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Literary Prodigy Shares Passion for Reading and Writing


After publishing her first book when she was only seven, Adora Svitak was dubbed a "Tiny Literary Giant" by Diane Sawyer of Good Morning America. For producer Liu Enming, Elaine Lu has the story of this child prodigy.

Adora Svitak started writing when she was only four. She published her first book Flying Fingers at seven, and authored more than 400 short stories. Flying Fingers was published in four languages for international audiences. Recently she was invited to New York City's Stony Brook University to speak to aspiring children and their parents at the Charles Wang Center.

"Hello everybody, I am very glad to be here and I hope you are, too," she said, introducing herself. "Today I am going to show you a few pictures, slide shows of myself. I am going to talk about writing and reading. This poem I am going to read to you is from my book Flying Fingers, titled 'Ghost.'"

Adora Svitak was invited in 2005 to appear on Good Morning America, a popular ABC morning television program, to demonstrate her writing talent. The famous late anchor Peter Jennings was on the set that day, and showed great interest in this literary genius. He even sent her his own history book, The Century for Young People, after learning that little Adora loves history.

Under the limelight, Adora might be a celebrity surrounded by fame and adoration, but at home, she is just an ordinary little girl who loves to play.

"Under a night with a starry sky,
under a night with dark blue up high,
under the night, they sit together,
anonymous men, as white as a feather.
Quietly they lurk around,
making not a single sound,
at the stroke of midnight, they all vanish,
leaving their trail shinning bright."

- Adora Svitak excerpt from "Ghost", in Flying Fingers

"I discovered [my love of writing] when I was pretty young, maybe 4 or 5. I just felt that sometimes [I had] so many ideas, and I should write them on paper. When I was 6, I got my first laptop. I wrote quite a few stories. My mom was very surprised, because sometimes I wouldn't go to dinner when I was writing these stories."

Adora reads insatiably: more than 2,000 books over the past five years. She says books are like wings for her imagination. "Yes, I love to read and write because it gives me a chance to express myself and I can share my thoughts with others," she says. "And through reading, I gain knowledge and I have fun, and I can go to other places because books are like wings."

Along with being an avid reader, Adora is a self-proclaimed "amateur historian" and a news junkie who often works today's headlines into her writing.

"I am going to read you a sample of one of my stories, which is called Yang in Disguise. My two new books are called Yang in Disguise and The Pickpocket Princess,"the girl explains. Yang in Disguise is a political satire of President Bush, because I disapprove of many of his policies."

Adora's mother Joyce Svitak credits dedication and commitment for her daughter's success. She says, "She might be precocious, and she is intelligent. But I think the most important component of her success is her hard work."

Adora enjoys traveling to schools and sharing her love of reading and writing with other children, because it is part of her clear goals for the future. "To inspire other children to read and write, I also hope to make the world a better place. I also want to write more books," she says.