists Oliver and Jessica was inspired by her brother, Nate, who is in college.
Dix’s coronavirus schedule includes taking online courses, “chilling” at home and working on the sequel to the “Vork Chronicles,” which is about twins Jason and Mason. “Superhuman abilities aren’t necessarily everything,” she says. “They are super cool, but you can’t completely rely on them to get you through life. Friendship is the most important thing that you can have. You can’t rely on a superpower to tell you, ‘It’s going to be OK. We’ll get through this together.’”
For more information about “Welcome to Superhero School,” go to graciedix.com.
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