CALAIS, Maine (WABI) – Earlier this year, Calais 5th grader Harleigh Clark approached her grandmother, a book publisher, about her dream of becoming an author.
“After we talked a little bit about what that would mean, we decided we’d go ahead with the project, but that it wouldn’t be all fun, that there would be a lot of work, and there would be things that would be hard,” said her grandmother Lanette Pottle.
Flash forward months later, and she’s reached the number one spot on Amazon’s International Bestseller status with her book, “Can You Teach Me?”
“It’s about a little girl named Kinsley. She wants her sister to help with three things – braiding hair, baking, and doing cartwheels,” Clark said.
Making her dream a reality was a bit of a secretive operation.
“Well, nobody knew about my book until like the week it was getting published because I kept it a secret all along. And my parents say I don’t know how to keep secrets, but that’s proving them that I can,” Clark added.
“We had regular author meetings, and although her parents knew that we were meeting to talk about her book, every detail about the book was top secret. So, she really kept this very closely guarded secret until publication,” said Pottle.
Harleigh hopes she can inspire more young writers to become authors, too.
“When I know I’m helping people, or even just encouraging people, it makes me feel great inside, and it makes me feel important,” Clark said.
While some of the profits from the book are going toward a laptop to help her continue her dream, she’s also giving back to her community by donating to a local food pantry.
“Because I know they’re doing a good deed for people in need,” Clark stated.
Moving forward, Harleigh is still deciding whether or not she’s going to pursue a career as an author.
“I don’t quite know yet right now if it’s just for a hobby, but even if I want to do it when I grow up, I could,” said Clark.
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