My 10 year old’s entire 5th grade class participated in the NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program. National Novel Writing Month happens every November. It is a wonderful nationwide program where they challenge and encourage writers young and old to write an entire novel within one month, and to help them publish it.

Last Sunday, the program directors hosted a reading event for the young writers from all over the Bay Area at Booksmith. Booksmith is a well established independent bookstore in the famed Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco. All but one of the 31 students in my child’s 5th grade class finished their novel in time. So, our 5th grade class was one of the few schools who received a special invitation to this reading event. My 10 year old was one of the three readers representing our Elementary school.

BookSmith in San Francisco

The event started at 4PM, by the time we arrived at 3:45PM, the entire back section of the book store was packed with aspiring young writers and their adoring fans and families. All the seats were taken, and we had to be content with standing behind rows of other people also without chairs.

Luckily there was a microphone for the readers, so all of the audience could hear the children’s highly imaginative and entertaining stories, which were sometimes funny, sometimes curiously absurd, and sometimes both. The children invited to this event ranged from Kindergarten to Junior High, and each child was alloted just a few minutes to read.

NaNoWriMo Young Writers Reading Event Intro

When my 10-year-old’s name was announced over the microphone by the program director, I managed to squeeze past to the front of the standing spectators for a peak, and I saw my 10 year old standing confidently in front of the mic, and announced with a loud and clear speaking voice:

“My Novel is called ‘An Unexpected Journey,’ and I am going to read you my second-favorite part of the story:

~Chapter Six~
Even the toy dinosaurs that trashed Trevor’s room couldn’t outnumber these. There were dinosaurs of every shape and size, every color and fierceness, herbivores and carnivores, and even omnivores. There were baby dinosaurs and grown dinosaurs, and some smaller some bigger. Bella stared in awe at the numerous pteranodons, triceratops, stegosauruses, T-rexes, brontosauruses, and other dinosaurs she recognized from Trevor’s long lectures on dinosaurs at the dinner table.
‘Wow,’ she breathed. She was so amazed. ‘What is this place?’ she squeaked when she could say anything other than ‘wow.’
Liliana looked at her. She didn’t seem very amazed about the dinosaur world. ‘I don’t really know,’ she said.
‘You brought me here!’ Bella exclaimed. ‘Can we go home now?’
‘Greetings, Creatures, and sorry if we are interrupting something. I think I may have seen your kinds before…I could have it written in my book…’ mumbled a timid voice behind them.
Bella’s eyes flashed. She clenched her fists, whirled around, and found herself face-to-face with…the smallest dinosaur she’d ever seen. It was some strange rat-sized butterfly-winged red dinosaur that had a tiny violin, a tiny quiver of tiny arrows, a tiny bow, and a tiny purple bag hanging off one arm. He was wearing a tiny steel armor and a tiny blue Trojan Hat. He had two tiny friends behind him, who were wearing the same steel armor, wore a red Trojan Hat, and had all the supplies he had except the violin. Behind them there were eight dinosaurs with no bags, violin, or Trojan Hat, only the bows and arrows. Bella thought a good name for them would be ‘The Army of Tiny Butterfly-Dinosaurs.’”

Presently, my 10 year old is preoccupied with formatting the 12000 word novel for publishing. And the kid is already thinking about ways to make money from this labor of love.

“Will you sell my book on” 10 year old asked.

“Can’t. Your book is in English.” me

“Translate it then! I saw you have bilingual books.” 10-year-old.

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