StarKid Spotlight: Makayla Halbower


Makayla Halbower, Author of Dyslexia Rules!

By Cynthia Starborn

Last month I attended the EdRev Conference in San Francisco, a one-day event devoted to supporting and celebrating students with learning differences. One of the highlights of my day was meeting Makayla Halbower, who wrote Dyslexia Rules! when she was 8. Now 10, Makayla was sitting at her author’s booth looking very poised and professional, with a neat display of books in front of her.   I opened one book and was quickly drawn into her personal narrative of academic struggles and hard-won triumphs related to dyslexia, as well as her acknowledgment of her friends and her creative gifts.  One of the last lines of her story really struck me:  “I may never be famous, and it’s not always easy, but I am happy to be me.”

Touched by Makayla’s message, I quickly bought a book and asked for her autograph.

After Makayla had signed her name, I asked her what inspired her to write the book.  She said, “I heard of another girl that wrote a book, and I thought that was fun.” Then she added, “I was struggling at the time, and I didn’t want anyone to feel the way I felt.” She said her overall message to her readers was, “Don’t be sad about yourself.”

Next to the copies of Dyslexia Rules! on display at Makayla’s booth, I saw an open box of blank address labels, some colored markers, and a sign that said, “Write something about yourself that you are proud about. Wear it all day.” I looked up and saw that Makayla was wearing a label that said “being a good friend.” I loved her creative way of encouraging people to shift out of any negative “labels” they might have about themselves and to create positive labels instead.   What an engaging way to support people in living out the empowering message of her book!   With a purple pen I wrote “creative writing” on a label and stuck it on my coat.  During the rest of the conference, I enjoyed wearing this label close to my heart, while keeping my eye out for the positive labels being worn by other conference attendees who had clearly been inspired by Makayla’s booth.

If you know any young people with dyslexia, I highly recommend getting them a copy of Dyslexia Rules! by Makayla Halbower.  And no matter what age you are, I highly recommend that you follow Makayla’s example, write a positive label for yourself, and wear it all day, every day.


To be informed of future blogs, products, and services, click here.

CYNTHIA STARBORN is an author, teacher, and soul coach.  She has over a decade of experience teaching students of all ages, including many students with special needs and special gifts. Trained in Akashic Records Soul Clearing, with a Master’s in Transpersonal Psychology, Cynthia offers classes and private sessions to help children and adults clear soul challenges, embody their gifts, and shine.  Cynthia is the co-author of 365 Moments of Grace and 365 Life Shifts and delights in uplifting others.


4 Responses to “StarKid Spotlight: Makayla Halbower”

  1. Steve Sisgold Says:

    Great info
    Thank you

  2. Cynthia Starborn Says:

    You’re welcome, Steve. Thanks for your support and inspiration!

  3. Paul Hippolitus Says:

    When I teach a course to students with disabilities at UC Berkeley about identity and self-confidence when living with a disability, at the end to the semester, I read Makayla’s book to our college students who, upon hearing this eight year old’s perspective — just smile and go forward with a newly found pride about their disability.

  4. Cynthia Starborn Says:

    Hi Paul, What a valuable course you are teaching! So glad you are sharing Makayla’s message with your students, and having a powerful impact on their lives. Many blessings to you.

Leave a Reply