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Hastings Author Helps Kids Cope With Middle School

Linda Elkin of Hastings-on-Hudson wrote and self-published her first book, "Gaby and the Best Middle School Self-Defense Book Ever." The book helps teens cope with the emotional and social challenges of the pre-teen years.

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON -- Linda Elkin's first book helps kids get through the emotional and social hurdles of middle school.

Elkin, a Hastings resident, wrote and self-published her first book, a combination of fiction and self-help paperback titled “Gaby and the Best Middle School Self-Defense Book Ever."

Elkin is a mother of two daughters and the director of marketing and human resources at Palisades Hudson Financial Group, a wealth management firm in Scarsdale. Though her daughters are now in their 20s, she was prompted to write the book after recently hearing stories about the worries of the middle school years.

“I have a lot of compassion for this age group. Stress with friends, bullies, cliques, work and self-image are hard enough to deal with as adults. Middle school is where all of these issues start to collide with heavy schoolwork and overscheduling,” Elkin said. “I wanted to write a story where readers felt like they weren’t alone in tackling these problems. They tackle the problems with Gaby and smile along the way. ‘Gaby and the Best Middle School Self-Defense Book Ever’ also celebrates the mutual support and caring of good friends.”

The book is a 172-page preteen/young adult novel, available on

Here’s the book summary: “On her first day of seventh grade, Gaby’s two best friends ditch her. She then gets stuck sitting with Lily, one of the most unpopular girls in the grade. And English class doesn’t make life any better, as she has to write a nonfiction book on anything — anything — by the end of the term. Gaby has too many problems to even think about writing a book. But Lily thinks the answer is just that: to write about middle school nightmares, and deal with cliques, crushes, bullies, friend fights and more. Perhaps Lily’s really not that bad. And maybe Gaby will survive the seventh grade after all."

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