ATLANTA — A metro Atlanta fifth-grader is defying all odds and leaving an impact on his community with his newly published book, "Snap It".
The book focuses on how to process mental health through big life events. Ta'Kari Tatum published the book at just 11 years old.
On Wednesday, the Atlanta Hawks surprised Tatum at his home. The iconic basketball team bought 50 copies of Tatum's books to give to local youth organization spreading his message on an important topic.
He also received a personalized Hawks jersey from the team.
Tatum is a student at Varner Elementary School in Cobb County. The release of his book wasn't the first time he has made an important impact on his community.
Last year, he released his "Snap It" bracelets. The bracelets, which are now being sold on a global scale, serve as a reminder to let the community know they are not alone in times of stressful situations.
He even won an award last year that is usually reserved for older kids. He's the youngest person to win the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Youth Leadership Award for the state of Georgia.
Tatum said a difficult few years served as the inspiration for the project leading to the very moment of his first dozens of books being sold.
“It was really just thinking about all the things that happened in my life and my mental health journey and putting those things on paper," he said.
His grandfather passed away during the pandemic. During the pandemic when everyone was locked down, Tatum also saw his friend struggle.
“My book is an extension of telling people that mental health matters and it is a serious thing that almost everyone goes through," he said.
In the book, Tatum writes about a time someone called him a “baby” when he was sad and struggling with his grandpa’s death. He lashed out at the time.
He wasn’t sure what to do with the emotions building inside. His teacher reached out to his grandma hoping they could find a way to support Tatum. That's how the bracelet project was born later graduating to the his book.
The project has helped his family process some tough situations. Tatum hopes to continue to grow his passion for spreading a message.