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From the mouths of babes:

My name is Rangi Sweetman, I am twelve years old, and I go to a tutorial school called WEB. ANI has impacted me in the way that it rebuilt confidence in my writing abilities, something I had been lacking before I went.

Range just wrote a novel. A for real, no joke novel.

What's it about?

Let him tell you: Lewis Kahananui is a very special child, but what is special about him is something he has not discovered about himself. Yet. In a flash, Lewis goes from his normal everyday life, to his parents death and having to team up with his friend Sarah to find redemption. Along the way, they discover many secrets about the world they are really living in and how they can either help it. Or destroy it.

Adorable, inspirational, and downright motivational. The great Rangi. Gosh, we're proud of you.

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Look at this beautiful book by this beautiful child, Wednesday Link.

She writes about a girl who accepts the lot life has dealt her, but discovers she's more powerful than she knows.

Kind of like another little girl who wrote a novel at age 13. Wednesday says she's always wanted to write a novel, but didn't think she'd be able to do so until she was much older.

That's the power of words, of a big challenge, and the belief down in your guts that you can do it.

You could do it, Wednesday. And you did.

Golly, we're proud.

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"Autumn Willman, orphaned at the young age of 9 years old, has had no choice but to watch over her little brother, and to do what she needs to do. What will she do when her whole world gets turned upside-down?"

That's Neva Kraft's first novel, Dämonenjägerin. A foreboding YA thriller that dives into the mind of a young person in turmoil.

Neva Kraft should know something about a young person's mind - she's only 13 years old.

The spark and fortitude of these young writers absolutely astounds me. Neva has stunned everyone at A Novel Idea with her dedication to learning the craft of writing, while still being a kid who loves planning wacky schemes with her orchestra friends.

Doing good work that feels like play? I'd say she's nailed it.

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Take a minute and read this:

"Identical twins Natalie and James uncover a shocking discovery at their new boarding school that will change their lives forever. While just getting settled in the new school, everybody back home gets kidnapped, and it’s up to Natalie and James to save their mom, aunt, and newborn cousins from the mysterious group called THE VOID. Alliances change, but Natalie and James can’t give up, or they’ll lose their family forever."

Gripping. Compelling. And written by a preteen.

Kate Pearson is a 12 year old 7th grader at Nashville Christian School who prides herself on not only being a voracious reader but now a published author. She says the ANI program nurtured and challenged her to find her voice, conquer her “inner critic” and bring her imagination to life.

Oh, my heart. Kate, you make my heart soar.

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Eleven. That's how many donut holes I ate this morning.

It's also the AGE of this sweet novelist, Sierra Gray.

Such a tiny number, but so powerful.

Folks think kids are cute. They think kids are little reflections of their environments or of their parents. But Sierra, and other young writers like her, make it abundantly clear that kids are their own human beings.

They have a rich life of the mind that, frankly, humbles me.

In her words, Sierra's novel is about, "Two teenagers, Cunnir and Zaniah must save theirselves and their posterity from the evil king and his evil ideas. That's hard when they get lost in forests and in their own love! These hopeless romantics must save the world!"

Hopeless romantics saving the world.

That's what these kids are for me. Proud of you, girlfriend.

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Rachel Hinchey is 13 and attends Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, TN where she is in the seventh grade.

Just let that sink in for a minute. Seventh grade.

And because we're lucky ducks at A Novel Idea, we got to spend the summer with this brilliant mind while she was writing her first novel.

So what's it about? In her words: " A futuristic society consists of four ranks, determining the people’s social placement, how they see, and what kinds of lives they live. As a “Plain,” eighteen-year-old Cassandra has always lived a normal, Plain life — but things change quickly as she starts to question her Plain rank, resulting in confusion, heartbreak, rage and betrayal. Join Cassandra on her journey as she fights back tears and throws away the life she knows in order to become someone Higher Rank never meant for her to be."

WUT?

Speechless.

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Maya is FOURTEEN. At fourteen, I was too worried about dressing out for gym class to imagine a vast dystopian world exacerbated by an incurable disease.

But not Maya.

She's a powerhouse.

Her second novel, Silent Night, has one of the most riveting descriptions I've read.

"Years into the future, the government is collapsing. The City is in ruins. Human beings have devolved into filthy savages. The Infection, an incurable disease, is at the heart of this chaos. The few humans who survive live in the shadows, among them the graffiti artist, Pynk. She along with an underground clan, Silent Night, vow to end the reign of the Infection by searching and destroying the mastermind who seems to be behind it all, the Governor. However, they find something even more terrifying than their worst fears..."

It's available on Lulu. Gosh, I'm proud of her.

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/silent-night/19793488

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A thirteen-year-old with a novel? You betcha. And a thirteen-year-old writing under a pseudonym to keep the mystery of their authorship alive? Yes, again.

In the author's words: "Being different can mean being outcast, and that's what happened to Ziva Darius at her orphanage in Seattle, Washington. Born with an unusual birth defect to her left arm, she felt as if her life was meaningless, but oil and blood ran thick through her veins. When opportunity came to do something greater, she stormed out beyond her comfort zone to adventure. This incredible journey will make Ziva Darius a legend as she goes on a path to discover the truth, and herself. Vondeebs Hoke has written a take on modern times that he believes many kids from today's generation will enjoy."

ANI gives me all the feels - and kids like Vondeebs are hope personified. Getting a real book out into the world is something most adults aspire to do. But Vondeebs has already checked that item off the bucket list.

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Oh, Marah. The bright, red-haired, sensitive young woman who has stolen my heart. Marah is thrilled to have participated in A Novel Idea's novel writing workshops, and is now a twice published author.

In her words, "ANI has not only given me the tools to hone and sharpen my craft, but has instilled incredible confidence in my writing, a stronger love for the written word, and a deeper appreciation for the art of storytelling."

Her second novel, Blind, is available now.

Blind is a thrilling tale of friendship and uncovered secrets. Young genius Quinn Connelly is suddenly thrust into a confounding series of events which frighten and enrage him. Along with his quirky companions, Quinn must escape from sticky situations and learn that even if you think you can get through life on your own, it does not mean that you should.

Buy it on Lulu now:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/marah-grant/blind/paperback/product-22937065.html

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Olivia Laskowski was one of my first, and most favorite, young writers. She's all grown up now, a student at Northeastern University, and a fellow at the London School of Economics. She's funny, she's smart, she's kind - she's all the things I hope for my ANI novelists.

In her words, "ANI was important to me because it helped me to find my unique voice, and then the confidence to share it publicly, not knowing who might find it or read it." And across the years, her many moves to countries across the world, she's kept her love of writing alive.

Her blog, Live Everywhere, is a beautiful meditation on travel, style and little things in life.

I'm so proud and honored to know her, and to have known her when.

Read her work here: http://www.liveverywhere.com/
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