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Adora, Writer, Poet, the Little Star

November, 2007
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a6 The passion for a good story starts at a very young age.

  At an age when most kids are still eking out simple sentences or paragraphs, 10-year-old Adora Svitak has written over 400 short stories, including historical fiction, contemporary storytelling, animal tales and poetry.

  Her love of books is evident both in the quantity of books she has read (around 2000 books so far) and in the vast amount she reads each day (she sometimes gobbles down 2-3 books a day.)

  “Reading and writing is my life,” Adora said seriously.

  The little girl started to read chapter books at three-and-a-half, and never looked back, tending to gravitate towards ever more challenging materials. It is this great passion for reading that inspired her love for writing, which has evolved into a tireless desire to better her craft by writing and revising every day.

  Currently, Adora is working on two novels, the Pickpocket Princess and Yang in Disguise, as well as a poetry collection, Dancing Fingers. She is also offering interactive writing workshops to schools nationally and internationally. She hopes to use her own success to inspire other kids to take more of an interest in reading and writing.

  She may be small, but she has big ideas. The young author admitted her big dream in life is to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and Peace in the future.

  “I just want to continue writing nowadays… I am not going to win it this year, but maybe in the years to come.”

  During her recent Asian Tour to Beijing, Adora did a writing workshop with the children at the International School of Beijing, where LittleStar sat down with Adora, talking about her in interests in reading, writing as well as future plans…

  LittleStar: Why do you like reading and writing so much?a5

  Adora: Reading and writing give me the chance to expand my universe with imagination and knowledge. In the real world, your parents can tell you to take out the garbage or your boss can tell you to do something at work. But in stories, we are in absolute control. We can make our characters do whatever we want. It’s our world. Reading gives me the chance to learn, and writing allows me to reinforce my memory.

  LittleStar: It is said that you can finish two books in one day. How are you able to do that?

  Adora: Reading so many books (around 2000 so far), I get a lot of practice reading quickly. I am always so eager to find out what happens, or to learn a new fact, that I try to read as quickly as possible. Also, I know that time is one of the most important resources on earth, and that we must use our time as wisely as possible. However, reading speed is not what matters — it’s the content of the book that you should make an effort to remember.

  LittleStar: If you will go to school one day… what kind of school would you like best?

  Adora: If I went to school, I would like a school that allowed freedom of speech, that set high standards and allowed its students to advance despite their age. I would want a school that encouraged without praising too much. I would like a school that did not use too much paperwork — and started classes late in the morning! (I like sleeping in.)

  LittleStar: You said your level in reading is high school and your math level is 6th or 7th grade… did you learn it all by yourself? How about your other subjects like science and physics?

a12   Adora: My parents always read aloud to me and my sister when we were little and were not able to read ourselves. They chose books that were "above" our grade level, and so I started off early reading "advanced" books. I currently have a private tutor and I always try to learn on my own time.

  LittleStar: Is the Nobel Prize in Literature you biggest dream in life?

  Adora: I cannot say whether the Nobel Prize is my biggest dream in life because I will always be getting new dreams, but it certainly is a very large dream and one that I hope to accomplish in my lifetime.

  LittleStar: For many kids, reading is not as fun as playing around; while writing is a headache. Do you have some suggestions for them?

  Adora: Reading and writing allow you to create your own world, to get away from boring everyday life and take a vacation in the most exotic reaches of your imagination. Writing gives you the chance to be in absolute control, to make fun of your "enemies," and to have fun!

  LittleStar: Among all the 400 plus stories you have written, which one is your own favorite?

  Adora: The novel that I am planning to release around next year, Yang in Disguise, is probably my favorite.

  LittleStar: How many of your stories been published?

  Adora: Nine of my short stories have been published in Flying Fingers (A unique hands-on guide, featuring a compilation of Adora’s stories followed by easy-to-follow writing tips from Adora, her mother, and her teacher.), and I will be releasing two novels soon. Some of the stories I wrote at a younger age are not good enough for publication to me.

  LittleStar: Do you often buy books or do you prefer to go to libraries? How many books do you have?

  Adora: I like bookstores because you are able to buy a book and keep it to read many times over, but libraries provide a very wide variety of books and allow you to read many books without paying money.

  LittleStar: How large do you think is your vocabulary? How do you learn and remember new words?

  Adora: It is impossible to count vocabulary because there are too many words like "it" "and", etc., which are still vocabulary. I learn new words when I read books and listen to other people talking. Then I look them up or ask my parents what they mean, and use them in my everyday speech and writing to help me remember them.

  LittleStar: Have you got new inspirations during this Asian Tour? Or have you written something about it?

  Adora: I have written some blog posts about my trip in Asia. So far I am not planning to write a story inspired by my ea1xperiences, but in the future I might.

  LittleStar: Do you have some pen pals? How can one become your pen pal?

  Adora: Yes, quite a few. Nearly every school I visited I got new pen pals. We like to e-mail each other, writing about daily life or talking about politics, jokes and everything.

  As an author and a teacher nowadays, I am very busy and I may not be able to reply immediately, but readers can write to LittleStar where I have a column to see their questions answered.

By Xing Yangjian

Adora Svitak has joined LittleStar Magazine as an overseas reporter and columnist in December 2007. Come and read Adora’s short stories and communicate your thoughts with her exclusively at LittleStar.

To know more about Adora Svitak, please visit www.adorasvitak.com

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