Book a runaway success story

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 21/09/2013
Danielle Jarvie book launch
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ

Waihopai School author Danielle Jarvie, 11, centre, celebrates the launch of her book "Running Away Forever" with Lucy Hall, 9, as Lala the Teletubby, Claudia Smith, 11, as the Cheshire Cat, and Soni Ahoaeila, 7, as Peter Pan, at the school’s book character day.

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Eleven-year-old Danielle Jarvie had a dream - to be a published author before the end of the year.

It sounds like an ambitious goal, especially for a primary school pupil, but this week Danielle's dream became a reality.

Her debut book, Running Away Forever, was launched yesterday during a full Waihopai School assembly.

The chapter book tells the story of 11-year-old Skylar, who has to leave her home in Afghanistan to escape the Taliban, and the journey she undertakes with her younger sister.

"I always wanted to write and I just saw it on the news and I thought it would be a good topic," Danielle said.

The book, published through website Snapfish, features illustrations by Danielle's mother, Sally.

Teacher Cheryl Burgess, who edited the book, said Danielle had tackled a sophisticated subject for her age, imagining life for children on the other side of the world.

After spending two days writing, Danielle did months of research to check details such as what a burqa looks like or what airport characters would have arrived at, Ms Burgess said.

The book is in the school's library and is also available for purchase. To celebrate the book's release, Waihopai School pupils dressed up as their favourite characters from literature yesterday.

Danielle is already looking for topics for new books, and said a sequel to Running Away Forever might be her next project.

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- The Southland Times

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