YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Growing up in the projects in the 90s — that’s what a Campbell native’s newest book is about. Jayaira Grhim-Harvey tells the story of what she experienced through her own eyes as a child.
Grhim-Harvey sat inside Concept Studio in downtown Youngstown Sunday answering questions about her newest book titled “Project Kid.”
“‘Project Kid’ is about my story as I was growing up as a child. A lot of childhood trauma and healing in that book. I was surrounded by a lot of violence and drugs during the crack epidemic in the early 90s,” Grhim-Harvey said.
She moved to Campbell when she was six. As a child, she experienced things that children aren’t meant to see.
“It was very hard,” she said. “It was a lot of strife and gun violence and just bloodshed. It was very hard, day-to-day, to get through the day, just trying to see if you were ever going to make it out alive,” Grhim-Harvey said.
She features her family throughout the book. She says they helped her get through this time, even though she doesn’t use their real names.
She admits when she was writing the book some parts were difficult, like learning how to deal with issues from her past.
“It was freeing though,” Grhim-Harvey said. “It was really liberating to write this book, and I feel great about it. I feel like a lot of weight has been lifted from me.”
Grhim-Harvey titled the book “Project Kid” because she says it was bold and leaves room for imagination.
She also made the cover with bullets, bullet holes, blood and a picture of her now and her as a child.
“Like, what is this book about and what is this story going to tell, so I just wanted to give that shocked effect and that shock value,” Grhim-Harvey said.
She says she let her mom read the book before she put it out there. Grhim-Harvey says her parents were very supportive of her telling her story, and now she hopes this book will help others deal with childhood issues.
“As an adult, you tend to bury those issues and put a band-aid on it and act like they’re not there. So, my hope is that people tend to take those issues and really start dealing in their healing process because it is necessary,” Grhim-Harvey said.
The book is about 86 pages, 13 chapters long and can be found on Amazon.
Grhim-Harvey wants to remind people you have to put her full name in correctly when searching for it.