The pleasure of reading. Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
If you meet Michelle for the first time, you can’t help but be impressed from her beautiful brown eyes as well as her big smile. Michelle is only 8 years old, but the way she introduces herself makes of her a grown up girl.
Michelle was born in San Francisco and, because of the family’s Italian origins, she was soon taken to Venice, in Italy, to get baptised. Michelle loves the Lagoon City and her heart has always been very close to her mom’s birthplace and her nonno and nonna’s hometown. She lives in Pacifica and has now become one of the most popular young people within the Italian community in the Bay Area. Middle daughter of three girls, she speaks English, French, and Italian, that she learnt through her mom Sabrina.
  The Girl with a Magical Unicorn book cover
While nobody can deny the exceptional skills which let her become a writer, the success she found in the online world is even more impressive. “The Adventure of Giulia – The Girl with a Magical Unicorn”, a bilingual book in English and Italian, has soon turned into an Amazon best seller children’s book. While talking to Michelle, you immediately get the feeling that reading is  for her more than a hobby: as her parents confessed, she is most often found with her nose in a new book, absorbing the stories and the characters, the conflicts and the adventures, from a wide variety of authors and styles.
First of all, why do you like to speak different languages?
I like to speak different languages because they give me the chance to understand and talk to more people. Of course, I can also read more books! I love to read and to write books.

Can you tell us something about Giulia, the main character of the book?
Giulia is a little girl and her wishes are being fulfilled by a magical unicorn that takes her around the world to discover new things. What I like about Giulia is that she faces each adventure with a positive attitude and she is ‘never afraid’.
Do you have anything in common with your heroine?  
I am curious to learn about new things in life. Plus I like to use my imagination when I do new stuff. However, I am not as brave as her.
Alaska, Sahara Desert, and Mexico: why do you take Giulia to these places?
These are all places where I would like to go. They are the fantasy locations of a witch’s castle and an enchanted forest. I tried to include details from each location as Giulia explores the fun of new adventures.
Where are you going to take Giulia next?
My next book will be based in Venice, in Italy, where Giulia goes to visit her cousin. I want to take her there during Carnival because I am sure she will have many adventures. I visit Venice very often because of my grandparents. I usually go during summer when I enjoy the Lido’s beaches and I love to explore the city with them.
You are so young but you can give people tips on how to write books…
Back in December, I presented my book at the Italian Cultural Institute in San Francisco. I talked about how to write a book. I could share my experiences with other children. I was happy to give other kids some suggestions on how to start. I told them how I got my ideas, how I put together the plot and organised the chapters, how I got illustrations and what I needed from my parents.
Many kids joined Michelle’s talk and, as Amelia Antonucci underlined, “The presentation was interesting and a valuable experience for children, to inspire them to pursue their own ideas.”
Michelle can count now on her own website in which she also have some space for a personal blog, where to write new thoughts and ideas. Besides playing with her imagination and ideally travelling to new places, she spends time doing what most girls love: dancing. She competes in a dance company in tap, ballet, lyrical… and enjoys the camaraderie of her fellow dancers.
If you wish to know more about Michelle, you can follow her on Facebook, and visit her webpage http://MichelleLongega
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